This Spiritual Purpose of Aging Workshop video is of an group interactive presentation by Dr Nader Shabahangi, facilitated by Chaplain Renee with the participation of the Openhouse community.
Spiritual Purpose of Aging Workshop with Dr. Nader Shabahangi
August 27th, 2015
Workshop Presented by Openhouse SF at the San Francisco LGBT Center on Market St, San Francisco
This video of the Spiritual Purpose of Aging Workshop presented by Dr Nader Shabahangi picks up just as Nader finishes his introduction to the workshop with a group interactive discussion on the “practical aspects of aging.”
Nader introduces the Spiritual Purpose of Aging as a way of shifting our attitude on the aging phenomenon. “Shifting it away from seeing it as a decline, as it has been, to basically to a continued “maturation”.” Nader suggests a way to illustrate this is to replace the word “old” with “mature” in conversation. He encourages the group to introduce them selves to their neighbor and share with them: “I am ___ years mature.” And as a fun aside for the youngers in the group: “I am _____years immature.”
William James, the wonderful psychologist of a hundred years ago, talks about how we can change our lives by changing our attitudes. Perhaps to help change our attitudes we could eliminate the word “Aging” completely from our vocabulary. Because the word “aging” has been coopted by the “anti-aging” industry. Nader suggests that “anti-aging” is another word for death.
Nader talks about seeing the process of maturing from one of decline instead to one of incline to deepening to maturation. Nader speaks about the Inner Elder that is residing within us…that Inner Elder inside of us, that pulls us along, that the purpose of maturation is to become our inner elder.
Nader proposes that “Spiritual” means “learning to love.” And learning to love not just those around us but ourselves too!
Nader asks what the group view as “Elder Values.” The group provides a list of values, values that are gained through experience and maturation. How can society benefit from these values held by elders? How can we reinsert elders back into society to guide the young?
Presenter Dr Nader Shabahangi
Dr Nader Shabahangi is an author, therapist, and eldership facilitator who works on the forefront of humanistically-orientated Forgetfulness Care for those who are diagnosed with changing cognition conditions otherwise known as “dementia/Alzheimer’s.” Nader Shabahangi is CEO and Founder of AgeSong Assisted Living Communities in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Facilitator Chaplain Renee
Chaplain Renee is interested in the spiritual dimension of her own aging, is a volunteer chaplain working with The Ministry of Presence Institute and serves at assisted living communities. “Also known as Sister Jendra Uforia of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Renee has committed herself to serve the LGBTQI aging community by creating and holding space for those dealine with illness, dying, and death.”
Hosted by Openhouse in Partnership with the Ministry of Presence Institute
Openhouse SF is dedicated to serving elder LGBT adults located in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Openhouse enables San Francisco Bay Area LGBT seniors to overcome the unique challenges they face as they age by providing housing, direct services and community programs. As a result, we have reduced isolation and empowered LGBT seniors to improve their overall health, well-being and economic security.”
The Ministry of Presence Institute (MPI) chaplains serve the LGBT community and volunteer in assisted living residences including the AgeSong Assisted Living Communities. The Ministry of Presence Institute is a non-profit 501(3)c committed to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of those most often forgotten in the LGBT community. MPI offers non-secterian chaplaincy programs for volunteers in the communities where they themselves live, love, work, and play, for the LGBT agencies or venues of their choice.
Find out More!
Read more stories about Aging here.
Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library