Graceful Exits

How Great Beings Die

By Sushila Blackman
(Shambhala, Paperback, 9781590302705, 160pp.)

Publication Date: May 10, 2005

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Description

Death is a subject obscured by fear and denial. When we do think of dying, we are more often concerned with how to avoid the pain and suffering that may accompany our death than we are with really confronting the meaning of death and how to approach it. Sushila Blackman places death—and life—in a truer perspective, by telling us of others who have left this world with dignity.

Graceful Exits offers valuable guidance in the form of 108 stories recounting the ways in which Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist, and Zen masters, both ancient and modern, have confronted their own deaths. By directly presenting the grace, clarity, and even humor with which great spiritual teachers have met the end of their days, Blackman provides inspiration and nourishment to anyone truly concerned with the fundamental issues of life and death.




About the Author

Sushila Blackman was a student of the Hindu master Swami Muktananda, and was present at his ashram in India during his death. A few months before she completed Graceful Exits, Blackman learned that she had advanced lung cancer. She died a month and a half after finishing the book.




Praise For Graceful Exits

"The striking element in these accounts is a sense of being fully prepared to meet death. Blackman grappled with lung cancer and came to peace with her own fears about death as she compiled this book, completed only a few months before she died."—Library Journal

"Written in lucid prose, the book is a training manual for making graceful exits from this life."—Publishers Weekly

"Not since the ground-breaking work of Kubler-Ross on death and dying has there been such a much needed compilation of inspirational stories and examples of how to prepare oneself for the inevitable."—Midwestern Book Review

"This beautiful little book is a gem. It contributes to our understanding that we are truly timeless."—Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"A magical little volume. It reveals with simplicity and lucidity how wise and compassionate living leads to a wise and compassionate death."—Glenn H. Mullin, author of Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition

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