This is to let you know that the brand new fourth edition of Maria Dancing Heart Hoaglund's book, The Last Adventure of Life, will be available at Amazon on March 18, the day after St. Patrick's Day. You are invited to purchase this book on Tuesday, 3/18/14 as a way to support Maria in her work and mission to help people all over the world heal the fear and denial of death. We can restore the Beauty and Sacred aspects of death in a way that can assist us in seeing death as an adventure, allowing us to prepare for it in a conscious way.
The first edition of The Last Adventure of Life was self-published in 2005 by Maria. Then, in 2008, Findhorn Press of Scotland picked up the book, and subsequently a 3rd edition was published through Finch Publishing of Australia. Now that Maria resides in Sedona and the 2nd edition copies were running low, she deemed it necessary to come out with another edition, this time with a picture of the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona.
The new book has a magnificent photo of the Cathedral Rock with hot air balloons going up in front of it. (Maria had a vision for this kind of picture on the front of her book, and then just happened to find out that her friend Larry Rosenberg had taken some photos like this one which he was delighted for her to use! Then, Jo Hunt, the cover artist of the Australian version was agreeable to help work the photo into a beautiful cover.) The new cover represents the high spiritual vibration that this book holds; and you are encouraged to let you friends know about it. Better yet, gift them with a copy that they can share with their family and friends.
Here are some things people have been saying about Rev. Maria's book and her work - during the last seven years:
This is skillful advice from a revered hospice worker who speaks from the deep experience of a true heart.
-- Stephen & Ondrea Levine, authors and mentors in the area of death & dying
"Dancing Heart has produced an utterly practical multi-faith spiritual health manual for those who are living toward their death. Both care-seekers and care-responders will appreciate the images and conversations that are evoked from its reading. It is not as much a salve for facing the fear of death but a companioned method of approaching the critical questions at the end of life. The annotated bibliography and references for other resources are equal treasures. This contribution will ably serve as an inspiration in spiritual, hospice and palliative care libraries for years to come."
-- George Henry Grant, MDiv, PhD, Emory University, CPE Supervisor
The Last Adventure of Life has been a wonderful blessing for the women in our book study group at Horizon House, a retirement community and life care facility. Maria has made it possible for us to look at and to think about leaving the Earth plane with much less fear and more faith in what awaits us on the other side. Maria's accounts of her experiences in Hospice and her choices of the writings of others will be so very helpful and comforting to us and our loved ones as we approach our own "Last Adventure". Thank you, Maria! Blessings always!
-- Louise Barker, Horizon House resident
I have searched through many books to use as a text for my Death & Dying, Life & Living class. I sought to go beyond dry, sterile, pedantic and information crammed books which were ultimately fear based. I chose The Last Adventure of Life because it is reader friendly, alive, a resource and repository of hope, kindness, and love.
– John Petellat, Psychology Instructor, Daytona Beach College, Florida
"Maria brings great heart to a gentle exploration of what it means to experience the losses that come with transitions. As a participant in her workshop, I found tools to shine a light on feelings that had been deeply held but never really shared...and in doing so found new beginnings of healing with grace and warmth and safety."
-- Terra Kelsey, healer
"Having experienced several deaths in my own family, and ministering to countless families in grief after the loss of loved ones, Maria's workshop on grief and end-of-life care was of tremendous benefit. We want all of our Stephen Ministers to have this experience as they also deal with so many who experience loss and grief."
-- Rev. Mark Dowdy, The United Churches of Olympia, Presbyterian (USA) and United Church of Christ
"Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop in Portland...it helped me personally and professionally...the content was varied and all of it interesting...I loved your style and hospitality with each of us...you left me wanting to listen to more and that is a very good thing...I bought your book at New Renaissance and have told others about you and your book...so glad to have connected with you and thank you for all that you gave me--us!! Peace and Joy."
-- Jan Kalberer, M.A.
"After reading a little of The Last Adventure of Life, I heard about the workshop from my volunteer coordinator. This is something that would benefit my hospice work, I thought.
