Living in the Light of Death

Larry Rosenberg, Author, David Guy, Joint Author
Larry Rosenberg, Author, David Guy, Joint Author Shambhala Publications $22.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-57062-425-4
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-57062-820-7
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""We know in our heads we will die,"" says Rosenberg. ""But we have to know it in our hearts. We have to let this fact penetrate our bones. Then we will know how to live."" Rosenberg, founder and teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Cambridge, Mass., believes that part of being human means refusing to embrace or even acknowledge our fates, avoiding the subjects of illness, pain, aging and death. However, it is his contention that if and when we can become so intimate with these facts of life that we can accept them as such and let go of the emotional agendas that accompany them, we will become truly liberated. Rosenberg explains the practice of ""death awareness,"" an ancient tradition that uses the Buddha's five contemplations on death for meditation exercises. The first three state that aging, illness and death are unavoidable, and the last two stress personal growth and responsibility for one's actions. Gearing his book toward novices as well as those who practice meditation, Rosenberg very capably teaches correct meditation practice and defines Buddhist terms. He is honest about what he doesn't know, such as what actually happens after death. The book is occasionally marred by Rosenberg's irritating name-dropping of ""famous teachers and masters I have known""; otherwise, it is a worthy read. (June)
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