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Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying (Wisdom of the World) Hardcover – June 1, 2006


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Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying (Wisdom of the World) + Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying
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Product Details

  • Series: Wisdom of the World
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; 2nd edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577315618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577315612
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In the midst of a burgeoning movement to transform America’s long-held denial of dying as a natural part of life, this CD emerges as an intimate tool for compassion, awareness, and support — for those facing their transitions, for their families, and for their caregivers. If death is the doorway to our most profound destination, Graceful Passages is a timely, essential resource for those upon the journey.”
Steve Simon, producer of the major motion picture What Dreams May Come

“A moving, heart-opening piece of work addressing psychological and spiritual issues that every human being needs to open to in their development.”
Gay Hendricks, PhD, author of Conscious Living

“How wonderfully welcome to my ears and soul! The music is truly beautiful and extraordinarily moving — it provokes a soft open heart.”
Joan Halifax, founder and director of the Upaya Institute

“Deeply moving. Touches the soul and makes contact with the universal. Should be in everyone’s CD library.”
Harville Hendrix, PhD, author of Getting the Love You Want

Graceful Passages, recognizing the movement from life to death as a period of rich and sacred transformation, accompanies that spiritual grounding with wisdom and compassion.”
Kathleen Dowling Singh, PhD, author of The Grace in Dying: How We Are Transformed Spiritually As We Die

From the Publisher

Each year half of America will be touched by the death of a friend or loved one. Bill Moyers, whose landmark PBS series on dying aired in September of 2000 (which listed Graceful Passages as a primary musical resource) writes, "Surveys show that Americans- including baby boomers (estimated at nearly 80 million people in their late forties and fifties) who are becoming aware of their own mortality while caring for their elderly parents- are exploring issues of death and dying with new openness. Awareness is growing that we can and must improve care at the end of life." Feature articles in Time, The Wall Street Journal and other mainstream media show growing attention to this issue.

The wonder of life is often overlooked. The preciousness of being alive, of appreciating ourselves, each other, and our world, is sometimes the last thing we remember in our rush.

Despite advances in medical science, we are neither capable of preventing our transition from this world nor in control of the timing. As reluctant as we may be to approach the subject, admitting our mortality is an important step toward embracing life on its own terms. Such an acceptance can profoundly support a recognition of the moment-by-moment gift of life itself.

At any stage of life, suffering is increased by denial and resistance. This applies equally to those at the beginning, middle, or end of life. There is a need for effective, artful ways to ease the shift from resistance to acceptance, to address anyone who is going through or anticipating loss.

Our response has been Graceful Passages, A Companion for Living and Dying, a 2-CD giftbook of spoken voices and music addressing this issue. We have recorded people, among whom are foremost experts in the field of loss and transition, speaking candidly on the key elements common to the dying process, themes which are relevant at any stage of life.

These themes include: the process of letting go, elements of closure. giving and receiving love, forgiveness , appreciation of life, and continuity of spirit.

The people we have selected as speakers, coming from different traditions, share an extraordinary quality of presence which infuses their words with a tender, universal eloquence. The messages they deliver are spoken in an atmosphere of peaceful honoring.

To further enhance the delivery of these messages of acceptance, we have created music to support the psycho-spiritual transition observed in dying persons, created with the intention of gently addressing persons behind the resistance of their conscious defenses. This music is intended to provide an opportunity for all listeners to both relax and to feel supported in freely expressing feelings with or without words, thus more easily experiencing reconciliation, resolution and peaceful transitions, wherever they may be on the continuum of life.

Our sincere appreciation to the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Fund For Global Awakening, and all who have contributed financially to this endeavor. We tithe 10% of this product to hospice and numerous organizations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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It is incredibly wise and soothing to the heart and soul.
Patricia A. Lingafelter
Hospice workers, nurses, and physicians will find this a powerful tool for the patient as well as for themselves.
Bonnie Neely
You will want to listen again and again and share with your loved ones.
Elizabeth C. Dixon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael Davis on September 20, 2007
Death is not an easy Passage. Seventeen years years of caring for hospice and hospital patients have taught me that. While the dying process has the potential for tremendous meaning, beauty, and sacredness, it is also deeply human. This Companion is an illustration of each of those qualities.

For myself as a professional caregiver, this selection of words, music, and printed pages continually stirs my heart. The package includes a book that features text from several wisdom and faith traditions. The text is read with accompanying beautiful - indeed, haunting - music on CD1. The second CD has just the instrumentation. These CDs are masterfully produced: the music, the readings, the production itself. No sacrifice was made in quality or in meaning.

MIchael Stillwater and Gary Malkin have done an enormous service in preparing this deeply human and humane collection of words and music. It is well worth the money spent on it.

I have had the privilege of hearing Michael speak twice at seminars for the health care system of which I am part. He has an amazing sense of intuition about what will speak to people and what touches them. On both occasions, staff spoke of his giftedness and blessing to each of us.

It should be noted that there are numerous traditions represented on the CD, as well as styles of music. While I consider myself a fairly inclusive person, I initially found myself really wanting to hear readings from traditions more familiar to myself (just being honest here). But, as I listened, I began to take increasing levels of comfort from these other Wisdoms. Indeed, they were quite rich in their meaning. I can see though, that someone at the time of life's end might not want to be "dipping their feet into new waters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Lingafelter on June 8, 2007
Graceful Passages is such an appropriate name for this undertaking! It is incredibly wise and soothing to the heart and soul. I took care of my mother through her death, along with Hospice, and she taught us such positive things about the journey of death. She would have loved this CD! I will listen to it many times for my own peace as I continue through the remainder of my journey here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lillian on May 12, 2007
I found this set of CD and written version to be very helpful when I was experiencing life threatening cancer treatment. The written words and the music gave me hope that whatever the outcome was, I would be OK. I recently shared the set with a woman who is in the last stages of life, hoping that it would bring her the same comfort it brought to me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Clare Hallward on March 8, 2007
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I love this booklet with its two CDs, one containing music and messages from many spiritual writers, and the other with just the music. Should be in the library of all living and working with people facing life and death.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Connie Asquith on December 14, 2008
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My father is in the final stages of Parkinsons and suffers from dementia. I purchased this cd hoping it would calm him and enable him to find some peace with the transition he is experiencing. What did happen was that it helped ME. It brought me answers and a loving understanding of what he was going through. I decided to purchase the cd for each of my siblings to bring them the peace it brought to me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer S. Delaney on October 27, 2007
While I think this would benefit anyone, it is most meaningful at the end of life. I brought it to my grandmother when she finally admitted she was dying - she fought off leukemia and pnemonia for years. She lay on the couch and I on the love seat as we listened and tears streamed down our faces. I will never forget that day. This CD helps create a ritual of death, a significant send off. It is the variety of perspectives that is so appealing as well as the poignant manner in which they are presented.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Candace Miller on November 6, 2007
Graceful Passages is a book and CD with wonderfully spiritual passages from many different cultures and beliefs. Men and Women, each on their own differnt journey help me understand the different paths we are all on and that as birth is the beginning, death is the end - but of only this life as we now know it. And that is OK. It is not to be feared as in western society. It is normal and natural and being prepared, and understanding it, guides us to making decisions about our death that are thoughtful, purposeful and with meaning. I have given this gift with love to friends who are in their dying process and it has been received well. I highly recommend listening to the words quietly and and allow the compassion to come through to your heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gashe on January 15, 2008
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You can listen to the powerful words and beautiful music over and over and over....May God bless You..always
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