The workshop involved doing some personal grief work. My mom had passed four years ago and I felt I had worked well through that, forgetting that relations with a particular family member had been very strained ever since mom's death. I had perhaps given up on the family member after a few seeming failed attempts, so during the workshop I focused again on Mom.
I came to another new awareness of Mom's passing that day, which was well worth the effort, but in addition I soon realized something else had shifted. Maria shared about forgiveness at the workshop, and encouraged us to do further reading from her book on the subject, which I did.
A few days later, I noticed the change. The resentment I had been carrying since Mom's death towards the family member, was gone. I am now able to think about her and talk to her without the hurt and pain of the past. I am thrilled to have a soft place in my heart again for my sister.
Thank You Maria Dancing Heart." -- Louise, hospice volunteer
"Maria - I love your gentle, open-hearted approach. You were very flexible and ready to meet the needs of our group, which were very diverse. You are an amazing resource, and seemed to have a wealth of experience and contacts. Your suggestions following some of our questions and interests were helpful.
The flow of the day went well. I'm glad we were given two options for the afternoon. Both were good ones! ... I will appreciate your book as a wonderful point of reference ... Again, thank you for being very thorough in your research and in your presentation. You were quite helpful." -- Jackie Huetter, hospice lay minister
This is the most genuine, information-rich, readable, and hopeful treasury of reflections on living and dying I have had the pleasure of reading, written by a seasoned hospice counselor with the melodic name of Maria Dancing Heart, whom I suspect is actually two parts angel and one part spiritual ounselor/hospice worker. Like the author’s moniker, the poetry, stories, prayers, meditations, resources, sample teachings, inspirational readings, and support for the “last adventure of life” in these pages dance with love and compassion—and always reframing the experience of death to one of transformation.
Although the author considers herself a Christian, her religion is a broad and inclusive spirituality. In the introduction she describes how she came to write this book saying, “I am learning that the spiritual journey is about opening up to love and to our inner guidance. Some religions and denominations seem to be better able to help people awaken to their spiritual nature. However, in the end, it is not our religion, but the full understanding and acceptance of our true essence that will save or heal us. It is through the way we live our lives every day— through our love and service, our joy and understanding—that we will heal ourselves and the world.”
If there were a master manual for living, this book would be first on the required reading list.
--Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review
Our library is growing and I must say that we use your book – The Last Adventure of Life – almost every week. It is a great resource for our families to read and for us to look up quotes and stories. Thank you!
-- Linda Kozina, Director, Crossroads Hospice, Port Moody, B.C., Canada
I have found Maria Dancing Heart Hoglund's book The Last Adventure of Life very helpful just to pick up and read any place in it. A supportive resource of understanding, guiding experience and calming love. A positive guide for trouble shooting what's happening to my wearing out body.
-- Buryl Awakening Heart, survivor of 13 heart attacks, Sedona AZ
Rarely has a book captured my attention so immediately and inspired me to want to make radical changes in my behaviour and conduct in life. Maria Dancing Heart's book, The Last Adventure of Life did just that. I wonder if it was because it came at a very painful time in my life (my father's passing) that my mind was so receptive to the book -- but whatever it was -- that is what happened. I was struck by the clarity of the message, which essentially for me was "Go on, live a life -- not an existence!" ... Somebody once said that we're not humans having a spiritual experience, but spirits having a human experience. How quickly we can lose the essence of life if we're not aware. How quickly we forget that our happiness is in spirituality, and not in material possessions. I feel I am now equipped to live a more complete and happy life! -- George Savva, Resource Magazine, UK
Your book has given me a whole different perspective in approaching those near the end of life in relation to their spiritual beliefs. Meeting them right where they are without judgment. I think there needs to be more of this approach with those who are not near the end of life as well. ... I have a much more relaxed feel about the whole thing now. I too am Christian and not willing to give up my beliefs but I think your sensitive approach has refined mine. Thanks.
