The Grace in Dying : How We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die

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9780062515643: The Grace in Dying : How We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die

In this brilliantly conceived and beautifully written book, Kathleen Dowling Singh illuminates the profound psychological and spiritual transformations experiences by the dying as the natural process of death reconnects them with the source of their being. Examining the end of life in the light of current psychological understanding, religious wisdom, and compassionate medical science, The Grace of Dying offers a fresh, deeply comforting message of hope and courage as we contemplate the meaning of our mortality.

While the prevailing Western medical tradition has seen death as an enemy to be fought and overcome, Singh offers a richer and more rewarding path of understanding. Combining extensive training and education in developmental psychology with profound spiritual insight, she balances expert analysis with moving accounts drawn from her experiences working with hundreds of dying patients at a large hospice.

Singh moves beyond the five stages of dying revealed in Kübler-Ross's classic On Death and Dying, and finds in the "nearing death experience" even more significant and forming stages of surrender and transcendence. These stages involve the qualities of grace: letting go, radiance, focusing inward, silence, a sense of the sacred, wisdom, intensity, and, in the end, a merging with Spirit. Through this intense process, we come to experience at last the reality of our true self, which transcends our finite ego and bodily existence, and our merging with the source of being from which we originated. Dying is safe.

In clear, nontechnical language, Singh reveals the transformations that come with dying, using the vocabulary of growing Western, as well as Eastern, wisdom.

Written for those aware that their life is coming to an end, those who care for the dying, and, ultimately, for all of us who inevitably face our owndeath and the deaths of the people we love, The Grace in Dying reveals that dying is the most transforming, powerful, and spiritually rich of life's experiences.

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Review:

Right from the start Kathleen Dowling Singh proclaims: "Dying is safe. You are safe. Your loved one is safe. That is the message of all the words here." True to her promise, Dowling Singh walks us through the final stages of death with complete honesty, yet she manages to quell the ultimate fear of dying. Speaking of the "Nearing Death Experience," Singh has discovered a sequence of phases or qualities that signals when a dying person is entering the final stages of spiritual and psychological transformation. She names them as relaxation, withdrawal, radiance, interiority (a time of going inward), silence, sacred, transcendence, knowing, intensity, and perfection--all of which she explains in great detail. A hospice worker and worldwide lecturer, Dowling Singh is being touted as the next Kubler-Ross. Time will tell. One thing is for certain: this is an astonishingly intelligent and engrossing book about consciously surrendering our bodies and our egos to death. There are 500,000 hospice patients in the U.S. and 5 million hospice workers worldwide. And every one of them would probably find profound comfort in this breakthrough book on dying. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

 Kathleen Dowling Singh, Ph.D., has extensive training and experience in both transpersonal psychology and many spiritual traditions. She works with dying patients in a large hospice in southwest Florida and regularly addresses audiences on death, dying, and the hospice movement.

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