Deepak Chopra – How to defeat Aging ?

Published on Aug 16, 2016

Deepak Chopra is an Indian American public speaker, and writer on Ayurveda,
spirituality and mind-body medicine. Chopra began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine. Chopra was a top assistant to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before launching his own career in the late 1980s by publishing self-help books on New Age spirituality and alternative medicine.

Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being by Christiane Northrup M.D. (Author)

Though we talk about wanting to “age gracefully,” the truth is that when it comes to getting older, we’re programmed to dread an inevitable decline: in our health, our looks, our sexual relationships, even the pleasure we take in living life. But as Christiane Northrup, M.D., shows us in this New York Times best-selling guide, we have it in us to make growing older an entirely different experience, both for our bodies and for our souls.
In chapters that blend personal stories and practical exercises with the latest research on health and aging, Dr. Northrup lays out the principles of ageless living, from rejecting processed foods to releasing stuck emotions, from embracing our sensuality to connecting deeply with our Divine Source. Explaining that the state of our health is dictated far more by our beliefs than by our biology, she works to shift our perceptions about getting older and show us what we are entitled to expect from our later years—no matter what our culture tries to teach us to the contrary—including:
· Vibrant good health
· A fulfilling sex life
· The capacity to love without losing ourselves
· The ability to move our bodies with ease and pleasure
· Clarity and authenticity in all our relationships—especially the one we have with ourselves

“Taking all the right supplements and pills, or getting the right procedure done, isn’t the prescription for anti-aging,” Dr. Northrup explains. “Agelessness is all about vitality, the creative force that gives birth to new life.” Goddesses Never Age is filled with tools and inspiration for bringing vitality and vibrancy into your own ageless years—and it all comes together in Dr. Northrup’s 14-day Ageless Goddess Program, your personal prescription for creating a healthful, soulful, joyful new way of being at any stage of life.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., board-certified ob/gyn, former assistant clinical professor of ob/gyn at Maine Medical Center, New York Times best-selling author, is a visionary pioneer and the foremost authority on everything that can go right with the female body! Dr. Northrup is a leading proponent of medicine that acknowledges the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit; internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health and wellness, she teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life. Dr. Northrup stays in touch with her large community worldwide through her Internet radio show Flourish!, Facebook, Twitter, her monthly e-letter, and her website.


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Goddesses Never Age Secrets from Dr. Northrup

Published on Feb 4, 2015

Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well- Being, by Dr. Christiane Northrup

Decline, decay, and deterioration are NOT inevitable. Your path towards radiance starts with Dr. Northrup’s expert guidance in Goddesses Never Age. This is your time, your chance to tap into the ageless inner divinity inside of you to live joyfully, healthfully and radiantly…until your last breath. You have all the power – and with Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being, you’ll discover a whole new way of living – of embracing every moment you have and living fully and vibrantly – no matter your age! New discoveries in science and psychology unhinge the long-held societal beliefs about aging as an automatic deterioration of body and mind.

With Dr. Northrup’s newest book, you’ll have the tools, thoughts, research and the steps to live a long, healthy life. A trusted pioneer in women’s health and wellness, Dr. Northrup shares her years of front-line experience in what it really means to be healthy and joyful. You’ll see that getting older is inevitable, but aging is optional. You can have a thriving sex and social life, pursue creative endeavors and relish in the pleasures of getting older. Each year is an opportunity to increase your value and confidence as you move with zest through time. Goddesses Never Age is a refreshing, necessary and pivotal book about living fully in your power, in your body and in your spirit. Living this way feels so good! Discover how you too can feel this good with Goddesses Never Age, available where books are sold.

Why consciousness matters in aging: Kathleen Erickson Forder

Published on Jan 4, 2016

IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator Intensive – 2015

The Spirituality of Age :A Seeker’s Guide to Growing Older By Robert L. Weber and Carol Orsborn

A compassionate guide for transforming aging into spiritual growth

• Engage with 25 key questions guiding you to mine previously untapped veins of inspiration and courage

• Find a constructive role for regret and fear and embrace the freedom to become more fully yourself

• Draw from both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions and the latest research in psychological and religious theory to cultivate your spiritual potential

As we enter the years beyond midlife, our quest for an approach to aging takes on added urgency and becomes even more relevant in our daily lives. Empowering a new generation of seekers to view aging as a spiritual path, authors Robert Weber and Carol Orsborn reveal that it is by engaging with the difficult questions about loss, meaning, and mortality–questions we can no longer put off or ignore–that we continue to grow. In fact, the realization of our full spiritual potential comes about not by avoiding the challenges aging brings our way but by working through them.

Addressing head-on how to make the transition from fears about aging into a fuller, richer appreciation of the next phase of our lives, the authors guide you through 25 key questions that can help you embrace the shadow side of aging as well as the spiritual opportunities inherent in growing older. Sharing their stories and wisdom to both teach and demonstrate what it means to feel energized about the possibilities of your later years, they explore how to find a constructive role for regret, shame, and guilt, realize your value to society, and embrace the freedom of your later years to become more fully yourself.

Coming from Catholic Jesuit and Jewish backgrounds respectively, as well as drawing from the latest research in psychological and religious theory, Weber and Orsborn provide their own conversational and candid answers to the 25 key questions, supporting their insightful and compassionate guidance with anecdotes, inspirational readings, and spiritual exercises. By engaging deeply with both the shadow and light sides of aging, our spirits not only learn to cope–but also to soar.

Robert L. Weber, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a former Jesuit. Recipient of the American Society on Aging’s 2014 Religion, Spirituality, and Aging Award, he is an advisory board member for the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology’s Center for Psychotherapy and Spirituality. He lives with his wife in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., is founder and editor-in-chief of Fierce with Age: The Digest of Boomer Wisdom, Inspiration, and Spirituality. The author of more than 20 books for and about the Boomer generation as well as popular blogs on Huffington Post, PBS’s, and, she has served on the faculties of Georgetown University, Loyola Marymount University, and Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband in Madison, Tennessee.


Spirituality of Age: A Conversation with the Co-authors

The Spirituality of Age: A Seeker’s Guide to Growing Older by Robert L. Weber, Ph.D and Carol Orsborn, Ph.D Pub date: Novenber 2015 by Bear & Company Publishing.

What is the Relationship Between Spirituality and Aging? | Carol Orsborne | Sixty and Me Show

How are spirituality and aging related? Spirituality is not just a tool for addressing the challenges of aging. It is a key to reaching our potential at any age. This is the view of Carol Orsborn, who has written 21 books and dedicated her life to helping boomers to find meaning and purpose in their lives. In our conversation, we explore how developing a spiritual perspective can help us on our path to reinvention after 60. If you have ever found yourself dwelling on an evolving sense of spirituality in your life and want to understand how to use that perspective in your everyday life, this interview is for you!

Scientists May Have Isolated The Secret To Staying Healthy Past Age 100

A new study identifies a vital trait to living for (at least) a century.

By Carolyn Gregoire

What’s the secret of people who live vibrant, healthy lives well beyond the age of 100?

Low levels of inflammation — the long-term overactivation of the immune response — may be the answer, suggests a new study of centenarians from researchers in England and Japan. People with lower markers of chronic inflammation also tend to be less likely to develop diseases, meaning suppressing inflammation could be the No. 1 key to not only living longer but to staying healthy longer.

“Centenarians and supercentenarians are different — put simply, they age slower,” Dr. Thomas von Zglinicki, a cellular gerontologist at Newcastle University and the study’s lead author, said in a written statement. “They can ward off diseases for much longer than the general population.”

Dr. Cheri Gostic, a geriatric specialist at Stony Brook University who has studied the effects of physical activity on inflammation, said the findings, which were published online last week in the journal EBioMedicine, weren’t entirely surprising.

“Research has demonstrated that chronic systemic inflammation is a key factor in the development of many common chronic diseases, including … heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease and most strokes,” Gostic told The Huffington Post. “Old age does not cause death; disease does. If one can minimize inflammation in the body and reduce the risk or progression of disease, then it makes sense that individuals have a better chance to live longer.”

In addition to low levels of inflammation, healthy centenarians and supercentenarians (people over 110 years old) also had longer telomeres, which are the caps on the end of DNA strands that protect the chromosomes from aging and poor health.

Telomere length has generally been thought to be the strongest predictor of how healthy someone will be in their old age. However, the researchers found that once a person reaches 100, inflammation levels rather than telomere length better predict successful aging and cognitive ability.

The Inflammation Factor

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 1,500 adults between the ages of 50 and 115 years old, including 684centenarians or supercentenarians and 167 children of centenarians. They measured for various health markers thought to contribute to aging, including metabolism, blood cell count, telomere length, inflammation, and liver and kidney function.

Here are some of the key findings:

Even when they were well into their 80s and beyond, the children of centenarians (who are likely to become centenarians themselves) maintained telomeres more typical of a 60-year-old.
Centenarians with the lowest levels of markers for chronic inflammation were able to maintain good cognition and independence for the longest periods of time. Those with less inflammation also experienced the greatest longevity.
Inflammation was a stronger predictor of cognitive capacity in semi-supercentenarians (those who lived to be 105) than gender or biological age.

Researchers also found that the children of centenarians tended to have lower markers of chronic inflammation, meaning your chances of living a long, healthy life are to some extent genetic.

