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

4.9 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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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
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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: 0.5 x 6 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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When I got my diagnosis of cancer, I immediately connected it with the possibility of death. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Not the most pleasant of subjects, but why do we suppress it, deny it, refuse to talk about it? We are afraid, that's why. But millions upon millions of people have gone through it, and have gone before us, and we also will die.

I know there's the possibility the cancer could return. I've been blessed with almost three years now cancer free, and I have lived this time more than ever before. I count the blessings, the wonderful things that have happened especially in the past two years. And oddly, were it not for the cancer, these things, these blessings, would never have happened.

But yet I have prepared for the possibility. I have thought about how I would respond to a recurrence of cancer, what I would want done, etc. I won't be taken by surprise because I allowed myself to think about it, and even to talk about it. I have expressed my wishes to my husband, so they are respected. I see nothing morbid in this conversation; rather there is a sacredness to it.

My spiritual studies have brought me to a place of stillness, that the afterlife will be one of utter peace and connection with those I have loved here, and being with God in a way so beyond what we can comprehend here. So there is nothing to fear. And really, if we are separated by death, it's only for a short time. Our lives here are as a puff of a breeze, they go that quickly.

So when I hear of conflict, I think what a waste of the short time we have here. I really want nothing to do with conflict. It is a waste of precious breath.
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