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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Over the past 8 years American Fundamentalists have attempted to monopolize the literature on Near Death Experiences and associated phenomena, usually employing their publishing factories to disseminate Trojan Horses - books purporting to be about this subject, but carefully crafted for the furtherance of their narrow "religious" agendas. As an Anthropologist (specializing in Death & Dying) for over 40 years, I study the impact of these insidious and often downright untruthful vehicles on the fabric of culture and society throughout the world.

Ms. Hemingway's book is truly welcome on several levels. Her presentation of historical and mythological data is accurate, unbiased,, and very much appropriate to her subject. Her presentations of what many people feel have been their experiences are also unbiased, particularly in her introductions and summary analyses. As a scientist, I am impressed.

Her exploration and treatment of the implications of the reported experiences speaks beyond just the scientist; it speaks to the human in all of us. Thus, the broad value of this book. To her great credit, Ms. Hemingway does not allow herself to be sidetracked onto epistemological cul-de-sacs. Her egalitarian approach allows Deists and non-Deists alike to find validity in her materials, and therefore in their lives.

Of particular interest, regardless of a reader's a priori stance, is the inherently honest message she conveys through the detailed discussions of the life changing nature of these phenomena. Without a subversive agenda of the furtherance of what some narrow group defines as good, this manuscript presents a cornucopia of examples of how to be of benefit, even ultimate benefit, in the lives of others as well as of the self. As such, this book is a service to all mankind.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2008
Annamaria Hemingway has written a wonderful book on how to live with awareness and openheartedness in the face of our inevitable death.

This book is a scholarship on death and dying framed within the nuances of philosophy and the value of story. Annamaria has gleaned these turning-point stories from several contributors who had "near-death" experiences, or other life-changing moments. These stories are antidotes to our fears of death. They are at once inspiring and useful.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to live an awake and meaningful life.

A. Kirkpatrick
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2008
For each of our earthly days, there is a mountain that we scale. We don't know where we are going or from whence we came, but we feel that inner urge to climb, if for no other reason than because it is there. And if, halfway up, we lose some of our equipment or some of our co-climbers as all of us do, we don't know if we can continue. We stare at the summit, and just want to turn around in despair, or even jump from the rocky surface to be with the equipment and the support of others around us that we lost. Our fingers grow numb, we can hardly feel our lips. We cry. We grieve. The wind whips around us in a flurry of tornado drifts, hell-bent on stopping us, destroying the heart and the will inside, and so often the whisperings from its roar from this wind sounds so inviting: Jump, it says. Let go. There is no hope for you. You have lost too much.

For those going through the grieving process of a friend or a lifelong companion, books such as Annamaria Hemingway's Practicing Conscious Living and Dying are a godsend. They provide the support required to continue on in the face of insurmountable loss. Reading it makes you feel like, moments after losing your own equipment on your climb upwards, you have found the equipment of another who has intentionally dropped it from the mountain before you as a gift. You stare at it, wondering if it was sent from God himself, and you realize, internally, that perhaps the equipment that you have just lost is serving another far below, going through their own sense of hopeless despair. Your own loss is thus quite possibly serving as a tremendous gain for another who needs it at this very moment. The look in their eyes they must be experiencing--currents of positive energy flowing through their organs. It doesn't feel so bad letting go now, does it? You slide the equipment of another that has passed on before you around your shoulders and continue your upwards climb with a renewed sense of vigor, purpose, and peace. The despair felt moments before is gone only to be replaced by an overwhelming sense of serenity.

I read Annamaria Hemingway's book at work. "Who died?" A coworker asked me. I looked up at him over the cover and said, "A few billion people." You don't necessarily have to be going through a particular grieving process to enjoy books such as this--they give you a sense that what we are dealing with here collectively on this planet is far greater than what we are lead to believe. Materialistic perspectives that are preached to us through science journals and media outlets with the archetypal cheat sheet of being `true by association' causes so much damage to our souls that we need books such as this to help repair those rips and tears in the very fabric of who we are. Material philosophies are well-intentioned, for sure, but we also need explorers of the spiritual realm as well, and this book is a good guide. It is filled with numerous first-hand accounts of people finding purpose in their life after experiencing an NDE, after meeting someone going through their own dying process, after witnessing the passing of a young child. In the same light, it appeals to individuals of every faith, and doesn't preach to you in any way about the benefits of living your life in a particular way, with a particular God--life is meant to be experienced in a multitude of ways, and as you move up that cliff, opening your internal eyes to find the path is just as important as opening up your external eyes. Hemingway showcases numerous people experiencing these awakenings, and perhaps by reading of them, you yourself will experience one of your own. I truly enjoyed this book, and I'm sure you will as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2008
This book is primarily a collection of individuals near death experiences however my favorite parts of the book are Annamaria Hemingways prologue, her personal experience of her mothers death and her notes at the end of each chapter. Her writing and her insights are a wonderful balance of intellect and a reverence for life and the "human condition". I wouldn't have been happy with something strictly scholarly or too "new agey" ( not sure how to spell that and they don't have it in spell check???). She obviously is a deeply compassionate person and she made me feel the same. I'm looking forward to further work by this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2008
I love this book. Reading of other's Near Death Experiences reminds you of heaven and Annamaria's comments on life, death, and how the two are intricately intertwined give you pause to think about what is of real value while we are here.This is a beautiful work that reminds us that we are eternal souls on an eternal journey.

