Book: Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny

TitleConscious Living, Conscious Aging:
Embrace & Savor Your Next Chapter
Author(s)Ron Pevny
Initially Published2014
PublisherAtria Books/Beyond Words
Formats AvailablePaperback, Hardcover and Kindle
Available and

Many of us will live much longer than the preceding generations, and we are likely to be healthier – physically and financially. So, ‘retirement‘ will be different. We need to approach our later lives afresh. However, retirement planning, even now, typically focuses on finances, health, place of residence, and (maybe) hobbies.

I am now in my mid-sixties. Earlier, I had (unconsciously), thought of retirement as pottering around the house, putting my feet up, playing sports, keeping fit, reading books, time with friends & relatives, lounging around, and so on. Basically, “chilling out”, and not having too many targets (self-driven or externally driven). And, I implicitly thought that I would be content – drifting through life in this mode. But in reality, I became restless, impatient, irritable, annoyed and sometimes angry and sarcastic. I sought and demanded attention from people close to me. I became oversensitive to my reducing capabilities, especially my memory lapses. I often slipped into despondence – “anyway, what difference does it make?”

I had read this book some time ago, without assimilating or absorbing it. Now, while examining how to make life more satisfying, I was reminded by my wife about the book. Somehow, I too had an urge to re-read the book, based on a faint recall. I read it again, and then made yet another pass of the book – very, very slowly – digesting and trying to figure out how to apply the concepts and ideas.

This time, something clicked – maybe because the time was ripe for me, or because I had read it multiple times. Or, maybe a combination of the gentle narration, no ‘boilerplate’ solutions, more focus on concepts, and guidance on what ‘may’ work (or what worked for others). One impactful message for me was – it will take time, it won’t be easy, but I need to keep at it – even if I get stuck or there are dark periods when I feel like giving up. The book gave me additional insights each time I read it.

Worth Reading For Me!

I am sharing below my thoughts and reactions in my current context.

The author uses the term elderhood, instead of the usual terms ‘aging’, ‘senior citizen’, ‘retirement’, etc. Elderhood conjures up images of patience, introspection, experience, wisdom and spiritual growth.

It became clear that there is no quick-fix – fulfilment needs introspection, patience, hard work and readiness for set-backs. Also, that there are stages that I need to gradually and consciously move through (called severance, neutral and reincorporation in the book). To feel fulfilled, I need to have intentions aligned with my capabilities, be of service to others (without intruding) and accept help with gratitude.

I now understand that one can’t gloss over the past and just ‘keep it aside’. I will need to explore and understand, and only then I can move ahead; if I just brush aside my hurtful experiences or negative past actions, they will remain just below the surface and pop-up and pull me back into the past. It requires conscious forgiving – of myself and others involved to genuinely move ahead.

I believe the book will be useful for people in their fifties, sixties, seventies and even eighties – to give purpose, satisfaction and peace to their lives as they age and reduce their despondence and frustration at their declining abilities. It covers necessary concepts and principles and provides detailed guidance and exercises for a better understanding and moving forward. It is written with substance and flair. It is deep, but not heavy to read and assimilate. And one gets new insights each time one reads it.

Please note that the book may not work the same way for others, and some may not need it at all.

More About the Book

Some of the aspects that are covered are – life review; healing the past; forgiveness; rewriting disempowering stories; coming to terms with the end of our lives; connecting with nature; creative expression; rebuilding connections with the community and strengthening our spirituality. And opening oneself to synchronicity (occurrence of events that appear connected but have no logical causal connection), e.g., I remember someone after many years, and he calls while I am thinking about him) .

There are exercises to help the reader through the processes. There are stories (“Story By the Fire”) narrated by someone highlighting his/ her experience of the topic covered, and I could relate to some of them.

A Quote from the Book

Here is a representative passage from book (at the end of the book):

“There is no greater legacy that we can leave for the generations that will follow us, and no greater gift that we can give to ourselves, than to aim high as we age, ever reaching for our best. The world needs the wholeness, wisdom, and gifts of conscious elders.

Another Review

This review (as on page for the book) by another expert on the same subject, summarizes the usefulness of the book:

“Ron Pevny’s book Conscious Living, Conscious Aging is a unique and valuable resource for those seeking purpose, service, and continual growth in the later chapters of their lives. Its uniqueness lies in its weaving together of Sage-ing and other conscious aging practices, deep wisdom about life transitions and rites of passage, and inspiring stories from those who have chosen to engage in this inner work, all with the goal of supporting the development of the conscious elders our world urgently needs.”

by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi,
co-author of From Age-ing to Sage-ing

About Ron Pevny (Author of the book)

Ron Pevny is the founder and director of the Center for Conscious Eldering . He did his Master’s work in Integral Counselling and Psychotherapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies, learning therapeutic and growth practices from around the world.