“This indicates that someone who will (probably) become a centenarian is able to keep inflammation down for longer,” von Zglinicki told HuffPost.

Scientists have long known that inflammation plays some role in disease and aging, and a study on mice found that inflammation can even accelerate the aging process. The new findings provide further evidence that chronic inflammation may be the most important factor determining how quickly or slowly we age.

Making It To 100

Reaching a better scientific understanding of how centenarians achieve such extreme longevity — and how inflammation factors into the aging process — may help the rest of us to live longer and healthier.

Hoping to join the 100 club? Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is a good place to start. Eating a diet of whole foods, exercising and cultivating positive emotions — not to mention avoiding excessive consumption of sugar and processed foods, stress and sleep deprivation — can keep chronic inflammation at bay.

“Control inflammatory status regularly and keep it down,” von Zglinicki advised. “This should slow down the aging process and thus might postpone onset of multiple age-related diseases, potentially including dementia.”

While current anti-inflammatory drugs are not safe for long-term use because of their side effects, the findings may open up avenues for research devising safer anti-inflammatory drugs to improve quality of life among older people.

Source: Huffington Post

The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older ~ Kathleen Dowling Singh

Pub Date Aug 5 2014

Learn to use your later years for awakening and spiritual growth.

Encouraging, inspiring, and practical, The Grace in Aging invites all those who have ever experienced spiritual longing to awaken in their twilight years. Since aging, in and of itself, does not lead to spiritual maturity, The Grace in Aging suggests and explores causes and conditions that we can create in our lives, just as we are living them, to allow awakening to unfold—transforming the predictable sufferings of aging into profound opportunities for growth in clarity, love, compassion, and peace.

Kathleen Dowling Singh streamlines vast and complex teachings into skillful means and wise views. Straightforward language and piercing questions bring Singh’s teachings into the sharp focus of our own lives; the contemplative nature of each chapter allows for an uncommon depth of inquiry. Examples from our lives and from the chatter in our own minds touch the reader personally, offering the chance to absorb the implications deeply and do the work of freeing his or her own mind. Ecumenical in spirit, tone, and language, Singh offers wisdom from teachers from a variety of spiritual backgrounds: Chogyam Trungpa, the Apostles, Annie Dillard, and more. Lessening our attachments, decreasing our aversions, unbinding what binds us, we bear witness to the possibility of awakening for all beings.

Kathleen Dowling Singh is a Dharma practitioner, psychotherapist, and in-demand speaker and teacher. She is the author of The Grace in Dying: How We Are Transformed Spiritually As We Die. A mother and grandmother, she is old enough to be eligible for Medicare. Kathleen lives in Sarasota, FL.

The Grace in Aging offers guidelines for older individuals of any wisdom tradition who wish to awaken before they die; no need for caves or seven-year retreats. This is spiritual practice for the lives we live.

Kathleen Dowling Singh ~ The Grace in Aging Awaken as You Grow Older Ebook download

C. G. Jung and Aging: Possibilities and Potentials for the Second Half of Life – by Leslie Sawin (Editor), Lionel Corbett (Editor), Michael Carbine (Editor)

Aging-what it is and how it happens-is one of today’s most pressing topics. Most people are either curious or concerned about growing older and how to do it successfully. We need to better understand how to navigate the second half of life in ways that are productive and satisfying, and Jungian psychology, with its focus on the discovery of meaning and continuous development of the personality is especially helpful for addressing the concerns of aging. In March 2012, the Library of Congress and the Jung Society of Washington convened the first Jung and Aging Symposium. Sponsored by the AARP Foundation, the symposium brought together depth psychologists and specialists in gerontology and spirituality to explore the second half of life in light of current best practices in the field of aging. This volume presents the results of the day’s discussion, with supplementary perspectives from additional experts, and suggests some practical tools for optimizing the second half of life.

About the Editors:
Leslie Sawin, M.S., is co-program director at the Jung Society of Washington, focusing on community based efforts to bring Jungian ideas to the general public. She has a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and is currently in the Jungian Studies Program at Saybrook University.

Lionel Corbett, M.D., a Jungian analyst and a core faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute, is interested in the religious function of the psyche and the development of psychotherapy as a spiritual practice. He is the author of Psyche and the Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Religion, The Religious Function of the Psyche, and The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice.

Michael Carbine, M.A., has a master’s degree in religion and psychology from the University of Chicago Divinity School and writes on aging issues with a special interest in the application of Jungian ideas to aging services.

Jung & Aging: Bringing to Life the Possibilities & Potentials for Vital Aging (1)

An exploration of the work of the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) and its meaning to an aging population. “Jung and Aging” is moderated by Aryeh Maidenbaum, a Jungian analyst and director of the New York Center for Jungian Studies. Dr. Lionel Corbett, a faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif., delivers the plenary address in which he discusses Jungian contributions to psychological development in later life. Two panels of experts discuss the psychological and gerontological applications of these contributions. A third panel addresses the role of spirituality in the second half of life. Speakers include Roberta Shaffer, Jo Ann Jenkins, Ermina Scarcella, Aryeh Maidenbaum, Lionel Corbett and Margaret Wilkinson.

For captions, transcript, and more information visit….

Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life by Dr. Dr. Bill Thomas

How do you know that you are outgrowing adulthood?

When you begin to feel that the life you have been living is out of balance; when the need to perform, to hurry, and to acquire is no longer compelling. It’s like the moment when your favorite tennis shoes start to give you blisters. The way you’ve been living your adult life doesn’t fulfill you anymore.

In this groundbreaking book, one of the most innovative thinkers in medicine explains how to recognize and navigate the most challenging and fulfilling developmental stage of life.

When the postwar generation came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, they jump started a cultural revolution that shaped today’s society. Now, many feel they are living a life of frenzied disharmony, driven by the need to perform, to hurry, and to acquire. This out-of-balance feeling is a signal that the postwar generation is facing a second coming of age, a life beyond adulthood. How it handles that transition will be its final legacy.

In Second Wind, Dr. Bill Thomas, named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten Americans shaping aging, treats the Baby Boom generation as he would one of his patients, sympathetically exploring its history before recommending a path toward healing and a life rich with developmental opportunity.

Dr. Thomas says that life can and should be reimagined. New ways of living and working are waiting to be discovered on the far side of adulthood. Predicting that Boomers will choose the path of the Denialist, the Realist, or the Enthusiast, he discusses the behaviors and mindsets that will provide new and more nourishing fuel for the rest of life’s journey: hope and a renewed sense of all that is possible.

Dr. Bill Thomas, MD, is an internationally recognized expert on aging. He co-created the Eden Alternative and the Green House Project, both models to revolutionize nursing home care. He is currently the director of AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute and lives in Ithaca, New York.

Click here to browse inside.

TEDxSF – Bill Thomas – Elderhood Rising: The Dawn of a New World Age

William H. Thomas, M.D. is an international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. A graduate of Harvard Medical School in 1986, he completed graduate medical training at the Highland Hospital/University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency.

While pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine, a part-time position as the medical director of a small rural nursing home turned into a full-time and life-long passion for improving the well-being of older people. In the early 1990’s, he and his wife Judith Meyers-Thomas developed the Eden Alternative, now a non-profit organization with international reach, which includes affiliates in Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom, and across the United States. Dr. Thomas’ groundbreaking work in person-directed care also led him to imagine a new approach to long-term care that became known as the Green House. He oversaw the construction of the nation’s first Green Houses, and this model of care is now being replicated nationwide as an alternative to traditionally-designed nursing homes.

The author of six books, Dr. Thomas is also the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, among them, the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, 2009 Picker Award for Excellence® in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care, and being named as one of the ten most influential people in long-term care.

The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty ~ Michael Gurian

Bestselling author and counselor Michael Gurian offers a comprehensive look at the emotional, spiritual, and cognitive dimensions of aging—and how to celebrate life after fifty.

Called “the people’s philosopher” for his ability to apply scientific ideas to our ordinary lives, Michael Gurian, bestselling author of The Wonder of Boys, sees life after fifty as an enormously fruitful, exciting, and fulfilling time. Drawing on scientific research as well as anecdotes that respond to the needs of his many clients, he goes beyond the physical-centered view of aging and presents a new, holistic paradigm embracing opportunities that come with life after fifty.

The Wonder of Aging focuses on the physical, mental, relational, and spiritual aspects of aging, discussing topics such as sex, how men and women age differently, the effects of aging on the brain, and what to expect in the last chapter of life. The book divides life after fifty into three stages:

1. the Age of Transformation, from our late forties to sixty;

2. the Age of Distinction, from sixty to seventy-five; and

3. the Age of Completion, which involves completing one’s life journey.

In addition, this essential guide provides meditations and exercises to help you map out the aging process and is rich with case histories from Gurian’s research and experience as a therapist.

Written with Gurian’s contagiously optimistic outlook on life, The Wonder of Aging provides a full, constructive, and comforting roadmap to what to expect—and how to celebrate—the second half of your life.

Michael Gurian is a social philosopher, certified mental health counselor in private practice, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five books. He co-founded the Gurian Institute in 1996 and frequently speaks at and consults with corporations, physicians, hospitals, schools, and other professionals. Michael has taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University. He lives with his wife Gail in Spokane, Washington.
The Wonder of Aging will be released on June 18, 2013 in Hardcover, eBook

Interview with Michael Gurian
The Wonder of Children
Michael Gurian


Q: The writing of The Wonder of Children came about in an interesting way. Would you share some of your personal story with us?

