A woman in her fifties recently told me about a dream she had had. In the dream she was at a party and saw a tall, attractive man in his early thirties standing alone with a drink in his hand. The woman went over to talk to the man; in the dream she was young again and single, and this situation meant a possible romantic opportunity. With a winning smile, she tried to engage the man in conversation, only to find that his gaze had alighted elsewhere, and with a curt nod and a polite smile, the man excused himself … Read More
In my experience as a Buddhist teacher and spiritual guide, for many people the first time the deep truth of aging hits is when our parents become ill and die. This tends to happen when people are in their 40s, when they themselves still feel young, still remember college and their first jobs, still are energetic, active, and fully productive. I remember one woman in her early forties whose parent died suddenly. I could see her face change as she grieved and processed her loss; it was as though she was aging before my eyes. … Read More
I’ve put the phrase “Spiritual Practice” in my blog title, but it may not be clear to many readers what that means. A spiritual practice is something you do with the body, with speech or with thought that evokes or develops the spiritual in us. The most common spiritual practice in the West is prayer. Other familiar spiritual practices are singing hymns, reciting a mantra (or saying a rosary), bowing, and meditation.
Gratitude is this moment. Or as my Buddhist teacher Shunyu Suzuki liked to say, “That you are here is the ultimate fact.” But wait. What do we mean, Gratitude is this moment? We might more naturally want to say something like, “Gratitude is to appreciate this moment.” But somehow when I started writing this post, “Gratitude is this moment” is what came out. Just that we are here is something to be grateful for, even before we are grateful for anything else.
Flexibility is an important key to healthy aging. A recent 77 year old reader recently commented about growing older, “The first thing that comes to mind is that barriers began to weaken and crumble. I am willing to think in new directions, to be open to new ideas, to be less defensive about what I consider to be right or wrong.” In other words, he was flexible.
When I asked a psychiatrist friend recently what he noticed about his clients around issues of aging, he replied that flexibility seemed to be the key to aging well. … Read More