Book Review:
The Grace in Aging

The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older by Kathleen Dowling Singh is especially geared towards those in their 60s and beyond. Even those of us who haven’t reached those decades yet can benefit from reading it—the book can help us anticipate what lies ahead for us and help us understand what our older relatives and friends are experiencing now.

One of the topics that the author addresses is “Opening to Our Own Mortality.” She writes, “Contemplating our own mortality can spur a sense of urgency.” She goes on to say, “The urgency is to become more earnest, more sincere, more aligned in our spiritual intention.”

In subsequent chapters, Singh discusses topics such as silence, forgiveness, presence and life review. In each case, she looks at the topic from the perspective of liberation. For example, in the chapter on forgiveness, she talks about "liberation from aversion" and "freedom from anger and judgment." She conveys that forgiveness allows us to free our awareness from the “mental affliction of aversion.”

In this book, Singh doesn’t gloss over the difficulties of aging. Early on, she discusses “predictable sufferings,” which are various types of losses that may occur as we age. Another interesting point is that she strongly advocates a daily meditative practice; however, there is quite a bit that’s useful in the book even for those not inclined to such a practice.

More than anything, The Grace in Aging makes it clear how important the concluding phase of our lives can be. As Singh states, “If we have any desire to awaken, this is our last chance.”

See more features from the January 2015 issue