A: The book begins with the story of my family’s visit to Great Grandma Laura, who is ninety-six and lives in a nursing home in Blair, Nebraska. Of the many visits there, this particular one inspired Gabrielle and Davita to ask me questions about the soul—what is it, where does it go after death, how do we know we have a soul? In trying to answer their questions, I had a realization, one that perhaps became possible because of my twenty years’ researching both neural science and world religions, but I think became real by mysterious epiphany. Quite literally, I had a vision. It was like seeing into the point where neural science and religion meet. If it wanted to be an abstract vision in the back of my mind, it was forced to be concrete by the very literal questions of children. The Wonder of Children is a six-chapter book that develops six sides of this vision. The vision is based, quite simply, in the realization that we now have the technology to prove the existence of the human soul.

Q: What is that proof?

A: In brief, the proof involves what we know about light—its composition, its form, and its substance. Our new neural technologies allow us to track light as it moves in the human brain and body. Religions have told us for millennia that there is a light that cannot burn out and each of us participates in it—each of our souls is this light. The neural sciences, depicted in The Wonder of Children, can now prove what religions (and our own intuitions) have always asserted. For the proof of the soul to make sense, I needed not only to show what all the world religions have asserted (and ALL of them say the same thing about soul and light), as well as show the confirmation in neural science, but also I had to specifically prove the existence of the soul in children, for it is in the child that the actual physio-spiritual growth of the soul is most clear, and is most demanding of our helpful attention. One amazing thing that happened as I developed the proof of the soul was that I stumbled on a proof for this idea, too: that the soul and body are not split, as we’ve been taught, but united.

Q: Why is it important to understand the unity of soul and body?

A: Especially in the lives of children it is crucial. We live in a time of increasingly visible cases of child abuse, child sexual abuse, child abandonment and neglect, lack of attachment to children, unsupervised children, child abductions and rapes, children at risk. The human community and individual people are more likely to hurt or under nourish children they think of as “bodies” to be used. Cultures and people are more likely to raise children to be mere economic interns rather than fully developed humans if they see children as “bodies” to be forced into certain economic and social molds. If the soul of the child is unrealized, the child is “just a kid.” If, however, there is no split of body and soul, then the child is soul, through and through. The child is the light of God (both in religion and in science), incontrovertibly the most important asset in the universe. When soul and body are split in our consciousness, we end up acting without full understanding of the real asset a child is.

Q: How do religion and science, which have historically been seen as oppositional to each other, actually teach us this same thing about the soul?

A: Just as we’ve lived for a few thousand years in a soul/body split kind of thinking, we’ve also lived for about five hundred years in a religion/science split. But religion and science, in The Wonder of Children, intersect completely. They both prove the same thing about soul—that soul is as much material as it is ethereal. When we see their point of intersection, we move to a new stage of human consciousness. For instance, we understand that the soul is not a kind of phantom light that gets shoved into the body at conception or birth and then shoots out of the body at death; we discover that the soul actually grows and changes during a lifetime. Both religion and science have hinted at this for centuries, but now, at their point of intersection, we can prove it.

Q: Does this idea of the soul growing and development during a lifetime follow current child development theory, or are you saying something else?

A: Much of child-development theory, championed from various sources such as Freud, Adler, Montessori, Piaget, and Kohlberg, fits very well with the idea of soul development. Yet the idea goes even farther, because it connects the development of the soul with the whole history of human religion, as well. So, for instance, where Kohlberg talks about six stages of moral development for children, The Wonder of Children adds the idea that there are stages of spiritual development. Where Freud talks about psychology growing from development stages in a child’s relationship with the mother and father, The Wonder of Children suggests that stages of development in a child’s relationship with God and Self are just as operational. God, known of course by many names, the infinite evolutionary energy of the universes, is the child; the child is God. As a child develops, God is developing. We are caring for not only the psychological development of children, but also the neurospiritual development of God.

Q: Your final chapter concerns the idea that God is child. What do you mean by that? And how would you respond to people who say, “But there is evil in some people, even some children; is God that, too?”

A: God is child. Soul and God are light, traceable now by technology and equipment that is changing our conception of the not only the universes but our own selves. MRI equipment can track the electromagnetic energy field of a child’s neural web, and show the workings of the 100 billion cells in the brain. Our telescopic equipment can now track the workings of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Science is increasingly showing us what God is, and the place to start noticing the proof is in the child. When we apply the sciences of genetics, neurobiology, neurochemistry and many others to our everyday lives, we discover no separation of soul and body, child and divinity, self and God. Yet, the same sciences that now take us to this place show us the neurophysiology of evil. Can evil, too, be God? The book answers this question in some detail, but one hint to give here is that God is not a transactional being: in other words, “If I pray to you, you will make my life safe and happy.” We have been laboring under a transactional attitude toward divinity. At the point where religion and science meet, there is a different God than we may have yet imagined.

Q: You mentioned the science of genetics, and you also link it in the book to the word “destiny.” What do you mean by this? Destiny is often seen negatively, not as a liberating concept but as a trap.

A: There is a great suspicion of saying that anyone, especially a child, is “the product of destiny,” or “formed by fate,” or “predestined for a certain life.” I am suspicious, too, of efforts to cage children or adults in preconceived ideas of who they are or should be. One of the great innovations of our age is that a child can have a chance, now, to grow up to be “whoever he or she wants to be.” In talking about destiny, then, I am not talking about the trap of pre-destiny. I am talking about the map of self or the divine map that each child is born with—his or her genetic coding. In The Wonder of Children we explore how the science of genetics, cross-applied to neural science, shows us on the child’s genome the divine map the child has been born with. Until very recently, we couldn’t see this map (adults presupposed and projected predestinies onto children). But now (and with increasing depth and range every month) we are mapping the genome, and learning the destiny of every child. It is formed and shaped by life, by nurturance, by experience, by environment; but the child is not a “blank slate.” The child’s divinity is provided at conception and birth by the genome. We can aid the child’s soul development even better when we understand the practical applications of the science of genetics in our own parenting, educating and policy-making.

Q: In the book, you talk not only about what happens while the soul is developing in concert with body, but you also talk about death. What happens to the soul when the body dies?

A: Every child, also, asks this question. It is one of the defining questions of childhood, then gets deferred during parts of adulthood, then reemerges during midlife, when we face growing mortality, then is encountered fully at death. So, one way we answer the question is to look at the wisdom available to us at each stage of life. There are two kinds of answers that the different stages of life tend to give us, answers echoed in both our religion and our science. The first is the idea that there is no death. The deeper we understand that soul, god, child, and person are one, the deeper we understand the truth of the idea that death is illusion. This is a more Eastern way of approaching the question. A more Western way is to say, “The soul leaves the body at death.” And while that is very true, it in no way mitigates the fact that soul and body were one physiologically during life. The soul is not “either body or soul,” it is body and soul. At death of body, the infinite energy, the light of soul is not destroyed, but continues, activating the memories and feelings of those who remain alive, still attached to the “dead soul,” and continuing into other dimensions our science has begun to penetrate, especially the sciences of after-death theory, and the physiological sciences that show us how even human hair keeps growing, minutely, beyond the time of cardiac and neural shutdown.

Q: For this book, you take wisdom and information from all the world’s religions as well as many sciences. Yet your book is also very practical. What is one practical thing you want people to do in order to better care for the soul of the child?

A: Soul development depends on attachment and bonding. Every brain and body is genetically wired to develop itself, but the full soul development of brain and body depends on each child receiving the care of between two and five completely bonded caregivers. Humans are group creatures. Our brains, our bodies, our souls need a lot of care. Our contemporary society is experimenting with the diminishing of caregivers for children. Some children are raised through crucial stages of life by only one person. This one person, who strives to give the best, may be overwhelmed, busy, trying to raise many children. And even in homes with two parents, many children are essentially alone. When we think of children as “kids,” or economic interns bred for material success, or bodies to be fed and clothed, we might not realize how many caregivers they yearn for. But when we understand our children as divine, we notice that they are teaching us to care better for our biological or adoptive families, our extended families and neighborhoods, and our institutions, such as schools. Each of us will be able to take care of nearly any problem our children develop—including disorders such as depression, anorexia, hyperactivity—through an increase in parenting, mentoring, community building, and institutional restructuring. Children who are abused or under nurtured do not become spiritually intelligent, though they will, to some extent, become adults. Lacking full spiritual intelligence, they often act destructively. If provided with not just a one- but a three-family system (this concept is fully explained in the book), they become happy and successful adults.

Q: Why is this book a natural follow-up to The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls, and why at this particular time are people so ready to receive your book’s message?

A: My books in child development have always included a great deal of both religion and science, so I think I have been inching in the direction of The Wonder of Children for much of my professional career. In a sense, it is a climactic moment for my nature-based child development theories, for I am now not only showing that human nature is a crucial (and mainly uncharted) part of contemporary child theory, education, and parenting but also that we cannot speak clearly of human nature without speaking clearly of the hidden divinity of each person.

