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Community for Conscious Aging
Lunch & Learn Gallery
Here you can find audio recordings of past CCA Lunch & Learn events.
Join us each month and bring your lunch to an hour that always provides food for thought.
Cognitive Changes with Normal Aging
George E. Taffet
Ever notice that sometimes things take longer to mentally process than they did when you were much younger? Ever get lost going somewhere that you have been to before? Ever “blank” on someone’s name and worry that you have had more frequent “senior moments” or “brain freezes” as the years pass? Join Dr. George E. Taffet and The Jung Center's Community for Conscious Aging for this Lunch & Learn that kicks off our fall series, Hope in the Hard Conversations about Dementia and Alzheimer's, and explore the ways that the brain changes naturally as we age.
Wising Up: Perspectives and Prospects on the Science of Wisdom
How can older adults contribute to increasing wisdom in the world? To start, it might help to take a step back and explore just what "wisdom" is. Join Dr. Dilip Jeste, a leading scientific researcher, for this exploration of scientific and cultural ideas of wisdom through the ages. As Dr. Jeste says, “Most of us agree that wisdom is a complex trait. It’s not just one thing – it’s not like 'optimism' which is a single, specific trait. Wisdom is far more complex, comprised of different components.” Along with Dr. Jeste, we will bring the wisdom of aging to some of the world’s most pressing topics – such as the climate crisis, social determinants of health, digital technologies, and intergenerational relationships – and learn how, together, we can enhance our collective wisdom.
The Gifts of a Life Review: Exploring Our Lived and Unlived Life
The traditional life review is the ego's life review – the story that we consciously lived. But we know that the personal unconscious, or Shadow, carries its own stories. Join Connie Zweig and discover how to add the dimension of the Shadow to a life review, and to bring a deeper perspective to this practice. We will explore the many ways of connecting what we've expressed in our individual life with what was repressed and unlived. In this way, we can give a voice to our unlived life, and help it to move into conscious awareness. Through presentation and self-reflection, learn how a life review can help you discover, and maybe even reclaim, some of what was sacrificed in our pursuit of greater consciousness – lost dreams, talents, and opportunities for reconciliation and healing.
Tending to Our Wisdom Seeds: Awakening & Nurturing the Inner Sage
Rees Robinson and Andrea Youngdahl
We all have seeds of wisdom within us. Join us for this interactive session as we explore and nurture our seeds of individual and collective wisdom. As we travel on our aging journey, we have the opportunity to consider our wisdom through new lenses. Bring your journal, a pen, and your open heart to this multi-faceted session, with time for learning, inner work, and community connection, co-faciltated by Rees Robinson (a certified Sage-ing Leader with Sage-ing International) and Andrea Youngdal (a certified Spiritual Director throught Chaplaincy Institute).
Creating a Value-Driven Life — At Any Age!
Grab a couple of sheets of paper and a pen. Join us with a curious, open, playful heart and mind. In this fun and interactive workshop, Karen Waldman, PhD, a licensed psychologist for more than 25 years, will walk participants through thought-provoking exercises to help them not only identify their most important values, but commit to take purposeful action to create their most joyful, meaningful life ever (because it's NEVER too late)!
"Sage-ing”: Zalman Schachter-Shalomi on Conscious Aging
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi – celebrated for his work in ecumenical dialogue and Jewish Renewal – was an originator of the movement for conscious aging, and was at the forefront in defining its aims and means. After a brief account of his extraordinary life, this presentation will review his vision of “spiritual eldering,” its potential role in personal and social transformation, and its promise of a more creative and fulfilling elderhood. Tracking his application of insights from contemplative traditions and transpersonal psychology to issues of aging, we will explore his notions of the value of elderhood in mentoring, healing, and the “art of life completion.”
What I Wish You Knew About the End of Life
Psychotherapist and former hospice social worker Cassie Manley has strong feelings about the emotional and practical support people and their loved ones need at the end of life. There are some challenging and frequently unacknowledged realities inherent to the aging and dying process, as well as systemic gaps in the current US hospice system that paradoxically create additional, unnecessary suffering. Cassie will share her experiences as a hospice social worker, offer some practical things to think about, and discuss ways to prepare given these realities and challenges. Cassie's robust resource list is below the video.
How to Support an Aging Brain
Join Dr. Ann Friedman, Psychologist, and Certified Mindfulness Compassion Facilitator, in this mid-day session to learn about scientific studies on older adults using mindfulness. Studies have shown mindfulness can slow cognitive decline, improve memory retention, reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve coping skills when living with chronic illness – and even be used as an aid in pain management. Learn short practices that you might incorporate into your daily living to make each day better.
