To ripen into an elder, into a being that is more than simply elderly and more than only self, is a deliberate, thoughtful, sustained choice that arises from the intention to see things as they are.
The Grace in Aging: Awakening as You Grow Older, Kathleen Singh, p. 18
Here’s a newsflash. Every morning when you awaken, you have grown another day older. And you have moved one day closer to your death, to the exhaustion of your physical body. This is as much a part of what it means to be human as birth or any other part of the life cycle, yet we too often resist and deny that we are aging. This results in a limited experience of living, a limited experience of the simple joy of BEING HERE NOW, in this very moment. And it is only here, now, in the present moment, that we will find God.
Beginning on Thursday, March 2, and continuing for the following three weeks, you are invited to join me for a noon brown bag lunch and a discussion on aging and how we can embrace this natural-and inevitable-time of life. We will use as a resource the wonderful book, The Grace in Aging: Awakening as You Grow Older, by Kathleen Dowling Singh, a psychotherapist and hospice worker whose writing on the spirituality of dying and aging may already be familiar to many. This book, and our time together, will appeal to our want to be alert and alive, to live in a sane, kinder, more compassionate way, for ourselves and others, and to live more deeply connected to the sacred. Singh reminds us that aging can offer us a real opportunity to intentionally reorient ourselves towards a rich interior life which is a far more reliable and trustworthy space than what the world of our contemporary culture has to offer. To open this inner space, to awaken to life as it really is, and not as we imagine it ought to be, is to begin to let go of our attachments to our egoic desires, a significant cause of so much of our suffering. This awakening can help us grow in love and wisdom even as we face the reality of our physical decline.
There are spiritual practices which we will discuss and experience that will help us engage the process of awakening. And we will engage all this together, as a community of wise seekers who have much to share with one another. So please consider joining us for lunch these four Thursdays in March. You don’t have to think of yourself as “old”, whatever that means, to find meaning from this time. You simply need to have the intention and the desire to wake up and grow up!