We live in a wonderful time, one of great intellect, innovation, and free thought. My work keeps pushing the boundaries of thought and theory, and so I think it finds acceptance. One way it pushes is by being practical—by making science accessible to all of us who are, every day, working to raise children and live in service. It also pushes by putting dents in social and ideological theories that really aren’t logical, theories often based on thinly disguised personal opinions of experts, not actual science. And it pushes by asking people to care for children with all the tools available, including the spiritual tools.

We live in a time when some children are at great risk, others are very lonely, and others are being raised by incredibly busy people. All these children and their caregivers need inspiration, new ways of seeing, new practical strategies. The Wonder of Children was written to provide these things by a researcher who is first a parent and then a human being searching, like everyone, for answers to the great questions.

REGRETS OF THE DYING ~ Bronnie Ware [ Updated Jan 18, 2013 ]

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full-length book, titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed by the regrets of dying people. It may be ordered through bookstores worldwide or from Balboa Press. Details for wholesale orders may be found on Bronnie’s official website.

After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself in palliative care.

Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie’s life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for. The article, also called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year. At the requests of many, Bronnie now shares her own personal story.

Bronnie has had a colourful and diverse past, but by applying the lessons of those nearing their death to her own life, she developed an understanding that it is possible for people, if they make the right choices, to die with peace of mind. In this book, she expresses in a heartfelt retelling how significant these regrets are and how we can positively address these issues while we still have the time.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gives hope for a better world. It is a story told through sharing her inspiring and honest journey, which will leave you feeling kinder towards yourself and others, and more determined to live the life you are truly here to live. This delightful memoir is a courageous, life-changing book.

5 Regrets of the Dying with Bronnie Ware 05/13 by VonGoodwin | Blog Talk Radio

5 Regrets of the Dying with Bronnie Ware 05/13 by VonGoodwin | Blog Talk Radio.

A Season of Mystery: 10 Spiritual Practices for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life ~ Paula Huston

We live in a culture that tells us there are few things worse than aging, that we should avoid aging at all costs, and that we must shun death. And yet, no matter how much money we spend on health supplements, no matter how many gurus we consult, the fact remains unchanged: We will grow old.

In A Season of Mystery, 60-year-old Paula Huston—a grandmother, and also a caretaker for her own mother and for her in-laws—shares with readers a far more fulfilling way to approach how we live and how we think about the second half of life. Each chapter offers a spiritual practice that is particularly suited to nurturing us in ways we would never have recognized in our younger lives. For example, the practice of “listening” helps us quit superimposing our own take on every situation before we have a chance to hear and see what is truly there; the practice of “delighting” encourages us to notice and be thankful for what is small and seemingly insignificant. Each of the 10 practices serves as an antidote to the classic afflictions of old age, such as close-mindedness, complaining, and fear of change.

A Season of Mystery is not intended to be a selection of self-improvement secrets; the goal of Huston’s work is to encourage people in the second half of life to become “ordinary mystics” who are no longer bound by the world’s false ideas on aging but instead be freed by God’s grace to embrace the riches that come only with growing older.

Paula Huston, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, has published fiction and essays for more than 20 years. She is the “cement” between generations, watching her own daughter parent while watching her mother face end-of-life issues. She lives in Arroyo Grande, California.

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Paula Huston on Spiritual Practices for the Second Half of Life: Confronting

Author and spiritual director Paula Huston talks about one of the practices from her new book “A Season of Mystery: 10 Spiritual Practices for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life,” from Loyola Press

Paula Huston on Spiritual Practices for the Second Half of LIfe: Accepting

What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying ~ Dr.Karen Wyatt,0,193x302/ What Really Matters chronicles the life transformations experienced by Dr. Karen Wyatt and her patients and their family members during hospice care. This book of beautiful and uplifting stories about the lessons learned from the dying is also a guidebook for those who are feeling lost or hopeless about their lives in this contemporary world.

What Really Matters reveals how the confusing maze of the suffering and pain at the time of death can lead to the ultimate destination of meaning, purpose, and growth for both the dying and the living. Read this book-it has the power to change the way you see everything about:. the meaning of suffering. recognizing life’s priorities. letting go of limiting beliefs and past traumas. the true purpose of existence. the key to unlocking the flow of grace. transcending fear

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What Really Matters – Book Trailer.m4v This world is rapidly changing before our eyes as the planet and its societies enter a state of upheaval. Our old values of materialism and success can no longer sustain us through this crisis as we seek to discover what really matters for our lives.

“What Really Matters” is a book of stories from people at the end of life to teach us how to live and where to focus our energy. These are spiritual lessons that can help us navigate troubled times, embrace our suffering and live in the present moment. Music: “Rising” by Kevin MacLeod Photos Courtesy of NASA, US Navy, US DOE, and numerous photographers generous enough to share their work on the public domain. Thank You!

Karen M. Waytt M.D. – What Really Matters

The Three Secrets of Aging: Seeking Enlightenment in the New Aging ~ Dr. John Robinson

Updated version view HERE

The Successful Retirement Guide: Hundreds of Suggestions on How to Stay Intellectually, Socially and Physically Engaged for the Best Years of Your Life ~ R. Kevin Price

Using your mind and body, and interacting with others are keys to a happy and healthy retirement life. Yes, good genes and money help, too; but you can t pick your ancestors, and your financial situation is whatever you have made it. Successful retirees strive to live each day to the fullest, exercise their minds and bodies, and challenge themselves to continue to learn and grow personally.

The Successful Retirement Guide will assist retirees in identifying activities that will help them remain intellectually, socially and physically engaged with life whatever their financial resources. Readers will discover:

* The importance of being intellectually, socially and physically engaged during your retirement years

* Hundreds of ways to keep your mind exercised and challenged

* How to build a supportive social network while participating in fun and rewarding programs

* Numerous ways to exercise your body that are right for you without the need to join a gym or health club

* How to identify activities that will enable you to live each day to the fullest

* Prescreened books, websites and other sources of information for activities you can pursue in greater depth

* Checklists to help you select the activities that are right for you

Includes 5 Appendixes: Life Expectancy Calculators; Senior Olympics; Collectibles; Veterans Organizations; and Volunteer Considerations and Opportunities.
Successful retirement.

What makes a retirement successful . . . or not?

Financial resources? Health? Friendships? Family? A long life? Time to relax? Time to spend doing things you love? Time to spend trying new things you never had before?

Certainly all of the above factors, as well as others, have a bearing on the quality of retirement. The premise of this book is that the single most important factor in a successful retirement is the extent to which you remain intellectually, socially and physically engaged with life. This introduction explains why this is the case; and the remainder of the book gives you the opportunity to explore ways to make your retirement a successful one.

Average life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last century. For people age 65, it now averages an additional 17 years for men and 20 years for women. If you want to check out how long you might live there are several interactive online tools (see Appendix A) you can use. It can be an eye-opening experience. The author, for instance, (a 61-year-old male in reasonable health), is projected to live until 92. That means I have many years during which I may not be in the traditional workforce. Assuming your life expectancy is not dissimilar to mine, what are you and I going to do with all this time?

To maintain mental/cognitive well being we need to exercise our brains in new and challenging ways. Ballroom dancing, solving puzzles, learning a foreign language are all excellent activities. And it is important to note that research proves that you can continue to learn and develop at any age and stage of life. Don t believe that ancient adage: You can t teach an old dog new tricks, because you can. It may take a little longer, the teaching techniques might need to be modified, but the boom in life-long learning programs and the continuing appeal of Elderhostel all demonstrate the appetite for new and challenging learning opportunities for the mature adult.

A plethora of research demonstrates that to maintain physical well being we need to exercise and live a healthy life. (Have you checked your life expectancy yet?) You can also learn about the physical aging process what is normal and what isn t. It s surprising how little most of us know about what to expect as we age and what we can do to offset age-related declines…

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Kevin Price grew up in Stamford, CT and graduated from St Basil’s Preparatory School, Manhattan College and the University Of Connecticut School Of Law.

He worked more than 30 years in the financial services industry holding a variety of positions in group insurance, human resources, claim services and corporate administration. His final position was Senior Vice
President and Corporate Secretary at HSB Group from which he retired in 2002 at age 55 following the acquisition of HSB by another company.

He enjoys being physically and intellectually active, and in particular, educational travel, sailing, yoga, guitar, and studying architecture, art, religion, history, music theory, geology, meteorology and Italian. In retirement he set out to discover what it means to be successfully retired. The result is his book: The Successful Retirement Guide.

Kevin and his wife Barbara have two grown (and on their own) sons, two grandchildren, and, with their golden retriever Rufus, live in West Hartford, CT and Falmouth, MA.

Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age ~ A Talk with authors Michael J. Gelb and Kelly Howell

Who are your role models for aging? What are your expectations and attitudes about the progress of your mind as you get older? Do you expect your memory to be better or worse in ten or twenty years? How about your sex life? What are your fears, concerns, and worries about getting older? Are you hoping that someone will develop the mental equivalent of Viagra?

In the last thirty years, the scientific evidence supporting the notion that your mind can improve through the years has become overwhelming. Clearly, the question is no longer whether your mind can improve with age but, rather, how you can optimize your mental powers as you get older.

This book presents practical, evidence-based wisdom to help you answer this question. You’ll learn new skills to increase memory, intelligence, creativity, and concentration. And you’ll cultivate greater confidence and healthy optimism as you discover how to improve your mind as you age.

