Aging with Wisdom
by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle



Monkfish, 2017. ISBN 978-1-939-68171-3.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 11/30/2017

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Elders

If you are concerned about aging consciously and connecting with your own inner spirit, read this book. In the past several years, many books have been published about aging well. Very few have been written with such sensitivity and gentleness. Hoblitzelle's stories, poems and reflections lead us towards inner examination and an expansive view of later life. She offers the reader personal examples as well as the stories of others in a variety of cultures about aging, diminishment and dying. Especially poignant is her relating how she and her husband dealt with his Alzheimer's decline.

"A Buddhist maxim says simply that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." As we age, our bodies begin to break down, even with our taking care. Hoblitzelle writes of her main theme, "the call of the inner life, deepening in wisdom, and living consciously with the purpose of awakening...." Our bodies are the vessels of who we are. She counsels reaching out to others in kindness and humility as a way of letting go of self-attachment.

Hoblitzelle includes practices of the heart and vignettes of wayshowers—those who have shown her the way. She acknowledges that she has needed maps and guidance. Perhaps, we do too. If so, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle might be a wayshower for you as she was for me.


Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle has practiced and taught psychology as well as meditation for more than 45 years. She developed and taught one of the first Mind/Body medicine programs in the country. She has strained health professionals under the auspices of Harvard Medical School. Her previous book, 10,000 Joys & 10,000 Sorrows won many awards.

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Stories From the Heart IX

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