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Alive Until You're Dead

Poignant and humorous insights on fully embracing our lives as we age from Susan Moon, beloved Buddhist teacher and author.

Alive Until You're Dead

Category: Spiritual Memoir

Aging isn’t easy. But it can still be filled with joy—maybe even more joy than we expect. Described by the New York Journal of Books as “a Buddhist Anne Lamott,” Zen teacher and writer Susan Moon explores both the losses and the gifts that come with the final years. Joining levity with tenderness, Moon shares stories from her own life including knee replacements, cornea surgery, Zoom chats with grandchildren, and dementia. Moon illustrates the strength that can come from within, sometimes unexpectedly, even as our bodies fail. Our radiant aliveness can be discovered and rediscovered any time up to the last moment.

Alive Until You’re Dead offers a Zen approach to aging. Moon’s stories explore being present with what is, not turning away from what’s difficult, wishing for and working for the wellbeing of others, and being willing not to know what’s next. Moon writes of her most personal vulnerabilities in the service of connecting with everyone. These field notes from an old human being invite us to feel more alive in the final stretch, whatever it holds.

SUSAN MOON is a writer, editor, and Buddhist teacher in the Soto Zen tradition. For many years she has taught and led Zen retreats nationally and internationally. Her books include This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity; the groundbreaking collection, The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, with Florence Caplow; and What Is Zen? with Norman Fischer. Her most recent book, Alive Until You’re Dead: Notes on the Home Stretch, is a collection of essays about the surprising perks of mortality. Susan is a contributor to Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, and other publications. She lives in Berkeley, California, and practices at the Berkeley Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Sangha. She adores her grandchildren.


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