Capturing the Magic in the Moment
Discover how to be resilient in the face of death, divorce, and other significant life events, rather than letting life’s difficulties overcome us and drain our resolve. Cultivating our natural resilience helps us find a way to transform ourselves, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward our purpose in meaningful ways, even in the face of adversity. Join us for the final Lunch & Learn of 2023 - a preview of speaker Lee Coffee's upcoming workshop at The Jung Center - to learn how death can be a catalyst for personal growth and development, and to discover ways to live a more meaningful life.
Coming Home to Yourself through Kindness
While we spend most of the year coordinating, compromising, and occasionally struggling to find opportunities to be with our families and friends, for many, the holiday season is a time for coming home, and for being together in warmth and kindness. From the perspective of many mindfulness practices, kindness is a quality at the heart of our being. It is a birthright. Join Pam Lewis and the Community for Conscious Aging during Compassionate Houston's Compassion Week as we explore the power of kindness, its benefits to our relationships and the world around us, as well as to our own personal health and well-being. Discover and cultivate simple, evidence-based practices to incline your mind and heart toward kindness, a state sometimes compared to bringing a musical instrument into tune, or to returning to your home within.
Practicing Peace in Divisive Times
Ginger Clarkson, Community Dharma Leader of Insight Meditation Houston, speaks about “Practicing Peace in Divisive Times” and leads a guided meditation. Drawing on teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the recently deceased Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, the presentation will focus on the cultivation of inner peace. There will be a period for discussion about applying these teachings to challenging situations such as the upcoming midterm congressional elections.
How Love Changes through the Lifespan
Loving is an essential act of fully-human being. Join psychologist Michael Winters for this preview of his fall course, "I Love, Therefore I Am: Love as a Primary Condition of Being Human". In this Lunch & Learn, we'll explore the nature of love and humanness, and the ways that love changes as we age. Discover different perspectives on the nature of connection, the meaning of love and life, the ways we live our love out into the world, and the positive effects that loving can have on our psyches. Let's kick off the fall with some love!
The Afternoon of Life and Conscious Aging
CCA Steering Committee
What is the Community for Conscious Aging? What is conscious aging? Our mission is to develop and sustain an inclusive community in Houston committed to mutual support and connectedness so that we can live intentionally with vitality and purpose as we age. Join current and former CCA steering committee members as they discuss what conscious aging means to them, how the community came about, and what can be ahead for CCA.
Accepting Mortality: What Matters Most
Can we prepare for death? To some degree, we can plan for the material effects of the dying process, through living wills, inheritance plans, prepaid mortuary services, and other tools. When it comes to the soul, however, we struggle mightily to hold death in our awareness - individually and as a society. In this conversation, we will explore the contemporary social vacuum around death and dying, and wonder, with Jung, what might be possible if we understand death as the goal of life.
Hanging by a Thread
Life hangs on a narrative thread. This thread is a braid of stories that define who we are, what the world is like, and how we make our way. In this interactive seminar, Christina Baldwin, co-founder of The Circle Way, and author of Storycatcher, will speak to her decades of work on the power and practice of story and its capacity to make meaning of life’s raw experiences. She believes personal narrative is the foundation for resilience and engagement in these times and that, as we “stand in our own stories,” we discover our place in a larger narrative.
Pilgrimage and Poignancy: Aging as a Journey to Self
Aging with intention is a creative and courageous act – a path to wholeness – and makes artists of us all when it calls us to find and express our inner beauty, and to imagine life beyond our perceived limits. Carl Jung addressed the psychology of the second half of life, and many later thinkers and writers after him have offered additional models – and questions. In our time together, we will explore and apply some of these lessons to the challenges and opportunities of our own conscious aging journeys. The paths of growth in elderhood are laden with new joys and new burdens and, above all, new opportunities that could not have presented themselves in what for many of us was the busyness of our mid-life years.
From Spiritual Aging, through Conscious Aging, to Soulful Aging
Dr. Andy Achenbaum explores spiritual development and aging for February’s Lunch & Learn. "I have spent forty years of contemplative meditating, the last two decades of writing and conversing about the connections between spiritual development and growing older,” says Dr. Andy Achenbaum about this talk to the Community for Conscious Aging. "As I am turning 75 on Texas Independence Day, it seems a good time for us to share a Lunch-and-Learn meal reflecting on the various ways our ideas evolve. Mine has grown less heady, increasingly heartfelt and soulful.”
Blowing in the Wind: Music that Matters
Music has a way of acting like a beloved companion, supporting us when we are challenged by the suffering within our lives. Music may also act as a thorn in our side, reminding us of moments that we would rather forget. It is a time machine, a warm blanket, a good friend, a bad reminder, or the symbol of a cultural movement. Whatever it is to you, you have some kind of meaningful relationship with music. In this lunch-time presentation we will explore how music matters through a brief lecture on aspects of music that may surprise you, and we will also hear a few songs performed by Dr. John Price, both a psychotherapist and a musician, who will guide us into a process wherein each participant may work with meaningful psychological material through a selection of songs and a discussion about what matters most. I bet we find music that matters to you.
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