A year to live: how to live this year as if it were your by Stephen Levine

By Stephen Levine

In his new publication, Stephen Levine, writer of the perennial best-seller Who Dies?, teaches us tips to reside every one second, each one hour, on a daily basis mindfully--as if it have been all that was once left. On his deathbed, Socrates exhorted his fans to perform death because the optimum type of knowledge. Levine made up our minds to reside this fashion himself for an entire 12 months, and now he stocks with us how such immediacy greatly alterations our view of the area and forces us to ascertain our priorities. so much folks visit notable lengths to disregard, snigger off, or deny the truth that we will die, yet getting ready for demise is without doubt one of the most reasonable and profitable acts of a life-time. it's an workout that offers us the chance to house unfinished company and input right into a new and colourful dating with lifestyles. Levine presents us with a year-long application of intensely sensible suggestions and robust guided meditations to aid with this paintings, in order that each time the final word second does arrive for every people, we won't think that it has come too quickly.

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What we describe as "our life" is not the sum total of what has passed through our hands but what has passed through our minds. Our life isn't only a collection of people and places, it is a continuum of the ever-changing feelings they engender. As one practitioner said, "Even our past has a life of its own. " To know your life is to know intimately what you are feel­ ing. Or, to put it another way: to be aware of what state of mind predominates in consciousness. This noting of mental states encourages a deeper recognition of what is happening while it is happening.

Softening the area and focusing awareness into it gradually increases our ability to trust, and to act from our own considerable genius for healing. It opens an intuition as subtle and insightful as the pain re­ quires. It reminds us to be merciful and examine directly that from which we have so long attempted to escape. It does not ostracize that part of the body which is in discomfort but in­ stead invites it into the heart for relief from the resistance that intensifies suffering. Although I have seen people who opened like exotic flow­ ers on their deathbed seemingly without much preparation, this is not something you can count on.

Pain is a given in life. If you have a body, if you have a mind, there will be pain. However, suffering is a reaction rather than a response to mental and physical discomfort. If you were hanging a picture in your living room and you accidentally hit your thumb with the hammer, what would be your immediate reaction? Would you sit down a moment with the pain, soften around it, and send a merciful awareness into it? Or would you do what you have so adroitly learned to do: send anger and even hatred into your pain, tighten around it, increase its discomfort and sense of helplessness, and never take it to heart?

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