Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
A Year to Live: How to...
 
by
Stephen Levine
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  639 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
In his new book, Stephen Levine, author of the perennial best-seller Who Dies?, teaches us how to live each moment, each hour, each day mindfully--as if it were all that was left. On his deathbed, Socrates exhorted his followers to practice dying as the highest form of wisdom. Levine decided to live this way himself for a whole year, and now he shares with us how such imme ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by Harmony (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Year to Live, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Year to Live

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,760)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tommy
Jan 29, 2016 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dearly love the concept that propels this book. Stephen Levine and his wife spent decades providing grief counseling to concentration camp survivors, war veterans, hospice patients, and many others. He brings that experience and unique perspective to "A Year to Live", in which he proposes a revolutionary act: to practice living the next year of one's life as if it were your final 365 days.

It's an exercise in gratitude, awareness, facing fear, and deciding what matters most in one's life. He g
...more
Rebecca
I stopped buying books years ago out of a need to save space and money and a desire to be more enviornmentally friendly. However, I would consider purchasing Levine's "A Year to Live" just so I could look at its spine on my bookshelf and remember the lessons contained therein. The strategy of "life review" and having mental conversations with those people who you have hurt or who have heart you were really, really valuable tools that I've been using and have found very worthwhile.
However, with
...more
drozda
Oct 18, 2008 drozda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who will die someday
Recommended to drozda by: s. wasserman
I suppose it's no surprise to hear that a book about the end of life was not an easy read, however it was more the writing style than the subject that made this a slow go for me. I felt it to be a a positive assignment and an obviously important topic so I kept at it till the end.
Levine has worked for decades helping people to adjust their thinking and release their demons so as to approach life's close as a natural leave taking.

He says on page 85, "It takes a thousand moments of remembering fo
...more
Sharon
Dec 09, 2008 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The next time you have a cold, practice dying. And in the spaciousness of surrender watch the fear of death bound through with its attendant scenarios. Take each breath as though with it might be the last. Watch your life pass before your eyes. Did you notice something left undone? Do it on the next clear day. Practice living." (Quote from Chapter 2 - Practice Dying) This book gave me a great gift - an insight to who and why, ...and how and when. I started the journey thru death in an attempt t ...more
Sevenponds
May 20, 2014 Sevenponds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the author and his wife face serious illness that has them quite possibly approaching the end-of-life, I picked up a copy of Stephen Levine’s 2009 book A Year to Live, in which the couple lived a full year as if it were their last. An author and teacher well-known for his work about death and dying, Levine undertook the experiment to see what he might discover about living by preparing to die.

A Year to Live teaches us how to live consciously and mindfully, every single day, hour, moment — as
...more
Heather
A Year to Live teaches us how to live consciously and mindfully, every single day, hour, moment — as if it were our last.
Things that I related to:
Remain open
Soften into the pain Surrender and let it go
On death: is there an afterlife? Does it matter? Life this life instead of worrying/wondering about the next one.
I won’t die alone, I had a strong, warm light when I meditated on this, I saw all the faces that love me, they will be there when I die.
If I make the time to deepen ones spirituality I w
...more
Katarzyna Kotynia
Całość napisana bardzo przystępnym językiem. Jenak tylko kilka aspektów, poruszonych w książce, zwróciło moje zainteresowanie.
Autor skupia się na samoświadomości. Ćwiczenie "ostatni oddech - pierwszy oddech" z przyjemnością wdrożę we własnym życiu. Bardzo chętnie pogłębię swoją wiedzę związaną ze świadomym śnieniem, o krórej mówi jeden rozdział książki (szkoda, że to tylko jeden).
Natomiast przykłady medytacji oraz temat "ołtarz dla życia" fajnym wstępem dla początkujących, niekoniecznie musiało
...more
Anita
Nov 23, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book which invites one to live an introspective life, and to be present in the here and now. The saying, "The trouble is that you think you have time" has stuck with me for some time now. It's not so much about procrastinating, but deferring dealing with the big issues that matter in life. Caught up in everyday happenings, we set an 'after (something) is completed / accomplished, then I'll deal with it' mark, which invariably gets moved forward as we continue to meet deadlines and other milest ...more
Nancy Long
Dec 29, 2013 Nancy Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved this book! I will return to it again and again...
Steve Woods
I have seen a lot of violent death in my life. It always perplexed me somewhat that it was someone else who caught it. This is generally part of a kind of survivor guilt that many combat veterans experience. My early life was also dominated by serious depression and suicide was an option that was on the table for decades. Now after 7 years of fairly concentrated practice and having well passed my 60th birthday "death" has taken on a quite different timbre. I guess I am in the process of redefini ...more
Dana Sitar
A Year to Live teaches us how to live consciously and mindfully, every single day, hour, moment — as if it were our last. Through his work with people facing the end-of-life, Levine noted with dismay the regrets that many had, that they hadn’t fully lived their lives. When given a terminal diagnosis and just months or weeks to live, suddenly people found clarity and realized what was important to their lives — though with so little time left to live it. Levine decided, why wait for a terminal di ...more
Renee Legris
The basic theme is very intriguing, and of course relevant to every human being. What bothered me is that Stephen needed an editor with a firmer hand with grammar. Incomplete sentences, tangled clauses, unclear refer-backs. It got very frustrating - if I hadn't been reading it with a group I might have bailed. Eventually the key turned out to be deciding to think of him as a poet rather than a prose writer. Then all the idiosyncratic constructions were just "art"!