-- Shirley Powell, Wellness Consultant/Massage Therapist
We just found out my Father has lung cancer, in the lymph nodes, and on his liver... I am reading The Last Adventure of Life every day for a month now. God put it in my hands! Friday night, when my father told me, I didn't flinch. I read him the story about Judgement (old man and white horse) and his eyes lit up. That is how we will deal with this illness! Thank you so much for your book. I was prepared and unafraid.
-- John S., USA
I bought one of your books at the MHTP conference, not knowing I would need to use it so soon. I am a home health pediatric nurse. I have been caring for a sweet little girl for over 7 years. She died Thur 6/26/08, and it is so painful I cannot think. But I can cry and read your book. I spent some time with it last eve and will do so again. The prayers, the guidelines for how to take care of myself during this grieving period are very helpful. Right now I seem to be hanging onto the ones that say something like; don't be afraid to talk about the person, and talk a lot, to anyone who will listen, and don't be bashful about crying, tears cleanse the soul. So, thank you very much.
-- Judy Schaefer, RN, CMP
I simply want to let you know how important your book has been to many of our staff members, volunteers and patients. We have had several patients in just the last few months who have borrowed this book from staff and it has had a monumental effect on their sense of well-being. For one patient and a patient's spouse, in particular, it allowed them access to resources and support they needed to receive in a less direct way than a spiritual care or social work visit, though we were also providing this. The format seems to really work for people experiencing deep grief and short focus time, who long to hear personal narratives as well as generally inspirational viewpoints of loss and dying. Everytime I show this book to someone, they seem to just gravitate to it and want to start reading! So, thank you for this wonderful gift to the world!
-- Rev. Laurie Adams, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Hospice of Contra Costa
"This book bridges the gap between life & death. It's the metaphysical bible for hospice; read it and take a quantum leap!"
-- Trixie Schram
I have been asking God and seeking understanding about death since the painful loss of my mother and sister from breast cancer. Her book is a treasure trove of richness not just about grief, loss, and the dying, but about life itself. To receive such goodness and guidance causes me to rejoice in God's mysterious ways. The door has opened and His conduit of love comes forth page after page of Maria's book through her spiritual experiences with hospice patients. I am forever grateful for this valuable resource of information and Maria's gift to humanity.
-- Joy D. Krein, hospice (spiritual care) volunteer
I wasn't able to attend your talk at Hospice and Palliative Care of Contra Costa (Pleasant Hill, CA), but everyone still talks about it and my boss gave me a copy of your wonderful book, which I pour over every morning. ... I think of your book as a manual to die by. My psychic/teacher told me years ago that one of the jobs of the old souls in America is to teach the others how to die since the knowledge has slipped away through institutionalizing death this last century. You're certainly doing your part with your book. I love every page.
-- Mardi Taylor, hospice worker
Maria Dancing Heart, author of The Last Adventure of Life: Sacred Resources for Transition, has helped me in ways I am only beginning to discover. Only a month ago I ordered 4 copies of her book after a soulful conversation with Maria and the book feels like an extension of my being now. I carry it everywhere, am reading it as if my universe depends upon it, and am sharing it with nearly everyone I come in contact with through my hospice work.
There is something extraordinary about this book of resource. It feels like a workbook...it reads like sacred text...it has a humble quality about it that makes it completely accessible to anyone who parts its pages...it shimmers, yes, it shimmers. Families I've been supporting are reading it and finding comfort in the passages that lead them to their inner strength and patients are being guided by the essence of Truth that makes its way into their expanding consciousness.
I am utterly grateful to Maria Dancing Heart for her wisdom to listen between the spaces of stillness as the beauty of the universe answers our prayers for the dying...
-- Kim Snyder Sterrs, Hospice Spiritual Care Provider
The Last Adventure of Life by Maria Dancing Heart is a must read for anyone taking care of people who are ill and near their final days in this lifetime. It is also good for anyone who is going thru this life's end process with a friend or family member. And for heaven sakes it's good for anyone who someday will make their own final exit. This book is well presented from all aspects of all belief systems and in support of all preparing for their "Last Adventure." A must read for Healthcare professionals.