Michael Gelb

Is it really possible to improve your mind as you age? Doesn’t memory deteriorate as we grow older?

Yes, it’s possible to improve your mind as you age. Memory can, of course, deteriorate as we grow older, if we neglect it. The good news is that there are simple practices that the average person can do to prevent deterioration and actually improve with age. Brain Power is a guide to these simple practices.

You share that the paradigm has shifted in relation to age and the mind. Please explain.

Most of us were raised with faulty ideas about our mental capacity — such as the notion that IQ is fixed at age five, that brain cells degrade yearly after age thirty, and that memory and learning ability inevitably decline with age. These notions, based on the scientific understanding that was prevalent in the 1950s, are myths — dangerous myths that can stifle our ability to flourish in the second half of life.

Just as Copernicus overturned the myth that the earth was at the center of the universe, so contemporary neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the potential to improve mental functioning as we age. We now know that mental abilities, including memory, are designed to improve throughout life. Neuroscientists call this neuroplasticity.

The brain is not, as was once thought, a compartmentalized, hardwired, static machine whose parts eventually wear out. Instead, it is a highly adaptable and dynamic organ, capable of generating new neurons and improving as we get older. People of average intelligence can, with appropriate training, raise their IQ, enhance their memory, and sharpen their intelligence throughout life.

What role does optimism play in longevity? Do cultural and environmental stimuli influence brain function?

According to a long-term study by Dr. Becca Levy people with an optimistic attitude toward aging outlive those with a pessimistic attitude by an average of more than 7 years. It’s easier to be an optimist when you know that the brain is designed to improve with use!

Our brain function is influenced by cultural, environmental and, of course, genetic factors. And, we can, by cultivating a positive, intelligent attitude toward aging, make the most of our genetic, cultural and environmental circumstances.

What are the most powerful techniques to improve memory as we age?

Maintaining a positive attitude about your memory
is the first step. When people believe that their memory is fading, they don’t bother trying to concentrate on registering new information, thus fulfilling their negative expectation. All memory techniques (aka mnemonics) are based on strengthening associations, so focus on connecting new information to something you already know. I also strongly recommend “Mind Mapping” (developed by Tony Buzan, author of the foreword to Brain Power) a technique for strengthening memory and creativity simultaneously.

What are the worst mental habits to eliminate immediately?

The worst mental habits are those that create and reinforce patterns of anxiety, fear and stress. That’s why, in addition to the chapter on how to cultivate freedom from stress, this book comes with a free download of the remarkable Brain Sync audio program that effortlessly guides you to experience brain wave states associated with deep rest and relaxation.

What are the most detrimental phrases to eliminate from internal and external conversations?

The way you speak can reinforce or transform negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging. Be wary of conversations that focus on commiseration (literally “to be miserable together”). If you find yourself indulging in discussions that focus on how “things ain’t what they used to be,” shift to an emphasis on gratitude and appreciation.

Here are ten phrases to eliminate:
• I’m having a senior moment.
• I’m not what I used to be.
• I’m too old.
• I can’t remember anything anymore.
• My memory is going.
• Getting older stinks.
• Everything was easier when I was younger.
• I’m over the hill.
• My best days are behind me.
• Things keep getting worse as I get older.

There are so many brain boosting supplements on the market, if you were only to take a few, which ones are the most essential?

A high quality multivitamin/mineral supplement is the most important daily brain-booster along with fish oil and Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC).

Robert Lanza Interview By Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra: My special guest is Dr. Robert Lanza and his extraordinary mind, I just finished reading his book Biocentrism and I said to myself, “Finally, aha, somebody that I can totally relate to.” The book is Biocentrism it’s in the bookstores and online bookstores. I actually have it on my Kindle because I read it over and over again. Let me just tell you who Dr. Lanza is if you haven’t heard about him and you should have. Dr. Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world, he’s currently chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology and adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has hundreds of publications and inventions and over 20 scientific books. Among them Principles of Tissue Engineering which is recognized as the definite reference in the field. I could go on for a long time giving his credentials. You can just go on Wikipedia and check him out.

Dr. Robert Lanza. You know, but some among the few things that really are extraordinary, Dr. Lanza has cloned the world’s first embryo for the purpose of generating embryonic stem cells. In 2001 he was also the first to clone an endangered species (a Gaur) and in 2003, he cloned an endangered wild ox from the frozen skin cells of an animal that had died at the San Diego Zoo nearly a quarter-of-a-century earlier. So take these cells, this information from an animal that no longer exists and create a, resurrect literally an endangered species. Dr. Lanza and his colleagues were also the first to demonstrate that nuclear transplantation could be used to reverse the aging process and to generate immune-compatible tissues, including the first organ tissue engineered from cloned cells. Recently he has generated along with other colleagues something called induced pluripotent cells, so the pluripotential cells are cells that have all possibilities in them. They haven’t committed themselves to each other which is what stem cells are, but human iPS cells that Dr. Lanza created came from skin cells, never been done before, by direct delivery of proteins, this eliminating the harmful risks with genetic manipulation. But today we are going to talk to him mostly about his book and a little bit about these other contributions of his to the world of science. And we have him for the full hour which is a great privilege.

Dr. Lanza are you there sir?

RL: Yes thank you, it’s a great pleasure to join you.

DC: No, thank you for joining me and where are you right now? In Boston?

RL: Just outside of Boston in a city called Wister.

DC: Okay, you know I lived in Boston for 23 years so after my internship I did my… first I did my fellowship/residency at the Lahey Clinic and then I went on to the Deaconess and the VA and you I did… I trained endocrinology and then subsequently neuro-endocrinology so my children grew up there and then I’m so familiar. I miss Boston now.

RL: It’s a very nice city.

DC: Yes. So Dr. Lanza so many things to talk about we’ll get to your book immediately, very soon, but I think you’re on the forefront of stem cells research and just to the audience that doesn’t really understand the significance of stem cells as pluripotent cells that can be literally coaxed into becoming anything. It would be nice to hear your perspective on that.

RL: Yes. It’s a very exciting field and in fact we’ll be filing an IND with the FDA in the next few months to actually use these cells to prevent blindness. We’ve also gotten our research that was published where we show that these cells actually the same human cells we would have actually used in patients when you use them in animals you can actually cut the death rate after a heart attack in half. We could actually restore the blood flow to limbs that would otherwise would have have to be amputated to completely normal in a month.

So someday in the near future hopefully rather than having a foot or a leg amputated we’ll just give you an injection of the cells and restore the blood flow. We’ve also created entire tubes of red blood cells from scratch in the laboratory. So there are a lot of exciting things in the pipeline.

DC: Now my imagination says and you must correct me if I’m wrong because I’m not an expert in the field, I’ve been away from academic medicine for quite a bit of time but my imagination says that based on the fact technology including biotechnologies is moving so exponentially, it almost doubles in less than eighteen months, which literally means that in ten years the power of technology and that includes biotechnology could be a million times what it is today. So my imagination says that the day will come when you’ll be able to take perhaps cells from your own skin and then you know derive stem cells as you have already done and inject to replace any organ in the body that is damaged. Is that in the realm of imagination?

RL: Absolutely. Ah. It’s absolutely within the realm of reality probably within the lifetime of most of the listeners to this program. In fact when you combine stem cell technology with the technology known as tissue engineering you can actually grow up entire organs, so as you suggest that sometime in the future you get in an auto accident and lose your kidney, we’d simply take a few skin cells and grow you up a new kidney. In fact this has already been done. We’ve done some work with Tony Atalla’s group at Wake Forest where he has actually grown up entire bladders from just a few cells and these have actually gone into patients. Some of our early work with him making primitive kidneys actually was quite successful. So yes, this is real this isn’t science fiction.

DC: I’m speaking to Dr. Robert Lanza, his book is Biocentrism, what is the subtitle of the book Dr. Lanza?

RL: It’s How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. A mouthful.

DC: (laughs) Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the Universe. We’re going to come to that but getting back to your field which is also tissue engineering. What you just said about stem cells and also in the near future nanobots or nanotechnology which can kind of in a sense move atoms around will probably make it possible to just about repair any organ or replace any organ in the body so that theoretically what you’re saying is that one could probably live indefinitely.

RL: Well the exciting thing and we’ve actually published this data, we’ve actually have created a population of cells known as hemangioblasts, which are…

DC: Ambulance cells.

RL: Yeah they’re like ambulance cells and when you inject these into animals for example that have damaged retina or eyes, if you label them with a dye that’s green you can actually follow them and they will home right to the site of injury and within 24 hours fix that damaged vasculature. Where as in the other that is normal it does nothing. So these are cells that are very smart so that as you suggest by simply injecting these cells they know where to go in the body and repair damage. Be it a heart attack or damage anywhere in your body. In fact we think they might be able to reverse the progression of atherosclerosis and certainly all sorts of other vascular damage.

DC: We’re seeing this amazing, amazing technology almost double almost 12-18 months, the power of technology. It is almost unimaginable what this might be in say two, three decades, or a century from now. But what we’re learning just now from Dr. Lanza is that some of these things that we have been talking about are in our lifetime and in fact as we begin to understand how we extend our lifespan then we may actually one day glimpse even the more advanced technologies that Dr. Lanza has been talking about.