I'm not at all saying that he d
...more
Nava
Nov 22, 2015 Nava rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warmly recommended by someone at a Buddhist study group. I liked the idea that by preparing for death, we become more able to live fully. I thought it might be a good idea of what it takes to prepare for death when I didn't need it and was at the peak of my abilities. I have to admit to following on a stumbling block very early on - this book starts with the assumption of at least 15 minute meditations twice a day. My schedule and current level of discipline are not well suited. My practice is c ...more
Barbara Snuggs
I definitely liked the idea of the book, and there were good messages. I found it hard to sift through the flowery language to get at the meat of ideas though. My favorite chapter was "Disposing of the Corpse." I even like the idea of a "sky burial" but wonder who gets to haul my body up to the mountain ledge for the vultures? Is that even legal?
Larada Horner-Miller
I started this book after Mom died and just finished it -- got distracted. It has a strong message about living like you are going to die in one year. Very thoughtful and helpful to me to think about my life and also to think about death!
Heather Johnson
It's a really great book. If you follow and go through with the experiment yourself, you will gain much! It is what it says, a year to live. Live the year as if it was your last. Stephen Levine goes through his experience with you.
Nathalie Himmelrich
This is a transformational book to practice the mindfulness around death. I had read this book many years ago and looking back, I realise that it prepared me for the journey of grief from losing my daughter and mother.
Rica
The concept isn't entirely new: "What would you do if you had only one year to live?" (And how do you know you have even that long?) Levine, who has worked for many years with the dying, describes his own experience in approaching life and death more mindfully. In the process, he offers specific recommendations for letting go of attachments, forgiving others and ourselves, and eliminating suffering without numbing ourselves to the entire range of feeling. The "soft-belly meditation" is one of th ...more
Cherie
I expected a more pragmatic review of one's last year, but this is full of rambling stories, meditation practices, and ways to live advice. Interesting.
Raechelle Thomas
I really enjoyed this book. Though I don't plan to actually do the "one year to live" experiment, there are many lessons and meditations throughout the book that are just helpful to live a more full life, deepen ones spirituality and get a deeper sense of oneself. The book definitely can help one to fully appreciate the present; we are, after all, always just a moment away from death really since nobody knows when they will, in fact, die.

I quite liked the life review, the soft belly meditations
...more
Terri
Mar 24, 2016 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. Several meditations advocated for preparing for death. Heavy on the Buddhism,though. If that matters to you.
Weradi
Feb 24, 2016 Weradi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would that we could live our whole life this way.
Holly Lindquist
Proper perspective is all too scarce these days. This slim little book attempts to supply perspective by insinuating that death might be around the corner, so darn it, better enjoy yourself while you can! It was a decent book, very conversational and easy to read, but it really didn't deliver anything new in the Perspective Department. For a better treatment of the "Egads! We may die!" subject, I'd suggest The Denial of Death.

(However, I did like the portion about getting lost in the desert wit
...more
Alex 34
Jul 24, 2016 Alex 34 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important book that is worth the struggle
Sandra Scott
Jan 31, 2016 Sandra Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have found other books on Death and Dying to be more helpful but this is certainly another book that should be added into books on that subject.
Lisa
Aug 31, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting topic to explore, but not sure he quite figured out how to really live like it was your last. He definitely has some insight into how to better prepare yourself for death and talks a lot about what death is and is not. Some of the chapters are redundant or purposeless. I do like many of the suggestions, such as forgiveness, life review and opening yourself up with meditations. An interesting read, but not enlightening.
Erica
Oct 15, 2009 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's nothing like a book on dying that makes you want to live! I think the average person is afraid to look at his or her own mortality, and this book is a great guide to bring awareness holistically. Would you really hold onto grudges? Would you regret doing something or nothing? It makes you think about how you show up in the world and since we never know when we will leave, how will we be?

Deborah
not exactly a light read. but an eye opener
tai
Feb 08, 2010 tai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be interesting, but it was not. It's essentially a self-help book with many touchy-feely exercises, like "create a song of yourself," so unless you're already into that kind of thing, i wouldn't suggest you spend your precious last year reading this. instead, read some damn good fiction, take some drugs, get beat up or beat someone up (or both), and breathe deeply.
Jen
Nov 11, 2011 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My friend recommended this book to me, but I have to say that I didn't get much out of it. It didn't really present any life-changing information for me. I'm not sure if I just wasn't open to it, or what. It mostly focused on preparing for death, which is just not something I want to spend my time on. There were some interesting meditations in it, but otherwise it was pretty boring.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 58 59 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Chop Wood, Carry Water
  • The Little Zen Companion
  • Present Moment Wonderful Moment: Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living
  • Transform Your Life: A Blissful Journey
  • Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries
  • Walking Meditation [With CD and DVD]
  • The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom
  • The Pema Chodron Collection: The Wisdom of No Escape: Start Where You Are: When Things Fall Apart
  • 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice
  • Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty
  • Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life
  • Manual of Zen Buddhism
  • Be the Person You Want to Find: Relationship and Self-Discovery
  • Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess Through Myth, Art, and Tarot
  • Crafting a Daily Practice: A Simple Course on Self-Commitment
  • The Power of an Open Question: A Buddhist Approach to Abiding in Uncertainty
  • Sweat Your Prayers
  • Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity
4169
American poet, author and teacher best known for his work on death and dying.
More about Stephen Levine...

Share This Book



“[D]etachment means letting go and nonattachment means simply letting be. (95)” 119 likes
“Letting ourselves be forgiven is one of the most difficult healings we will undertake. And one of the most fruitful. (79)” 84 likes
More quotes…