For many years, Ron has been providing guidance, life coaching and consulting, to help people create lives of purpose, passion and service. He brings to his work a wealth of experience, knowledge, processes and practices.

The book is available at:,

Please feel free to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available.

Your comments are welcome!

Author: Rajesh Naik

I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me, I am also available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite.

32 thoughts on “Book: Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny”

  1. Rajesh’s review makes me envious. He has imbibed self improvement skills by the dint of his perseverance, his ability to introspect and by being open to learning very often unlearning too in the process.
    He reviews with honesty and empathy and urges you to start your own journey -fully recognizing that life stage and life experience ultimately decides what can be imbibed and benefited. Rajesh’s earthy style places substance over form and sounds closer to reality than the reviews he has mentioned.
    Now time for me to visit Amazon with the hope that this book genuinely makes it to my heart and not just to my bookshelf.

  2. Very nice review, Rajesh. You have expressed the impact of the book on you when you picked it up for reading again. As you have pointed out, maybe the timing was right. You could relate to the various aspects of elderhood presented by the author.

    Would be good for corporates to give this book as a gift during the retirement farewell party.

  3. Nice review. I too used to think retired life will be a piece of cake. But it is challenging like the other phases or even more. Giving some insights and direction to the elderhood phase is meaningful. Leaving a legacy of “aiming high as we age” is an inspiring concept.

  4. Thought provoking.

    As pointed out, it’s not plain retirement and drifting through life, but this phase of elder hood as well comes with its unique set of challenges.

    The population dividend, also throws challenges of shrinking population below 19 years and simultaneous increase in age bracket above 60.

    Tempted to get this book.

    Thanks Rajesh ji

  5. Fantastic excerpts, Rajesh

    Your summarized version with elevated pitch is very thoughtful and impactful. At each stages of our life it is important to stay connected with core and context. Challenges remain at all stages but in different forms. Inherently built-in resilience with intinsic ability to learn, unlearn and relearn is of paramount importance

    Thank you for your thought provoking views, Rajesh

  6. The review is very good and useful. Your points regarding (1) your personal difficulty that required addressing (2) the way the book clicked after re-reading etc hook anyone to think of buying the book and start working on solutions. Two comments. 1. While diagnosis and even solutions are nowadays well communicated in media as well as in the book going by your review, the implementation part is less covered. I would like to see a little more in the review if the book covers actionable / implementation process that gets a person out of negative thinking associated with retirement.

    1. Thanks, Srinagesh. The book does cover actionables, but at a high level. It does not drill down to the procedure, checklist, form level, there are adequate resources elsewhere for guiding us through actions like self forgiveness, forgiving others, re-framing the past, opening oneself to synchronicity, etc.

  7. As usual, thoughtful and rich, valuable reflections from you Rajesh

    This review also stimulates the thought that it will not be too early for people in any age group to start being spiritual and conscious.

    It would be a good read for younger people too…

  8. It’s very interesting and thought provoking. The review makes one want to get hold of the book.
    After seeing and having lived with folks who are elderly, it would definitely resonate.
    Perhaps it’s also apt for younger folks like me to read this, just to appreciate what it offers.

  9. Very nicely reviewed Rajesh. I do like how u relate the book to ur personal experiences and emotions. And the simplicity of ur writing style allowed me to appreciate better what the book is about and why I should pick it up. I wonder if u can add some more colour on the part where u write about ‘different aspects covered in the book’. Eg what’s synchronicity

    1. Thanks, Sitaram. Done some enhancements, on the basis of your suggestion. Will factor it in – for future posts.

  10. A very insightful and refreshingly experiential review by Rajesh. This will motivate and enable all to better assimilate the messages from the book.

  11. Thought provoking content, Rajesh.
    Loved the way you brought about the essence and it almost feels like a great trailer egging on me to read the book.
    I wish I could be as dedicated (and passionate) about writing as you…
    Waiting for your next !!

  12. Very well-written review which gives a pretty good summary of the book. Glad that it helped you to get over the problems that you mentioned. And it may prove helpful to many people.

  13. Wonderfully summarized.
    To me retirement meant hanging the boots and resting … enjoying.. but it is much more than that… and may be one of the toughest phases of life. Specially after living a impactful life.

    The way you have summarized the book it has motivated me to get a copy for my elders.. thanks.

  14. The book review by Rajesh is very thought provoking and well structured.

    Brings out the fact that reading a book again at a different stage in one’s life or under different circumstances, would make one look at the learnings from a different perspective.

    It shows empathy with the author Ron Pevny, his concept of elderhood and he shares his own learnings from the book. It made me take me take a further step in my own journey by triggering me to read the book.

  15. The review by Rajesh on the book is very forthright, honest and balanced. As a sixty something myself, It makes me want to read it, though I suspect it will be beneficial for a 30 year old too

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