Learning To Die In Order To Live with Stephen Levine

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We've heard how a close brush with death can make a person suddenly realize what is truly important in life. We know from those who have had near-death experiences that a life review compels us to reevaluate how we've lived. We know from holding the hands of our loved ones, who pass into the beyond that there is something extremely profound going on during this transition. But do we have to wait until we die to gain the benefits we suspect lie in wait for us? Stephen Levine, who spent a year of his life as if it were his last, says no. It is through actually practicing our dying that we learn how to truly live. He tells us how to stop “hopping around on one leg, unwilling to commit to life, unwilling to complete our birth, thinking that tomorrow's going to be the day we have our life." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Stephen Levine is a poet and teacher of guided meditation and healing techniques. He is one of a generation of pioneering teachers who have made the teachings of Theravada Buddhism widely available to students in the West.

He’s the author of:

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How to practice dying and make the most of living
  • How to develop more kindness and compassion
  • How to let go of boundaries
  • How to practice dying through the common cold
  • What is the exquisite opportunity that dying presents
  • Why aging is an unparalleled opportunity for enlightenment
  • How to forgive those "whose hearts cannot yet see"
  • Why it's important to appreciate letting go of suffering
  • How to move from the personal to the universal

Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 5/23/1997      Program Number: 2631

Music Included

From Album: Narada Collection 1
Artist: Spencer Brewer
1988 Narada Productions, Inc. CD 3901
Track 03 Tomorrow's Child

From Album: Sacred Road
Artist: David Lanz
1995 Narada Productions, Inc. ND-64010
Tracks - On the Way Home, Dreamer's Waltz