You know I had on my show Dr. Michio Kaku who is the person that first described string theory and he’s written a new book called Physics of the Impossible which the Science Channel is going to do a twelve part series on and you know he was basically saying based on what we understand in biophysics and I’m going to come to your take on this later because I agree more with you than with anyone else that I have ever met. Basically what he was saying based on our current laws of understanding, our current understanding of the laws of physics if some thing in the future, some imagined technology in the future does not violate our laws of physics then it is not impossible.

It is possible and so he was talking about teleportation, he was talking about parallel universes, he was talking about bi-location, he was talking about time travel even into the past and influencing your ancestors in a way that you could be alive in one universe and not exist in another universe, etc. So you know we’re right at the frontier at the amazing understanding of reality but what you’re saying which has really interested me for a long time. In fact that’s why I left the world of medicine and went onto, on my own and started speaking about consciousness almost 25, 30 years ago I was considered an outcast. At least in my circles.

So I stuck with the general public hoping I would be able to share my ideas which weren’t my ideas, which were part of a wisdom tradition that I had grown up with, with people that were not experts. But what you’re saying right now in your book Biocentrism is that the physical universe would not exist unless there was a consciousness in which it could be conceived, constructed, and came into existence. That consciousness is primary and everything else is secondary to that.

RL: Yes, yes. That’s absolutely correct and in addition to that life just isn’t an accident of the laws of physics. There’s a long list of experiments that suggest just the opposite. Amazingly when you add life and consciousness to the equation you can actually explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. So for instance it becomes clear why space and time and even the properties of matter itself depend on the observer in consciousness. In fact when you take this point of view it even explains why the laws of the universe themselves are fine tuned for the existence of life.

DC: I’m speaking with Dr. Robert Lanza, his book is Biocentrism. The publisher is… Who is the publisher?

RL: BenBella Books.

DC: Okay, BenBella Books and we’re going to be featuring it on our site so we’re talking about the principle of biocentrism and what Dr. Lanza is saying first of all is that the universe is so fine tuned with certain universal constants that if there was even a slight deviation from those constants we, you and I as biological organisms would not exist. And so it does not seem to be a random accident that started with the Big Bang. In fact you’re also saying that the entire history of the universe from the Big Bang to the moment that consciousness appeared is now an imagined history. That it existed as probability states but not as space-time events.

RL: Absolutely. And as you do point out there’s a long list of traits all the way from atoms to stars that make everything since the Big Bang to the present time appear as though it was tailor made for us. So for instance if the Big Bang had just been one part in a million more powerful the cosmos would have blown out too fast for stars and worlds to form. The result of course is no us. Again there are over 200 parameters so exact that it really strains reason to think that they’re purely random. You tweak any of them and you never existed. So again without biocentrism or introducing consciousness or life into the equation none of this makes any sense.

DC: You know I’ve had on my radio show fortunately some of the greatest minds, academic minds in the world of neuroscience and also in the world of philosophy and consciousness, no one yet has explained to me that when I close my eyes and I imagine a rose or a picture of a red rose or a sunset on the ocean where that picture is? I experience that picture subjectively in my imagination or I can think of my mother and see her face. That experience is not in my brain and you know my brain shows firing of electromagnetic impulses in synaptic networks but now as you point out in your book as well we can look inside the brain through positron emission tomography or MRI’s.

We don’t see pictures of sounds or tastes or textures. Those are experiences in consciousness and nobody has been able to actually locate that consciousness. The brain of course shows electrical phenomena but those electrical phenomena are not the experiences and similarly when I look at a red rose instead of imagining it, I see it out there but the experience is in my consciousness not even in my brain because it’s not even in my head. In my head are these electrical impulses. I think all experiences whether we have them all subjectively or objectively are in a transcendent domain which is beyond space and time because as you point out, space and time are also felt-sense experiences and therefore not independent of our consciousness.

RL: Yes you’re absolutely right. You know we think that space and time are these hard, cold objects but if you wave your hand through the air and you remove everything what’s left? The answer of course is nothing so the same thing applies to time. You can’t really put it in a bottle like milk. So if you look at anything say the radio. You can’t see that through the bone that surrounds your brain, in fact everything you see an experience right now is just a whirl of information occurring in your mind and space and time are simply the minds tools for putting it all together.

Take something as ordinary as the weather outside. You see a blue sky but the cells in your brains can be changed so it looks red and green. You think it’s bright out but the brain circuits can be changed so it looks dark out. You think it feels hot and humid but to a tropical frog it would feel cold and dry. In any case you get the point. This logic applies to virtually everything. The bottom line is that anything you see could not possibly be present without your consciousness.

DC: You know what you say is just totally music to my ears. You know in the tradition I grew up in: Vedanta they had these beautiful expressions. I’m not in the world, the world is in me. I’m not in the body, the body is in me. I’m not in the mind, the mind is in me. As I curve back within myself I experience my mind in my consciousness I experience my own body in my consciousness and I experience my whole world in my consciousness.

So that consciousness exists outside of space-time because it actually conceives and constructs space-time as well and therefore being outside of space-time, transcendent it has no beginning and time, it has no edges in space and therefore it has no ending in time as well. You know the whole goal of Eastern wisdom traditions has been to experience this as our identity. That even when I think about the brain that in thinking about the brain is in consciousness. When I mathematically conceive of the laws of nature they are still in my consciousness. You know you’re coming from a very scientific perspective but essentially saying the same thing.

RL: Absolutely. I couldn’t have said it any better than you just expressed it. We’re arriving at exactly the same point in the book Biocentrism, basically I’m taking all of the existing science and basically I’m arriving unequivocally at the same end point that you’ve just described.

DC: Once again I want to remind our listeners that I’m speaking to Dr. Robert Lanza and he’s the author of Biocentrism but he’s also one of the leading scientists in the world. Dr. Lanza I’m sure you’re familiar with books like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins or you know Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett.

DC: And you know I’ve had some confrontations with Richard Dawkins and I don’t mind saying that I found him extremely arrogant and you know attacking a straw man that really doesn’t exist as God. But totally not in a way even caring to look at the mystery of consciousness which remains a mystery. Even Dr. Daniel Dennett’s book Consciousness Explained is in a sense explained away. Nobody really addresses the mystery of consciousness and the fact that people constantly look for consciousness as a kind of biophenomenon or as a phenomenon byproduct of the brain just so because we can map out what we’re thinking with correlations in certain parts of the brain doesn’t really explain consciousness.

RL: As a matter of fact you’re absolutely right. The book is called Consciousness Explained and many people say, they nickname it Consciousness Ignored.

DC: (laughs)

RL: (laughs) He’s missing the very central core of what consciousness is all about.

DC: Yeah. So you know what is striking to me is that your expertise is in the world of biology but you’re also and you’re, you’re expertise is such that you’re pioneering some of the most amazing technologies of the future but you do take the stand that consciousness comes first and everything is constructed. Why is it so difficult for people to imagine that when a honeybee looks at a flower it doesn’t see the same flower as you and I see because it’s sensing ultraviolet and not the usual wavelengths that you and I see? That a chameleon’s eyeballs swivel on two different axis and I can’t even remotely imagine what this room would look like to a chameleon. Or the fact that whales communicate through infrasonic and dogs here things that we don’t hear because the instrument is different. In the Vedanta we say that the fault of the instrument is not a reflection of the user of the instrument. You’re the user of the instrument and you know you can manipulate the instrument any way you want as you just said change the weather if you want.

RL: Yea well we were actually evolved as monkeys in the forest trees that collect fruit and berries. We were never really designed to understand the universe. You know in that sense the world, the way we see it is very much like a chipmunk or squirrel. The squirrel opens his eyes and the acorn is just miraculously there and he grabs it and he scurries up the tree without any further thought, but we humans are really the same. We wake up in the morning and voila the world is just magically there but again new experiments are showing very consistently that not a single particle exists with real properties if no one is observing it.

Reality is a process that involves our consciousness but it requires that you think about what is going in. People don’t stop and think. You can’t see anything out there through the bone around your brain and clearly that is completely reconstructed in your brain and as a physician you know well that people for instance like remember the movie A Beautiful Mind, people with schizophrenia they see people and things that are just as real. Your mind absolutely has the capacity to reconstruct and create a reality just as real as anything you are experiencing right now. Even in dreams that proves the capacity. So again everything you see now again has to be reconstructed in your mind.

DC: I’m speaking to Dr. Robert Lanza and we’ve been talking about his extraordinary book Biocentrism and we’ll come back right after this and thank you for staying on for the second half of the show.

DC: We’ve been talking about some of his research but now we’re actually continuing our conversation on biocentrism. Basically what you’re saying is that our brain which is encased in a bony skull has no experience of a so-called outside world. The brain cells respond to things like pH, electrolytes, our body temperate, hormones, and so forth and ultimately all this activity is translated into ionic shifts across neural cell membranes and somehow mysteriously gives us the experience of color and sound and shape and texture and smell, not in the neurons but in our consciousness. But it’s really not clear how information that is processed of internal states by the brain is translated into sound, sight, taste, and smell which gives us the experience of the outside world. Am I summarizing this accurately?

