Alive Until You're Dead
By Susan Moon
- Shambhala Publications04/26/2022Pages: 224Size: 6 x 9ISBN: 9781611809633Details
Poignant and humorous insights on fully embracing our lives as we age from Susan Moon, beloved Buddhist teacher and author.
Aging isn’t easy. But it can still be filled with joy—maybe even more joy than we expect. Described by the New York Journal of Books as “a Buddhist Anne Lamott,” Zen teacher and writer Susan Moon explores both the losses and the gifts that come with the final years. Joining levity with tenderness, Moon shares stories from her own life including knee replacements, cornea surgery, Zoom chats with grandchildren, and dementia. Moon illustrates the strength that can come from within, sometimes unexpectedly, even as our bodies fail. Our radiant aliveness can be discovered and rediscovered any time up to the last moment.
Alive Until You’re Dead offers a Zen approach to aging. Moon’s stories explore being present with what is, not turning away from what’s difficult, wishing for and working for the wellbeing of others, and being willing not to know what’s next. Moon writes of her most personal vulnerabilities in the service of connecting with everyone. These field notes from an old human being invite us to feel more alive in the final stretch, whatever it holds.Author BioSUSAN MOON is a writer, editor, and Buddhist teacher in the Soto Zen tradition. For many years she has taught and led Zen retreats nationally and internationally. Her books include This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity; the groundbreaking collection, The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, with Florence Caplow; and What Is Zen? with Norman Fischer. Her most recent book, Alive Until You’re Dead: Notes on the Home Stretch, is a collection of essays about the surprising perks of mortality. Susan is a contributor to Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, and other publications. She lives in Berkeley, California, and practices at the Berkeley Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Sangha. She adores her grandchildren.Praise
"Reading this book is like finding a friend, someone who is a bit wiser and more clear-sighted, honest and plain-spoken, someone who faces her fears and will help you face yours. Alive Until You're Dead should be required reading for all mortals." —Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness
"Beautiful, inspiring essays. Deep truth in this work and the world needs to hear it." —Natalie Goldberg, author of Three Simple Lines and Writing Down the Bones
"This is such a lovely book. I couldn’t put it down. Susan Moon is by now our most beloved Buddhist voice and here she realizes that voice completely, telling story after story that will break your heart with its emotional truth. How can she so nakedly, so bravely, face what no one wants to face, and express it all with such understated elegance, sentence after sentence, in essays as intimate as they are true? Being old, approaching death, is baffling and difficult. Alive Until You’re Dead won’t solve the problem but it will illuminate it, giving much to muse on and savor. You will want to read this book slowly . . . and again." —Norman Fischer, author of When You Greet Me I Bow
"Deep, delightful, challenging, uplifting, this wonderful book is full of wisdom and a must-read for all of us." —Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying and Standing at the Edge
"I truly love anything Susan Moon writes. These latest essays are filled with her trademark simple-but-profound life stories and humor woven with Buddhist teachings and oodles of wisdom. Her depth and authenticity, as always, shine through. I can think of no better guide along the path to aging and the unknown than Susan Moon." —Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, author of The Little Book of Being
"In this wonderful book Susan Moon uses stories of her life to explore the joys and tragedies of being human. She is a great satirist, and this book is full of humor and wisdom." —Wes Nisker, author of The Essential Crazy Wisdom and Buddha’s Nature
"As she faces the inevitable end of her long life, Susan Moon considers what it means to be satisfied. With wit and the wisdom of decades of Buddhist practice, Moon considers the gifts and struggles of age, where joy and sorrow walk hand in hand." —Sallie Tisdale, author of The Lie About the Truck and Advice for Future CorpsesSelected Reader Reviews