“a wise, reflective guide to intentional living, especially during a person’s twilight years.”
─Foreword Clarion Reviews ★★★★
Dr. Gordon Wallace has put together a combination of profound ideas and advice about aging, disarmingly simply described. Moonlight Serenade is an engaging application of the practice of mindfulness to the processes of aging. Dr. Wallace intelligently combines this potent brew with Jungian psychology, providing the reader with a practical guide to working with the challenges and promises of aging. He reveals an extraordinary level of insight into existential crises such as illness and grief. I benefited from reading this book, and I heartily recommend it to everyone approaching their later years." —Lionel Corbett, M.D., Jungian Analyst and Co-Editor of Jung and Aging: Possibilities and Potentials for the Second Half of Life
Gordon Wallace’s Moonlight Serenade is a wonderous survey of the compensatory move of “mindfulness” for the compulsive thought/worry/behavior nexus driving most of us. Regret binds us to the past, and anxiety to the future—but only mindfulness allows access to “the eternal now.” This book describes many concrete examples of our common difficulties, but provides exercises, attitudes, and behaviors that access a fuller sense of fulfilment in this fleeting mystery we call our lives." —James Hollis, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst and author of The Broken Mirror: Refracted Visions of Ourselves and many other books
More than another book on mindfulness, Moonlight Serenade takes head on some of the key issues of aging. It teaches us the basics of mindfulness and then how mindfulness may play a role in healthy and wise aging. Adeptly weaving in Jungian Depth Psychology, this much needed book serves as a practical support for those in their later years. Highly recommended!" —Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and author, of The Little Book of Being
How might we use the challenges of aging to wake up and live the moments left of our life more fully? In this clear, step-by-step, comprehensive guide, Dr. Wallace blends insights from contemplative practice, depth psychology, and years of clinical experience to show us how. He provides a carefully structured path any of us can follow to become more honest, connected, flexible, and present in our later years—when we need wisdom and sanity more than ever." —Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, Assistant Professor of Psychology, part time, Harvard Medical School and author, The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary: Finding Happiness Right Where You Are
I gravitate to books written by professionals who walk their talk. Dr. Gordon Wallace is one of those people who has been able to distill years of personal and professional experience into this wise and practical book. If we are fortunate enough to age, we will all arrive at the threshold of death in our later years. I hope to come to that gateway worn well from life’s travails, with peace and gratitude for all my life’s experiences. Hope is essential but we also need the discipline of practice, and the wisdom of guides such as Gordon Wallace, to help us loosen our well-worn habits of mind and heart. I envision that Moonlight Serenade will sit on many a bedside table, and continue to sing songs of reassurance, courage, and compassion to all of us who long for a conscious and grace-filled life, all the way to its end." ─Janie Brown, Founder and Executive Director of the Callanish Society and author, Radical Acts of Love: Twenty Conversations to Inspire Hope at the End of Life
This book comes at an opportune (Kairos) moment, as the Covid19 pandemic and the looming climate crisis are eliciting essential questions about life and death, about the notion of time and, especially for older individuals, the related issue of aging. Many of us are feeling worried, anxious, discouraged, or perhaps lost in the maze of social media looking for answers.
Here, the author has staked out a path to bring our errant minds back home to our embodied selves. Wallace offers a unique guidebook, culled from decades of experience as a dedicated psychologist in private practice and group facilitator of mindfulness skills. Insights gained from Jungian psychology add richness and depth throughout.
The book invites us to become practitioners of nine carefully introduced exercises over the course of nine weeks. To keep us committed and move the process along, it offers two distinctly helpful features: On the one hand, an audio guide for the daily practice sessions that will support maximum concentration. On the other, a mid-week discussion by a group of virtual participants who are voicing issues and concerns with which we can identify. The author as facilitator monitors and provides feedback.
Wallace knows from experience that our engagement is a worthwhile endeavor that promises, “to test a new, compassionate approach to aging, to meet time gracefully, and live the adventure of an authentic life.”