RL: Yes, I think the whole issue here is that, that space and time are tools of the mind that are ways of us putting things together. So when you talk about the objects you see and indeed that would include the brain and neurons you’re already dealing with a reconstruction engineered by your mind. So everything that you experience in space and time is simply your way of understanding how everything is put together. So again even when you talk about a neuron or a brain cell you’re already now in the external spatial-temporal world.

DC: That’s right.

RL: So everything all the way from the Big Bang to the edges of the universe all that is simply an extrapolation the spatial-temporal logic of consciousness. So if you were to say that I’m standing here in a room on this continent on this earth going around the sun. If continue extrapolating that logic to its ultimate extreme you end up with the known universe. It’s very much like a globe of the Earth. You could sit here and look at this globe and say these are all the possible places I could visit out there doesn’t mean that you could actually go there it just means that that is an extrapolation of the entire whole.

DC: So let’s go a little bit further for our listeners because believe it or not we’ve been having conversations like this for awhile now but never with this clarity that you are giving it and so our listeners are pretty sophisticated. Let’s take it a little bit further. Now we know from mathematics and from the world of quantum mechanics is that as we go a little bit deeper into the sub-atomic world what we call electrons for example are really probability clouds that are hovering around a nucleus which is also a probability cloud. Although difficult to conceptualize this, this probability cloud defines the statistical likelihood of a space time event. We want to call it a sub-atomic particle that as you said earlier: Until we look for it, it’s not there. It only exists as a potential. Am I correct?

RL: You’re absolutely correct. Actually there was some debate in physics in the early days that these probability waves were waves of material. But it actually just turns out that they’re statistical predictions. So for instance I’m sure everything listening is familiar with the famous two-hole experiment. If you look at an electron going through the two holes if you watch it behaves like a particle and goes through one hole or the other. If you don’t look at it, it acts like a probability wave and can go through both holes at the same time. The reason that is so is because it’s not being observed there is no reality. You have not laid down the threads of consciousness as to where it’s going to appear. It can be expressed statistically as to certain probabilities but it isn’t real until it’s observed.

DC: So you know here’s something I do sometimes with my audience and um you know I’m for the first time beginning to get even more clarity as I speak to you. So, and again I might be extrapolating a little bit too much here because what I’m about to say violates everything neuroscientists say.

So I ask a person to, to ask them a simple question like what did you have for dinner last night and they might say I had spaghetti and meatballs. So then I say where was that information before I asked you the question? And they of course say: It was in my neurons. I say now listen, are you seeing an image of spaghetti and meatballs and who you were with last night when you had this dinner at the fancy restaurant in Manhattan and they of course are now reliving the full experience.

I say where was this information and they will say it was in my neurons. I say well if I went into your neurons do you think I’ll find the pictures of spaghetti and meatballs or you know are those synaptic networks coded for spaghetti and meatballs? I slowly lead them to the point where I say that that information, that memory existed as potential memory in their consciousness and when they had the intention it was almost like a measurement.

A photon went off in their neurons and it gave them the experience of they were reliving that experience and then in a moment I’ll say let’s switch from there and go back to your house to when you were a teenager or a child. Do you see that now? And they’ll immediately see that and it’s almost like a quantum leap. You know localizing another space-time event in your brain through intention is almost like the real me exists as a possibility field for potential space-time events that localize of course as experience through my brain but that real me is not in the brain, it’s not, it’s transcendent. It’s a field of possibilities, it proliferates in uncertainty, it has observer effect, it localizes in space-time events.

It takes quantum leaps of imagination. You know I can move from last night’s dinner to my childhood in an instant without going through all the intervening. That consciousness seems to be what this unified field that scientists are looking for. Would you relate to that or agree with that or disagree with that?

RL: No, no, absolutely. You’re absolutely correct. I think it’s a very different concept for people to fathom and to understand but let me add some teeth to this. There have been some very real experiments that have been carried out.

There was an experiment that was published in one of the most prestigious journals in the world, Science last year in February. And what they actually did in this experiment is they put a particle into an apparatus and they had it go and make a choice along the way and then at the end they did something right now in the present that actually changed what that particle did in the past so the actions right now in the present, in the same universe you and I live in actually changed an event that actually happened retroactively in the past.

And it’s not just you and I thinking this, I believe that if I have it correct that even Steven Hawking has now reevaluated his thinking and I think it was in an issue of Discover magazine is saying now that the present does actually impact the past.

DC: Yes.

RL: So I think we’re gaining momentum here.

DC: I know. I read a statement of Stephen Hawking where he said that God not only plays dice with the universe, he frequently throws the dice where you will not find it.

RL: (laughs)

DC: (laughs)

DC: The ultimate uncertainty principle.

RL: Exactly. And that’s the other thing, the ultimate uncertainty principle, as you know Eisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle, if there was really a world out there with particles bouncing around then we should be able to measure all of their properties. But you can’t so for instance if you try to measure a particles exact location and it’s momentum, they can’t be known at the same time. It’s sort of like the man and the woman in the cuckoo clock. When one goes in, the other comes out. This uncertainty is built into the very fabric of the universe and no one has a clue why and the only way this makes sense is to accept the fact that the universe is biocentric and with consciousness as it’s foundation.

DC: Yeah. You know I was reading again in your book where you draw the analogy. An arrow is going through the air and somebody takes a picture of it and now you know you have it’s location but you have no idea where it is going and you know the Buddhists also talk about this you know that objects in space and impermanence in time is the same phenomenon.

If I go to the ocean right now and I take a picture of the sunset and the seagull is flying and I come and show you the picture and you say let’s go see it, there’s nothing to see because what I took as a picture was a measurement that created a space-time event of something that’s slowing, something ineffable that’s in a sense transcendent and is flowing continuously as space-time events and every space-time event whether it’s a subjective experience or an objective experience is in fact a measurement in consciousness of consciousness.

RL: Absolutely. Everything we perceive is actively being reconstructed in our head. So time for instance is simply the summation of these frames that occur in our minds. That doesn’t mean that there’s this invisible matrix out there called time. It’s simply our way of understanding things.

DC: So tell us what made you write this book Biocentrism? How long have you been thinking about this?

RL: Well ever since a child I knew there was something with the static billiard ball view of the world and when I was taking advanced physics at U Penn the material started to reach a new level of absurdity so at that point I tried to put this all together. I mean again for almost a century now science has not been able to reconcile its foundations relativity almost contradicts quantum theory. So again despite all these immense efforts of all of the greatest minds around there’s been no resolution. So clearly the foundation there’s a problem there. I think the answer of course is that space and time are not these hard external objects. Again we’re, scientists have been building from one side of nature (physics) without considering the other side (life in consciousness).

Neither side exists without the other. They cannot be divorced from one another or else there is no reality. I think it’s science and physics are just starting to learn from all these experiments. These experiments have been carried out hundreds and hundreds of times in all sorts of ways that no physicist really questions the end point. I think that these experiments are very clearly telling us that consciousness is limitless and the ultimate reality.

DC: And yet there are some very brilliant scientists out there both in the field of physics and neuroscience who are so in a way steeped in this world of reductionist science that they would not agree.

They would say that one of these days we’re going to find consciousness as a bi-product of the brain. It’s a secretion of the brain just like you know hydrochloric acid is a secretion of your stomach or bile is a secretion of your gall bladder. And how many of your colleagues, I mean you’re such a respected scientist in your work of stem cells. How many of your colleagues actually get what you’re saying?

RL: Well, this is the problem. Scientists have been trained to operate within the existing paradigm and throughout history whenever there is a new paradigm, any of the conclusions don’t make any sense. They’re nonsense outside of that paradigm. So short of them fully understanding how it all goes together in a systematic way it just simply doesn’t make any sense. Now you have obviously given this an enormous amount of thought and figured out the critical principles so I think that you know initially you know certainly for the physicists the reaction has been sort of like a priest’s reaction to stem cell research. And actually you can’t tell a group of scientists that their whole life has been a joke without them getting defensive. (laughs)

DC: (laughs) So, um but there are scientists that you know of that agree with your point of view because I do know a lot of them.
RL: Well even the great physicist Steven Wiman said that consciousness cannot be explained by the laws of physics and I mean he’s one of the greatest physicists recognized. Certainly John Wheeler agrees with this perspective and many others.

DC: Roger Penrose I would say agrees with this perspective.

RL: Absolutely, but I think with any kind of a paradigm shift it takes time. I think you know you, my hats off to you, you have started the movement correctly and that’s how it has to start. Presumably, eventually this will catch on and people will realize that you can’t keep brushing these experiments under the rug. That they’ve got to start now doing what science is designed to do, to try to understand everything with a single theory that really doesn’t contradict itself like the current paradigm.

DC: I just wanted to remind our listeners about a few things. If you’re enjoying this program tell your friends about it. This program is also available on your iPhone so if you have an iPhone app that you can listen to this program. I just had a friend that just came back from Geneva and he was listening to this while hiking the Alps on his iPhone. And so you can do that. You can also go to and listen to all the archives. The program is repeated all day Saturday until Sunday morning. You have many opportunities to listen to this and there are some very difficult concepts here. You might want to come back again to listen to this conversation. Dr. Lanza if I arrange at some point for a video shoot of a conversation that you and I can have on exactly this topic and on your book Biocentrism somewhere in New York and then we put it on YouTube and offer it to some of the major networks, would you be open to it sir?

