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Aging and Awakening: Cultivating a Wise Heart

Residential Program
Dates: Jun 21, 2018 - Jun 24, 2018
Days: Thursday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 3 nights

Instructor(s): David Chernikoff

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Course Description:
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While the aging process involves losses and challenges, these can become a pathway to profound spiritual realization. Buddhist teachings on the four Heavenly Messengers — aging, illness, death, and awakening — offer us practical and liberating guidelines that enable us to free ourselves from many of the negative attitudes toward aging in modern Western culture. Instead, they teach us to reframe the changes inherent in growing older as a curriculum leading to spiritual maturity. In this course, we’ll combine short didactic presentations, dharma talks, innovative experiential exercises, and the stillness of insight meditation. We’ll create a supportive community of like-minded people who aspire to shift the paradigm for aging in modern society and to celebrate the mystery of our common humanity as it unfolds in the last third of our lives. This is an invitation to know ourselves in new ways that enable us to live fully, love well, and die joyfully, and to become the wise elders who are so essential for our society at this challenging time.

We are grateful to be collaborating on this course on conscious aging with Sage-ing International, an organization dedicated to helping elders reclaim their role as leaders, sharing wisdom and spirit essential to creating a better world for current and future generations.

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    About the Instructor(s):
  • David Chernikoff, LCSW, M.Div., is a meditation teacher, spiritual counselor, and life coach who taught psychology and meditation at Naropa University for many years. In the early 1980s, he worked at Ram Dass’s Hanuman Foundation Dying Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then became the director of Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M. He later spent three years in Nepal doing public health development work for the Seva Foundation and studying with Tibetan Buddhist teachers. After returning to the U.S. he became the education and training director for the Spiritual Eldering Institute, now called Sage-ing International. In that role, he taught conscious aging programs throughout the U.S., in Canada, and in Ireland. David is currently one of the guiding teachers of the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado and has a private practice in Boulder.