From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older
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From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Over two decades ago, beloved and respected rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi felt an uneasiness. He was growing older, and fears about death and infirmity were haunting him. So he decided to embark on mission to get to the bottom of his fears. Through a series of events that included a vision quest in a secluded cabin and studying with Sufi masters, Buddhist teachers and Nat...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1995)
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This is an effort to reclaim the last season of life from a cultural view that values youth and vigor, mature adulthood and accomplishment, but discounts the elder years as nothing more than decline and death. Observing that generally elders cannot compete with 40 & 50-year-olds in terms of stamina and business-like accomplishments, he clarifies that the developmental task for elders is not more of the same work but “harvesting” the fruits of a lifetime of experience and passing on a legacy....more
Laborious read but, in the end, worth it. Much like taking a chalky medicine by mouth. There is important perspective and wisdom in the book for those of us growing older. Words like "retirement" and "sunset years" and "nursing homes" make us all dread getting old. Challenges like mentoring and giving back the experience and wisdom we have gained for the benefit of the world sounds like an exciting future. His comment that dying is nothing to fear--after all, everyone who has encountered it so f...more
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi writes a lovely book with the help of Ronald S. Miller aimed at describing the richness available to people in their final stages of adulthood. Popular culture depicts aging as a series of losses to be suffered. This book counters this view with a very detailed look at the intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social opportunities available to people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.

At times, I found the book arguing a bit for an introvert's approach to life...more
Arthur Gershman
My attraction to the first named author, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi was due to his reputation as a cabalist, the Jewish practice of mysticsm. When I bought and first read this book, in 1995, I was a mere 48 years old, much too young to put its sage advice into practice. This book is for the retired, and even then is not for everyone. When I lent it to my retired friend in California with whom I swap jokes on the internet, her comment was "Although it was a difficult read, bogged down in places, an...more
Bruce Dayman
The book had some useful information. It was a bit New Agey. I agree that it's important to consider life differently as you get past 60 and even 50. Momento mori. We must all consider our mortality. It's a good discipline to do from time to time. I also agree that spirituality is a necessary component of aging. Much of what the author wrote I have practiced at various seasons of life. I felt encouraged to do more journaling. I think some of the exercises in the appendix are helpful for anyone....more
Excellent book, for enjoying and making worth while, the final third of one's life in this existence. I am currently harvesting my life (prompted by the ideas in the book) and gaining a lot of wisdom from the process. However, to appreciate this book, you really need to have reached a certain level of spiritual maturity.
Kat C
I read this one for work. I like a lot of the points he makes, but the tone is far too New Agey for me. Also, this isn't really a book meant to be read all at once, but a bit at a time with periods of contemplation built in. Maybe I'll come back to it in a couple of decades.
Much useful information, but way too optimistic about the role of the elder in America. Written in 1995, and many of the expectations/hopes didn't happen. Still, the exercises were helpful.
Louise Silk
Some helpful information but way too much preaching. I put the to-do list from the end of the book here:
Dec 31, 2007 Beth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Peg
Shelves: aging
I read this book quite awhile ago and need to pick it back up. It was one of the first books I read that discussed spiritual aging from a broad perspective.
Very thought provoking for those of us over 60 and looking for a purpose.
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“elders serve as conduits between the divine realm and the mundane world, making the abstract truths of spirituality accessible to the community by embodying them in their everyday behavior.” 0 likes
“she has carried this sacred sense of community building into” 0 likes
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