The process of aging is
not a smooth, continuous trajectory from youth to old age. It happens in several distinct, identifiable
steps or stages. These stages are
actually demarcated by significant life events—the last child leaving home, a promotion,
retirement—but colloquially and emotionally we tend to think of aging’s stages
as decades: our fifties, the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, and
beyond. A birthday with a zero—my God,
I’m fifty!—is a major, often bittersweet, signpost. While everyone’s path of aging is unique,
each decade has characteristics common to most people in them.
In my book-in-process Men Aging Well, I have … Read More
My upcoming book MEN AGING WELL springs from two premises: first, that men and women experience aging differently, and second, that to understand men’s aging we need to ask the question, “What does it mean to be a man?” Men aging today—those fifty and over—were raised at a time when boys were socialized according to traditional gender roles. There were certain catch phrases—taunts even—that boys heard constantly. I certainly did.
“Boys don’t cry.”
“Don’t be a sissy.”
One of the salient dramas in today’s society is a questioning and re-envisioning of gender roles, at the same time that … Read More
In connection with my upcoming book MEN AGING WELL I have created a contemplative inquiry which I call Every Breath, New Chances as a way for men (or women) to move beneath the surface of thinking about aging to the “subterranean river” of emotion and intuition where the deeper changes and transformations of growing older actually happen. The name of the inquiry, “Every Breath, New Chances” points out that while we may imagine that our waking self is a fixed, static entity, in reality we are changing all the time. Every breath is a chance to re-invent ourselves anew. This … Read More
My previous book on aging, AGING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE, was published 6 years ago and approached aging as the spiritual culmination of our whole life’s journey. The book addressed aging from a Buddhist point of view, and each of its chapters concluded with a “contemplative exercise” drawn from my experience as a Buddhist meditation teacher. Some of these exercises are available on MY WEBSITE as audio or video teachings, and in these blogs I will sometimes refer to them.
EVERY BREATH, NEW CHANCES, my new book on aging, is focused on men’s aging issues. Its approach is … Read More
I am most pleased to announce that my new book on Men and Aging, tentatively titled Every Breath, New Chances: A Guide to Aging for Men will be published in 2020 by North Atlantic Books. This book follows on my award-winning title Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser, published six years ago. That book was a first-of-genre approach to aging from a spiritual perspective, drawing on my many years as a Buddhist meditation teacher. In researching Aging as a Spiritual Practice, I discovered that men and women tend to experience aging differently, and … Read More