Courses about aging
Aging in Enlightened Society Salon Series
These salons are a series that you can organize at your center to start an aging group or to enrich an existing group. They are self-paced group explorations led by one or more individual organizers. The series was designed by Jenny Warwick and Ann Cason. It consists of three five-week sessions to be spread over six months. It has been successfully piloted in Bellingham, Washington and Portland, Oregon.
These salons encourage discussions about aging to help participants open up to their own wisdom and find their own views of aging, dying, and death. Because these subjects can be great teachers, it is important to facilitate these discussions and get people sharing.
- AES Guide – Introduction for Facilitators. Each salon follows a five-part structure that helps create a supportive container for the discussions. This structure can vary as needed to best present the content of a particular salon.
- AES Guide – Session One – The Landscape of Aging uses the best-selling book Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande, in conjunction with Sakyong Mipham’s book The Shambhala Principle. Discussions revolve around the challenges of aging in a society of imbalances: between safety and freedom, between long life and quality of life. The salon explores a setting sun view of aging, compared to the Great Eastern Sun view. Too often in our society, old age is seen as a diagnosis rather than as an opportunity for human dignity and possibilities.
- AES Guide – Session Two – The Warriorship of Aging contemplates our inner world. This section is based on the discussion of Feeling from The Shambhala Principle, and also on the book Let Evening Come, by Mary Morrison. In this part of the course, we contemplate our worthiness as aged people in a society where we often feel marginalized – or as they say, “old and out of the way.” We ask ourselves: How are we not to slink away, give up, or complain? Instead, we encourage ourselves to take the view from the top of the mountain. Our goal is to raise a banner of kindness, human connectivity, and celebration, looking at the possibilities of fresh mind.
- AES Guide – Session Three – Creating a Caring Culture of Kindness examines taking care or letting others care for us.No one should have the burden of care alone. We should share the opportunities and possibilities and work together for a light and spacious way of being true. Rejoicing is a state of appreciation and of great dignity in the midst of how it turned out. Suggested readings come from Sakyong Mipham’s The Shambhala Principle and Circles of Care by Ann Cason.