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happiness is not an accident

happiness is not an accident

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Published by patmellencamp

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Published by: patmellencamp on Sep 28, 2009
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02/01/2013

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Being 60:
Happiness is Not an Accident
(A Scholar\u2019s Search for Fearlessness)
Alternative titles:
Beneath the Surface: Journeying through Fear to Joy
Being 60: On Death & Dating
Being 60: Journeying through Fear to Joy
Patricia Mellencamp
2
Table of Contents
Section I:Death: A Passage through Time
Prelude:
Becoming60

Chapter 1: Facing Death & Aging: From Anxiety to Equanimity
Chapter 2: A Spiritual Quest in India: A Student of Death
Chapter 3: Of Mothers, Daughters, Fairytales, and Death
Chapter 4: How I Learned to Read the Wall Street Journal: Money, The Market,

and my Mother, A Love Story
Section II:Dating: The Problem might not be the Prince

Chapter 5: Melodrama in Morocco: \u2018Deep Sixtied\u2019
Chapter 6: Sea Ranch, California & the Buddha.
Chapter 7: An Asian Odyssey: Buddhist Boot Camp
Chapter 8: High Drama in the Himalayas: On the Road in Tibet, Nepal, and

Bhutan
Chapter 9: Southeast Asia: The Silence of History
Chapter 10: A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama
Chapter 11: An Old Girl Can Learn New Tricks: China, the Market, and Me.
Epilogue: Now:Bei ng 60 . . . or 70 or . . .
Footnotes
Author

3
*****

Although personal experience is used as illustration, this book is neither
autobiography nor memoir. Far too many encounters and people are missing to
constitute a life. The highly selective focus is on moments of learning about fear and
moving through its anxiety. So it\u2019s about 5% of a life. Is its elf-help? Yes. Particularly
because the goal is to find and nurture the inner self. Is ithow- t o? Yes. Because it
relies on the updated yet ancient teachings of great beings who reveal ways to deal with
fear and other emotions. But it is intimate and private rather than objective and
professional, a tale told by an amateur. The structure is a search for fearlessness
through events, books, countries, and finally the lense of a new, late in life love affair.
And it is told from the point of view of a 60 year old woman, a feminist media scholar and
author of seven books, and a single mother, unmarried for 25 years, who reveals her
struggles with a late-in-life relationship, along with the self insights and happiness that
emerged from confronting fear and embracing love. It is a tale of mother love and of
romance, including love at first sight and travel to exotic places like an ashram in India,
Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, the remote, primitive regions of Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Laos,
and China. It is a book which anyone who has had fear about losing a child, caring for
ill and dying parents, death, aging and growing old, money, and finally, men and
relationships, will understand.

Along the way, Distinguished Professor Mellencamp shares her many great
teachers \u2013 keeping their invaluable words intact so that they may be reapplied to other
lives.Happiness is Not an Accident is a creative encyclopedia of great spiritual writers,
including many women, whose words are guides through life\u2019s fears.

And it is a book which consistently reveals the adventure and joy of being 60, a
secret that has been kept from younger women for generations. As the Epilogue says:

\u201cBeing something, anything, is to fully inhabit, or embody . . . whatever, without
hedges, or qualms or self-doubt. It is a state without equivocation.Being 60 is to
embrace all the aches, wrinkles, intelligence and experience that have accrued in six
decades. Being 60 is facing the last part of life with an attitude \u2013 of assertion and
acceptance, of curiosity and humility, of adventure and retreat, all dosed with humor.
Being 60 is prime time.\u201d

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