Ann Albers - author Love is the River: Learning to Live in the Flow of Divine Grace,Bridging the Gap Between Christianity & Mysticism, and Whispers of the Spirit
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
PRACTICING CONSCIOUS LIVING & DYING takes us where people go when they die, traveling with those who have been declared officially dead and who managed to return to life to share their stories. This refreshing book is a collection of sixteen very different personal accounts of people who have come face-to-face with death in many various ways. There is a rich treasure trove of experience shared in this book which invites the reader to come on a journey each of us cares about, because it's a journey we are all destined to take. I love the way each first person account vibrates with such heartfelt emotion that I feel I'm right there... and the way that many people have found ways to make the deaths of their loved ones richly meaningful.

One of the most surprising and moving stories that touched my heart was the story about search and rescue teams of firemen with their special dogs. After learning of how such close relationships between fireman and dog affect and improve the firemen's other relationships, I will never see the world the same way again. There is a gift in being fully in this moment, right here, right now, rather than mentally or emotionally elsewhere... and I feel immensely grateful to this book for helping me vicariously experience how to go about regaining that sense of childlike wonder and simple heartfelt appreciation with the simple beauty in this world.

There is truly something ennobling and empowering in consciously living one's life, and PRACTICING CONSCIOUS LIVING & DYING helps us discover the secrets of how to better to enjoy the lives we are so blessed to have right now. This book is an extraordinary breath of fresh air for anyone caught up in the minutiae of daily life who longs to catch a glimpse of meaning, continuity, connection, and inspiration beyond the hum-drum everyday.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I absolutely love this book, not only does it share experiences of NDEs but also the difference in the peoples lives afterwards. What I am finding particularly inspirational is the stories of people who have been directly affected by traumas ie Oklahoma bombing and 9/11 and how they have turned around their grief into doing amazing things for the benefit of others to the point where i have been moved to look up some of the charities and learn more about their amazing work. This book stirs huge compassion and shows us how a seemingly simple idea when actioned can have such a positive and life changing effect on others. All this and I still have a bit to read :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2008
Ms. Hemingway's new book beautifully addresses the "taboo" subject of death in a manner that is both thoughtful and inspiring. The book contains true stories from people who have discovered richer and more rewarding lives after losing a loved one, having a near-death experience or even experiencing communication with someone who has passed on. The stories are framed by text that offers a thorough exploration of historical, cultural, philosophical and scientific information on the subject of death and afterlife.

This is an important resource for anyone struggling to find direction and meaning in their own life, or come to terms with loss. The many resources and charitable organizations that are mentioned throughout the book are an added bonus.

The book is richly rewarding. Read it and share it with a loved one! This could be your first step towards creating a more compassionate and fulfilling life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
My Four Stars is ringing the top bell in My library. So think 5. I work with the dying and their families daily. This is a very well researched and documented book on death and dying. A compilation of lives touched by personal loss and continuity of conciousness experienced. It should be in everyones library. I teach several classes on line about concious death and dying, for a private university. I have Annamaria's book listed as a " Required Text" for all my current classes. In my private practice, I take it along to clients homes. It often helps bereaved family members find solace. Also an excellent book for those who wonder "what comes next" and for those who question "if awareness continues after the body dies". I was especially impressed with the integrity and ethical character of Ms. Hemmiingway's book. It is well organized and can be read in parts or sections; especially important for those facing loss. In active grief we can only absorb information in "sound bites" or " one story at a time". This book fullfills that requirement! Uplifting and Solid. A great book for everyone including those interested in the study of Neath Death Experiences.
Katherine Rosengren R.N., M.A.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
AnnaMaria lends her insight, wisdom & research to this map of conscious living & dying.
Her spiritual awareness is woven throughout & helps to create a meditative
state of awareness for the reader to incorporate into their life at this time of transition & change.
Meditation for Everyday Living
As a transpersonal therapist/healer I really appreciate AnnaMaria's insight & research and feel her book is very valuable whether in a life transition or the ultimate transition of dying & death.
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