I wish this book a widespread and grateful following." —Marianne Tauber, Ph.D., author of The Soul’s Ministrations: An Imaginal Journey through Crisis
Moonlight Serenade: Embracing Aging Mindfully is the book for those who are ready to start a mindfulness practice to enhance their life experience. In a style that is personal, encouraging, and honest, Dr. Wallace reminds us that we can’t run from aging, but we can embrace it. He offers a practical guide in how to use mindfulness to achieve an accepting relationship with many of life’s challenging experiences. Whether it be for pain, chronic illness, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress, he explains how a serious practice of mindfulness can benefit a person in ways that other approaches may fail to achieve.
Dr. Wallace draws from a well of experience that combines personal anecdotes, spiritual perspectives, and professional knowledge to present a program that is trustworthy in its research and refreshing in its honesty. He provides a clear roadmap that is organized into nine theme-based weekly practices with easy-to-follow exercises that will support the reader in exploring the philosophy of mindfulness, eventually finding a personalized model of practice that works best for the individual reader.
Referencing the depth psychology theories of Carl Jung, Dr. Wallace gives the later developmental stage of life its just due, reminding us that this often-neglected time of life holds a wealth of opportunities for personal growth, existential meaning-making and psychological enrichment. In fact, in many ways it may be the best time for such work.
Moonlight Serenade invites us to consider the “unprecedented moment”, to find within that experience the potential for growth through an enhanced awareness of ourselves. After reading it you too will be hearing the question: 'If not now, when?' —Trevor Josephson, M.C., Manager of Clinical Services, Peace Arch Hospice Society
With Moonlight Serenade Dr. Gordon Wallace has offered a gift to the Universe – a gift to us, its readers, which will keep on giving until our last breath, an unknown moment in time. He has neither hyped, sugar-coated, nor offered false hope for the results; reminding readers that the journey be a personal commitment and investment in time – but, sagely adding, as time doesn’t stand still, why wait to begin! Why indeed! The messages of Moonlight Serenade ring true, for though steeped in the truths of the ages, we glimpse that it is also the personal journey of its author.
Dr. Wallace was inviting me to make a journey - whatever my age - with curiosity, trust and a beginner’s mind, assuring me it wouldn’t be a solo trip, for he would be my guide and walk with me each step of the way. While deep in contemplation – reflecting how I was ever a lifetime seeker, was now 83, and considering whether to embark on an adventure that could enrich my continuing, albeit unknown, years … my heart responded: ‘OH, YES, WE WILL’! Care to join me?" —Rev. Dorothy Barklie Blandford, PhD, author of By the Fireside with Dorothy . . . Into the Mystic
Gordon Wallace and I are old friends. Its not that we have been friends for a long time, its just that we are friends, and we are old (not terribly old but old). Friendship with Gordon causes me to trust him and what he has to say. He knows what he is talking about when he invites us to embrace aging mindfully. His experience of aging (and mine) comes naturally, but his insights into aging healthfully have been achieved through years of study, teaching, psychotherapy (given and received) and dedicated meditative practice. And he has poured all this personal and professional experience and learning into a thoughtfully crafted and skillfully layered manual.
In his book Dr. Wallace does not intend merely to inform us about the concepts of mindfulness and aging. Rather he invites us to commit to a concentrated training program aimed at inculcating necessary attitudes, practices, and skills. Lessons are carefully laid out and thoughtfully sequenced to build from one to the next. The reader is carried along as a witness, and virtual participant with an imaginary learning cohort as they work through the nine weeks of Gordon’s course. But the reader is expected to do as much work from day to day and week to week as the learners in his in-person class, supported by a full array of online resources. Key lessons are methodically elaborated and reinforced from week to week.
To commend Dr. Gordon Wallace’s book, Moonlight Serenade, is not so much a book endorsement as a course recommendation. I think it will reward your investment of money, time and energy to enroll."
—David W. Morrison, DMin, MDiv, Retired Chaplain