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Who Dies?

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  321 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A meaningful insight how to participate fully in life as the perfect preparation for whatever may come next, be it sorrow or joy, loss or gain, death or a new wonderment at life.
Published October 5th 2000 by Gill & MacMillan (first published 1982)
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I've actually been reading this book off and on for about 4 years. It is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it for everyone. It is one of those books that you read a little, then put it down for a few weeks to process what you have read before you go back to it. I have re-read many chapters over the years, but I don't think I have actually made it to the end yet. I like that it draws from many traditions, for example Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, and Native American, as death is universal. J ...more
I love this book. Death is a difficult subject, but this book is more about living than anything else. After surviving ovarian cancer, I needed to make my peace with death, and this book helped me do that. I will probably reread this book for the rest of my life.
J. Oshi
This book is more about LIFE, than dying. "Live as if today is your last." This book was for a Death & Dying class while I was at UCSC (1986), but it in retrospect, it was really for me. The book helped me cope with my brother's illness and eventual death. It led to many discussions with him and others about terminal illness. In his book, Levine notes that at the time our life ends, our spirit begins to leave our body. He adds that we can feel the spirit like a gentle breeze if we place our ...more
Renee Layberry
Stephen Levine offers a gentle perspective that is inclusive, comforting, and lucid. I respected the lack of dogma and the introduction to the Buddhist perspective without feeling "preached to." The writing and editing felt somewhat muddled at times, but the book delivered what I'd hoped. All told, it is a valuable read for those seeking to explore and expand a perspective on the dying process which we must all embrace in one capacity or another.
Despite the title and the topics covered, you could say this book is about life. If I were to have a bible(or believe in needing one) this book would be it.
Amy Backas
changed my life,this book,and radically changed my perspective on death and dying.
Adam Kinsey
This is one of those books where you go in one person and come out another. Looking into the reality of one's own mortality is weirdly simple (yeah, we're going to die), and transformative if you've bought into the modern world's avoidance. Levine has spent so much thoughtful, caring time in the company of death, and he brings us, the readers, a calm, thoughtful, yet uncompromising voice.

It is dense, and it is intense. This book is 317 pp and it took me 5 months to read. Busy months, but still,
Mason Wren
Fantastic. I loved this book so much. It is full of wisdom. Written by a man who is both poet and spiritual practitioner, it has both beauty and depth. So many times it would make me pause and think, "YES!!" (Like when he writes in the first chapter, "Until we have nothing to hide, we cannot be free." It is philosophical as it examines mindfulness and death, yet practical with stories and meditations. And yet at the same time it is far more than both philosophical and practical as it invites its ...more
River King
Essential reading if you are close to someone who is dear to you and is dying. Inspiring.
I absolutely loved this book! I was given it after my grandma passed, and it has helped me SO much!
Life changing! Precipitated a spiritual awakening in this atheist!
Fascinating. Good read.
Bishop Bergland
This book needed an editor. Sentences are hit or miss, more often sentence fragments than actual sentences along with poor or missing punctuation made it almost unreadable at times. Still there are some jewels here - along with some pretty blatant instances of conclusions not based on the evidence and confusing correlation and causation. Read Joan Halifax instead
Wonderful, rich , edifying, thought provoking.
A serious treatise on death and dying.Must reading for those who work with or plan to work with those who are dying. Rich in information and spirit.
I liked this so much I have placed several more of Levine's books on my wish list. It seems to be not only a healthier way to approach death, but a healthier way to approach life too. Really a great read for anyone involved with those who are at the end of their life journey.
Andrew McKee
Great book. Only spared it 5 stars because it was a bit wordy at points. Inspirational, memorable and moving. A must-read for anyone dealing with death of a loved one or struggling for ways to deal with their own ultimate passing in a mindful, loving and understanding way.
Feb 18, 2009 Kara is currently reading it
Very deep and I'm taking my time to absorb it. I'm sure as a reader with young children my ties are different than others.

Suggested by many members of my Buddhist Meditation group.
Just amazing! I love Stephen Levine's voice and the level of understanding he brings to these topics is quite fantastic. Must read! Everyone can benefit if they can be open to it!
Michael Altshuler
An excellent, provocative and insightful book.
Jul 01, 2008 Mariola rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: evolved educated nurses-especially
Recommended to Mariola by: evolved educated nurse
We grieve each day,feel everything. Guide to universal lovingness -journey from disharmony
to clarity in face of passage in dignity and hope,TO RELIEF the thirsty mind.
I read this when I worked at the hospice several years ago. As I recall it was a very wise Buddhist view of living and dying. It was required reading.
A fantastic book on death and dying. Levine isan expert in this topic and a unique perspective on looking at death differently!
Oct 26, 2012 Deborah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
didn't actually finish it. Levine is a great writer, but too verbose for me. Will try it again in a few years.
I found this book after a very dear friend died. It is deeply moving and helped shift the pain and loss.
My only concern about this book is that I now may have read the single most definitive work on the topic...
Seriously: this should be required reading for anyone who lives.
Jan 01, 2009 Robin marked it as to-read
Conscious Living and Conscious Dying. Interesting.
Victoria Murata
Guaranteed to change your idea of death.
I will likely die with this book in my hands.
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American poet, author and teacher best known for his work on death and dying.
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“When we recognize that, just like the glass, our body is already broken, that indeed we are already dead, then life becomes precious, and we open to it just as it is, in the moment it is occurring. When we understand that all our loved ones are already dead — our children, our mates, our friends — how precious they become. How little fear can interpose; how little doubt can estrange us. When you live your life as though you're already dead, life takes on new meaning. Each moment becomes a whole lifetime, a universe unto itself.

When we realize we are already dead, our priorities change, our heart opens, and our mind begins to clear of the fog of old holdings and pretendings. We watch all life in transit, and what matters becomes instantly apparent: the transmission of love; the letting go of obstacles to understanding; the relinquishment of our grasping, of our hiding from ourselves. Seeing the mercilessness of our self-strangulation, we begin to come gently into the light we share with all beings. If we take each teaching, each loss, each gain, each fear, each joy as it arises and experience it fully, life becomes workable. We are no longer a "victim of life." And then every experience, even the loss of our dearest one, becomes another opportunity for awakening.

If our only spiritual practice were to live as though we were already dead, relating to all we meet, to all we do, as though it were our final moments in the world, what time would there be for old games or falsehoods or posturing? If we lived our life as though we were already dead, as though our children were already dead, how much time would there be for self-protection and the re-creation of ancient mirages? Only love would be appropriate, only the truth.”
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