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Publisher's Summary

If you only had a year to live, what would you do? In his work with the dying, author Stephen Levine observed the radical changes people can make in the face of death - how they heal relationships, open up to love, act on plans put off for years, even quit dead-end jobs. Levine challenged himself to live an entire year as if it were his last - and in this revealing narrative he shares what he learned. Through a series of month-by-month practices anyone can do, and including special meditations and exercises, A Year to Live teaches a way to live every day of your life with vivid fullness.
©1997 Stephen Levine (P)1997 Stephen Levine

What listeners say about A Year to Live

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking and useful

Stephen Levine has been a leading voice in the hospice movement and draws on his wealth of experience with death and dying to share his insights in this book. In a culture that shuns talk and exploration into death and how it relates to life, it was refreshing to hear this man speaking sincerely and passionately about how contemplation of death can bring more meaning and focus to life. At first the idea of "pretending" to have only one year to live seemed silly and not much use, but he has a way of explaining his thoughts and giving exercises which have helped to open new areas in my life.
Though his reading at first seems slow and deep, it had a way of drawing me in and opening me to his ideas.
I recommend this book to anyone who feels like their spiritual life could use a jump start. This is a good practice.

19 people found this helpful

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Abridged, missing key practices, too spacey

The audiobook version of this book is abridged - it is missing about 15 of the 39+ chapters, and the chapters it does include are edited down as well. Most critically, the detailed descriptions of all of the practices that are in the print edition are missing from the audiobook.

The book itself is actually the only slightly edited version of the author's journal, and as such is not well organized or edited. There are a few nuggets in it, but not worth the time wading through the rest of the baloney.

10 people found this helpful

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Love the Concept

I feel like I understand now...the meaning of this lifetime is simply to prepare to die. It begins when it ends.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not All I thought I was getting

When I started the book, I waited with baited breathe for the author to launch into the specifics of living for a year like I was dying. But that was the disappointment of a lifetime. The author with his powerful voice of wisdom declined to get into specifics like I needed to hear. Maybe he wrote the book for people unlike myself, who like to be shown the how, when, and why. Maybe I'll write the book, and find out why the specifics were not called for after all.

2 people found this helpful

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Difficult to listen to.

Vocal style was distracting. Voice, in my opinion, droned on. Constant pausing between words within each sentence.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved the content...not the narrative

I very much enjoyed this book. I listened to it as I turned 60 years old and got a lot out of the content of dying and living life in a different way

However...I truly wish someone else had read the book. I’m sorry, Mr Levine, but your creepy, Grim Reaper voice was not enjoyable at all. Please have someone else read your books from now on!!

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Absolute garbage.

Total waste of time. If I could give it less than one star, I would. Basically it's a bunch of hooey that offers only anecdotal evidence at BEST. It in almost NO way prepares one for the intellectually honest consideration of their own death. Instead, it relies on a bunch of eastern philosophy hokum where "death isn't the end, blah, blah, blah." Very disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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It’s all Grace

Stephen and Ondrea Levine are magical. Everything they write is full of wisdom, insight, mercy, and soft sweet love. By investigating death, we come alive!

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Packed full of the wisdom that comes from being present with much death.

I have not been with many dying people. The ones that have been with, didn’t go well, they were filled with terror in their eyes and a feeling of annihilation. Seeing that has left me with a deep fear of those last moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years.

Levine claims that it is our life that we fear as much as it is our death. That in the lack of grieving our hearts harden and we are cut off from life and we project that what comes after bears that same feeling towards us.

I am surprised I had not heard of Levine sooner.

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Beautifully written and performed

Stephen Levine is an insightful and wise meditation teacher, as well as a gifted and eloquent writer. He reads his own words with conviction and simplicity. What a rate talent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nadine
  • 08-27-17

brilliant

loved it! read it the most exciting heartful way. a roaring read - it is a great thought experiment!