RL: Absolutely, I’d be honored.

DC: Now because I think this conversation needs to be heard by a lot of people. We’re still very much frozen in the old paradigm of reductionist, materialistic science. And you know your work and the work of many others is slowly beginning I would say to overthrow the superstition of materialism which has frozen us in a very obsolete worldview. Notwithstanding the remarkable things you can do with stem cells and other things because they’re in fact stem cells being pluripotential cells remind me of you know they’re like consciousness here in a cell saying tell me where to go.

RL: (laughs) It’s very funny you know when we grow our embryonic stem cells or these pluripotent cells in this petri dish, the first thing they want to do is form neurons and want to assemble actually into an eye. I’m sure it’s coincidence but it’s interesting that organs with the perception of the first and almost the default mechanism of these cells.

DC: Well it’s been wonderful having you sir and I hope we can do that filming sometime. Perhaps for PBS or any of the other outlets that we have access to and I’ll be in touch with you.

RL: Great. That would be a great pleasure.

DC: My very special guest has been Dr. Robert Lanza, considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He’s he’s currently chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology and adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His book is Biocentrism and what Dr. Lanza is essentially saying is, is that the physical world exists in our consciousness, that our bodies exist in our consciousness, that space-time exists in our consciousness. That even when we think of the brain, that exists in our consciousness. That this consciousness is transcendent. It has no beginning in time, no ending in time, no edges in space. It’s our ultimate identity. The whole universe arises and subsides in this consciousness. The world is our projection as we interact with our own self we project and that projection appears as our relationships, as our situation, as the circumstances of our life, as New York City and as the whole universe. This is what the Eastern wisdom traditions have taught for decades and not only decades but centuries of time. Saying that the whole purpose of our life is to expand our consciousness until we can experience ourselves as infinite being and in that experience is our enlightenment because we transcend the fear of death. That all our fears come from a limited perspective where we identify ourselves with our physical bodies which is our projection or even our mind which is our projection. Or even our thoughts which are a projection, our relationships which are a projection. Those are all part of the scenery. You’re not the scenery, you are the seer in which the scenery comes and goes.

Buddhist Teaching on Aging Spiritually: Worry Less, Care More and Find Out What Love is Before You Die ~ Lewis Richmond

The baby boomer generation has been criticized for making every stage of life — whether it be adolescence, college, child-rearing and now their aging — into a self-referential adventure of transformation and improvement. From that point of view, the notion of aging as a spiritual practice could be seen as just the latest of these baby boomer projects: “We’re going to do aging differently and better than anyone!” Some commentators have concluded that the baby boomers were a coddled, spoiled generation. To them, the bumper sticker “Life is hard and then you die” is more how things actually are.

Needless to say, I see things differently. Yes, we baby boomers came to maturity at a time of great social upheaval and change, and we participated in and helped engineer that change. And due to the affluence of the postwar America in which we grew up, we had the time and energy to devote to our own inner development and outer social transformation. In the 1960s, 70 percent of college students rated “personal fulfillment” as their most important life goal, while today the same percentage mention financial success as their life’s goal. Money and career seemed easy 40 years ago; now they seem hard.

In that sense, times have changed, and today’s Generations X and Y have very different priorities than we did. What has not changed are the fundamentals of the human condition, which includes aging. There is the old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” If only we had 60-year-old wisdom in a 30-year-old body! There have been a number of hit movies that have explored this fantasy. Well, dream on. It has never happened and barring some medical miracle, it never will.

We don’t worry about things we don’t care about. Worry and care go together. We care about our family and friends; that is why we worry about them. We care about the fate of the planet, or of the hardships of people losing their jobs or their homes. These things matter to us a lot, and it would seem that if we gave up worry we would also be giving up our care. That doesn’t seem right.

Buddhist teaching understands this connection between worry and care quite well. Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, spent his whole life working on this single problem: How can we relieve the unnecessary suffering that we impose on ourselves because we care so much and can’t see a perspective larger than our care?

Or to put it another way: How can we transform our conditional, limited love for just those people and things we care about into an unconditional love which cares equally about everyone and everything?

When I was a child in Sunday school, we would ask our teacher, “What is God? Who is God?” And we were told, “God is love.” I never gave a whole lot of thought to that answer at the time, I just accepted it as true without understanding what it meant. Now in our crisis-ridden world, where war and violence and hatred seem as prevalent as any time in the past, God as love seems a lot more complicated than it did when I first heard it. How is it that this unconditional love continues to elude us, generation after generation? How can we find it? What can we do?

I think this quest is the particular mission of elders, those who have lived long enough for youthful idealism to fade and deeper wisdom to dawn. The spiritual practice of aging, I think, is to add some words to that cynical bumper sticker. I would say it this way:

Yes, life is hard, and then you die, but before you do find out what love is.

Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime [Hardcover] Aubrey de Grey (Author), Michael Rae (Author)

Book Description provided by the Publisher (St. Martin’s Press):

MUST WE AGE? A long life in a healthy, vigorous, youthful body has always been one of humanity’s greatest dreams. Recent progress in genetic manipulations and calorie-restricted diets in laboratory animals hold forth the promise that someday science will enable us to exert total control over our own biological aging. Nearly all scientists who study the biology of aging agree that we will someday be able to substantially slow down the aging process, extending our productive, youthful lives.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is perhaps the most bullish of all such researchers. As has been reported in media outlets ranging from 60 Minutes to The New York Times, Dr. de Grey believes that the key biomedical technology required to eliminate aging-derived debilitation and death entirely-technology that would not only slow but periodically reverse age-related physiological decay, leaving us biologically young into an indefinite future-is now within reach. In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology.

They explain that the aging of the human body, just like the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. As with man-made machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine’s fully functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with classic cars. We already know what types of damage accumulate in the human body, and we are moving rapidly toward the comprehensive development of technologies to remove that damage. By demystifying aging and its postponement for the nonspecialist reader, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science.


5 Spiritual Practices for Aging Well ~ Lewis Richmond

I often teach that Buddhism is about how to be truly happy, so I have been studying the new research field of “happiness studies,” which focuses on the objective measures and causes of happiness. Researchers have found three factors that reliably increase happiness as we grow older — gratitude, generosity and reframing (seeing your situation from a more positive perspective). Not surprisingly, the Buddhist tradition offers these same three factors as spiritual practices for cultivating happiness. I would add two more — curiosity and flexibility.

Gratitude. When I ask audiences what they like about being older, people often answer “Gratitude,” and then say what they are grateful for: grandchildren, good health, free time, wearing what they want, the chance to travel, giving back to the community. One person included the ham sandwich she had just had for lunch. I have an exercise I call the “thank you” prayer. People repeat the words “thank you” silently to themselves and watch what comes up. It’s amazing how many and how readily images of gratitude come to mind.

Generosity. One happiness study reported that if giving weren’t free, drug companies could market a great new drug called “give back” instead of Prozac. It’s scientifically proven: giving back and helping others makes us feel happier and more content. Giving is a universal spiritual value taught by every religion, and the desire to give back naturally increases as we age. It is part of our emerging role as community elders — something we can do into our sixties, seventies, eighties and beyond. Giving is truly a spiritual practice, and it naturally lifts our spirits. My new book Aging As A Spiritual Practice: a Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser offers many tangible methods to cultivate a generous spirit. Among these is a contemplative exercise from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition that allows us inwardly picture recipients of our generosity and direct compassionate feeling toward them.

Reframing. Aging includes its share of reverses, losses and sorrows. What makes the difference is our attitude about them. If a bad knee means we can’t jog anymore, we needn’t despair; we can take up swimming. If we lost money in the recession, we can cherish what we still have. If we become ill, we rejoice when we recover. I have developed a meditation called “Vertical Time” that focuses on the positive aspects of the present, rather than regrets of the past and worries about the future. We tend to think of time as linear and horizontal, but it is also vertical — one breath at a time. Vertical Time is really breath-based reframing.

. Curiosity is an important attitude to cultivate as we age. There’s a tendency to hunker down in our old familiar routines. It’s good to resist that temptation. Physical exercise grows new muscle, mental activity grows new brain cells, emotional engagement lifts the spirit. Curiosity keeps us young; we need to cherish it. If you see an interesting ad for a wildlife class, consider taking it. If you go into a bookstore, try browsing in sections you don’t usually visit. If you haven’t seen a friend in too many years, reach out. Children are naturally curious, and we can be too.

. Things change as we age, and some of those changes are irrevocable. Our youthful stamina is gone forever; a dying friend will never return. In the face of these changes, it’s important that we not become rigid and stuck in our ways. With every reversal comes new opportunity. No matter what the issue, no matter how big the problem, there is always something constructive that you can do. Never give up, never let aging get the better of you. This is how the “extraordinary elderly” do it — the ones who have beaten the odds to enjoy their old age to the very end.

The Spiritual Life. A spiritual perspective on aging is not just for personal transformation; it is a medicine for longevity and health. Research shows that people with an active involvement in church or spiritual community live on average seven years longer than those who don’t.

These five practices for aging well really work; science says so, common sense says so, and every religion says so. Aging As A Spiritual Practice builds on these truths to treat the process of aging as an opportunity for inner transformation. We deserve to enjoy our aging; it is our reward in the continuing adventure of living a whole and fulsome life.

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