Q. What has helped you to enjoy the retirement years?
I never separated retirement from other events in my life--it just happened.
There were very few shock effects. It simply evolved along the continuum of
aging. One has to stay clear of the stereotypes of growing senility, lest you
fulfill the stereotype. Human creativity makes life a good deal easier, for it
carries with it tolerance and with tolerance comes compassion.
Retirement is a time to make the inner journey and come face to face with your
flaws, failures, prejudices and all the factors that generatthoughts nd
unhappiness. Retirement is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the
beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the
negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allow
serenity to prevail.
Q. Is there a book that serves as a guideline for dealing with this new
phase of life?
Beware of a "book" for it can lock you into a particular perspective of the
author. If there was one book that was influential for over twenty years, it
was Vernon Howard's Mystic Path to Cosmic Power . It's a guideline for
the spiritual journey. So too, Thomas Merton's many books played an important
part. As well as Krishmamurti; Hazret Imayat Khan; Abraham Heschel; Zalman
Schachter; Martin Luther King Jr.; the Peace Pilgrim, Thoreau; Rumi etc. etc.
and the Oxford Book of Aging. All served as guides to a healthy and