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Conscious Aging Resources
Hear from participants in the Conscious Aging program.
Aging invites changes in worldview as people encounter the challenges and opportunities of growing older, progressing through developmental stages that connect to body, mind, society and spirit. As people age, worldviews can become more rigid, constricted, suspicious, or fearful in response to the challenges of retirement, friends and loved ones becoming ill or dying, cognitive decline, and societal undervaluing of elders. However, these experiences—along with the rewards of often having more time and freedom to interact with family and grandchildren, contribute to society, and engage in contemplation and reflection—can also lead to an expanded sense of self and the world. Bringing explicit awareness during aging to how one’s worldview changes and influences perceptions and actions can enhance personal and social experiences and behaviors and lead to a stance of radical acceptance toward death and dying. Based on a series of qualitative and quantitative studies on worldview transformation in the context of aging, we explore in this paper the ways that conscious inquiry can inform our experiences of aging, our models of what happens when we die, and our understanding of the way these beliefs impact how we live. We also outline a curriculum designed to help expand awareness of conscious aging and facilitate a supportive atmosphere for exploration and mutual discovery.
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Article: A Curriculum for Conscious Agingby Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, PhD, Cassandra Vieten, PhD, and Kathleen Erickson-Freeman
For decades, the Institute of Noetic Sciences has conducted research, created educational programs, and engaged the consciousness community in conversations on transformations in consciousness. In 1997, a multidisciplinary team of researchers initiated a series of studies on the process of worldview transformation. The goal has been to understand the process by which people experience fundamental shifts in perception that alter how they view and interact with themselves and the world around them. In particular, our team investigated factors that facilitate the kind of worldview transformations that result in people’s increased sense of purpose, meaning, and prosocial behavior. Through this research, we identified a naturalistic model of worldview transformation. We published our findings at length in the book Living Deeply.
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Teleseminar: Conscious Aging Teleseminar Series
From February through May, 2011, IONS featured a series of monthly teleseminars with thought leaders who offer a new vision for aging. This series includes the latest research on how our brains age and change over time, psychological and emotional tools for mastering this stage in our lives, and spiritual insights into the aging process. These interviews are hosted by Kathleen Erickson-Freeman, Elder Education and Planned Giving Program Manager — Institute of Noetic Sciences.
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