-- Anna Marie Newman, RN, LMP, CHTP
Maria Dancing Heart has expertly combined the word of God, her career experiences working with hospice, and many stories and poems from a large selection of authors and individuals to put together this deep, meaningful, and informational book.
-- Rev. Anne Marie Evers, author of Affirmations: Your Pasport to Happiness
The Last Adventure of Life is phenomenal. You've written a heart-warming, inspiring, informative book that fills an important void. This book carries a vital message and it deserves to be published. I would be honored and delighted to be the literary agent for this outstanding book project.
-- Michele Rooney, Literary Agent
It is a treasure of wisdom and inspiration. Our library will be ordering it... The writing and publishing are a great job well done!
-- Rev. Kenneth Dale, minister, teacher, and pastoral counselor
The book is lovely ... strong, loving, practical. ... It resonates deeply with me and I am honored to have been able to share in its birth in a small way.
-- Leah Kosh, artist (of center piece on book cover of First Edition) and hospice volunteer
In looking through your book, I see there are many marvelous sections to share as reflections with our staff. We will enjoy taking turns reading them to each other. I know we will learn from what you offer. It is always wonderful to know others are looking to improve end of life care within our culture. I look forward to gaining insight from your vast experience.
-- Georganne Trandum, Director of Improving Care through the End of Life, Franciscan Health System
After reading this book my apprehension about meeting Death is not so great. If the birthing process is the beginning of natural life (sometimes with the help of a midwife), then now I can see death as the beginning of the supernatural life. As a chaplain I can see myself serving as a midwife, a companion, a coach to the dying person as s/he transitions from this life to the next. To enjoy everlasting life one has to die. In this sense, when the time is right, death can be viewed as the door that leads us to the other side. What a powerful role! What a gift! What a privilege to be a witness at a sacred moment in a person's life as s/he moves forward, towards the end (goal) for which we were put on this earth! This book made me feel this way!
Now I feel I am ready to be present when someone physically dies. To date I have not had the opportunity to witness such a sacred moment. To date my experience is that I was called when the patient had just died or in the case of an imminent death, the family thanks me for coming (while the patient is still alive) and I take that as my cue to leave. Each time I thanked God that I did not witness the actual death, reminding God (as if He does not already know!) that I am not in a hurry to get there (actually witnessing a patient die). The book has given me a peaceful acceptance (even a guarded eagerness?) of the possibility that one of these days I will be privileged to witness the sacred moment when one goes through the door.
-- Alegria Albers, spiritual director, chaplain, and UW research scientist
The Last Adventure of Life is a hospice "medicine bag" that is a must read for everyone involved in hospice or caring for those who are on their last adventure of life. I found your book not only offered many invaluable insights into the journey we call dying, but more importantly offered suggestions for those who choose to accompany someone who dying to experience with them the holiness and sacredness of life.
Just as each person's experience of life is unique, so is his or her experience of dying. Your book honors this truth and offers the reader many different ways to connect with the uniqueness of each person's experience of dying. It raises the reader's awareness of the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences of dying and helps them to prepare themselves and the person they are journeying with to fully experience the gift of grace, the transforming power of grief, offered to those on the last adventure of life. The teachings, resources, stories, poetry, words of wisdom, guided imagery, and meditations offer hope and healing for all those who are on their last adventure and those who have chosen to walk with them.
Thank you for writing The Last Adventure of Life. I refer to it and use it often in my ministry.
-- Deacon Bill Batstone, Steward for Social Ministries and Pastoral Care at St. Michael Church and On-call Chaplain at St. Peter Hospital
Here is a Youtube with Maria that shares "What to keep in mind when your loved one is nearing death."
Here is a link to Maria's recent Interview with Mark Perry of A Matter of Mind in Santa Fe, NM.
And you can find Maria's sermon last fall at Santa Fe's Center for Spiritual Living at this link. (scroll down one video)
To your Health, Wealth, and adventuous Awakening! Dancing heart~~~~