Encounters of the Real Kind Book 3

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 3Encounters_cover_front_only

Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
150 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Elders Academy Press is excited to present the third volume in the Encounters of the Real Kind series; a shared tome of stories, poems and musings from the 2013/2014 participants in the Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program at AgeSong.

The Gero-Wellness Program interns at AgeSong come from a variety of schools and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The participants are interns and doctoral students with backgrounds in psychology, gerontology, counseling, grief and loss support, and human development. Through their practicum experience at AgeSong, they show an authentic interest and passion in their work with the aging population.

The Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program interns are part of an engaged movement that views aging with respect and awareness. All residents at AgeSong Eldercare Communities have an opportunity to connect with the interns who provide emotional and therapeutic support individually and/or in group settings.

A Note from the Editor about Encounters of the Real Kind

AgeSong programming for eldercare seeks to return meaning to aging and “Old Age.” In so doing, the hope is to return to the centrality of meaning in all of our lives.

Meaning is not to be found in either the pure philosophical contemplation of life or just the practical, everyday activities of earning a living. Rather, meaning must be grounded both in concepts and in experience. What makes the Gero-Wellness Program so unique is that students who are learning about the social sciences, such as social work and psychology, can combine these intellectual concepts with the depth of experience presented to them by elders. Residential care settings such as AgeSong provide such opportunities.

AgeSong and its partner Pacific Institute address the marginalization of the elderly in modern society; here, students and interns learn from elders, while in turn elders feel valued and respected for being the teachers they are.

In these stories and poems you can see how the AgeSong Elders are teaching the timeless qualities of being human: being in the moment, in the here and now, relating deeply with others and oneself, being kind and generous, giving and accepting, loving and caring. These ways of being are so very much needed in our modern-day societies, which are increasingly fast paced, materialistic, and cerebral.

“Elders show us what our heart needs, what it yearns for. As such, elders may be the solution to many of the problems we face today. All we need to do is listen, to spend time with them. Our lives may never be the same after such encounters of the real kind.”
—Nader Shabahangi, Editor, CEO AgeSong

“Days spent as an intern at AgeSong are unpredictable. Any given day may hold moments of joy, connection, challenge, affection, sadness, and delight — often in rapid succession. The experience of being there is collage-like, with many elements co-occurring simultaneously. My arts background gives me the freedom to look at things through my own lens, paralleling the creative freedom memory loss can give some of our forgetful elders. The collages reproduced in this book are visual anecdotes created to process my experience of a day’s worth of encounters with members of the AgeSong community.”
-Ivy Tiegel, MFTi Expressive Arts Therapy Intern

“So how can we come to understand and cherish, accept and love our frail and forgetful seniors? The answer: by appreciating who they are right now—not compared to days, weeks, or years ago. We need to meet and appreciate them as they are today and not worry about yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. We can deal with that as it comes. Most importantly, we need to celebrate who they are now, accept their limitations, and rejoice in what they still have—what Age Song calls “personhood.”
As the educational component of the AgeSong/Pacific Institute collaborative, Pacific Institute actively promotes the recognition of “personhood,” making the experience for residents of AgeSong-managed facilities full and enjoyable. Furthermore, Pacific Institute seeks to spread this philosophy of care to all who desire to connect more intimately with seniors. That philosophy is reflected in these stories, poems, and observations, contributed by our interns. Enjoy them!”

—Peter Szutu, President Pacific Institute

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 3
Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
150 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Conversations with Ed Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer's Disease?Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?
by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox,in collaboration with Sharon Mercer
Elders Academy Press (2009)

126 pages, $25.50 Hardcover, $19.50 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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How can we not be afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease? How can we not dread aging? By posing these questions we are invited alternate ways of seeing Alzheimer’s disease as well as aging. In so doing we do not want to minimize the suffering that people may experience watching a loved one become forgetful. Nor do we want to minimize that becoming forgetful and growing old can be pain processes. Rather, Conversations with Ed wants to create a positive cultural space for people with dementia, for those who accompany them on their journey and for those who fear being afflicted with it.

Read more about Conversations with Ed in this article, “Consensus Smiles” by Sally Gelardin, Ph.D. on the AgeSong Today blog.

 

Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?
by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox,in collaboration with Sharon Mercer
Elders Academy Press (2009)

126 pages, $25.50 Hardcover, $19.50 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime

Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime book coverElders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
58 pages, $12.95 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Elders remind us of the big questions of life: what really matters to me? What gives me a true sense of contentment, of feeling useful inside? What are the moments I cherish and how do I remember those as guideposts for living my life? How do my actions, thoughts, and behaviors further who I would like to become? What is the vision I have of myself, of the society within which I live, to which I would like to contribute? What are the values I hold dear and for which I want to stand? What would I like to leave behind when I part from this world? These questions are central, I believe, to living a life that is worth living. It is in joining with the elders of today that each one of us can be enriched and deepened, that our culture and societies can be reminded of what makes us essentially human. Elders Today poses these complex, quintessential questions, helping us not only learn to appreciate what it means to be an elder; we can’t help but actually look forward to becoming elders ourselves.

Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
58 pages, $12.95 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Poems For and About Elders

Poems for and About EldersPoems For and About Elders
by Tom Greening, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)

34 pages, $4.95, eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Tom Greening is a wonderful role model of an elder, poet, philosopher and educator who shares personal, honest and lyrical contemplations on later life issues.

The poems in this collection grew out of his serving as a training director at Agesong, his psychotherapy practice, and his own aging. He and his dachshund are gradually getting used to being “elders.”

About the Author

Tom Greening studied at Yale University, the University of Vienna, and the University of Michigan. He has been a psychotherapist in private practice in the same office since 1958, and was Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology for thirty years. His poems have been published in many places including The American Scholar, Los Angeles Times, and The Lyric, and translated into six languages. Collections of his poems include Tolstoy’s Lament and Words Against the Void, both available in Russian translation. He also published Nasreddin the Psychologist, a collection of stories about a famous Persian fool whom he turned into a modern psychotherapist.

Poems For and About Elders
by Tom Greening, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)
34 pages, $4.95, eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Gems of Wisdom: A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose

Gems of Wisdom: A Book of Elder Poetry and ProseGems of Wisdom:
A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose

edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)

132 pages, $11.95, plus shipping & handling

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Gems of Wisdom is a celebration of eldership and the wisdom that accompanies life experiences. Elders throughout California submitted prose and poetry to inspire readers to reflect and embrace their own creativity.

A portion of the proceeds from Gems of Wisdom will help AgeSong Institute fund its Expressive Arts Programs throughout the Bay Area. The goal of the Expressive Arts Programs is to combine creative expressions such as writing, painting, arts and crafts, dance, music, and sculpture with psychotherapy and life coaching.

“I think creativity is the key to the fountain of youth. Gems of Wisdom reflects the creative genius, and wisdom that comes with age. This anthology is a marvelous, brave book, a testimonial to the power of age, and to the spirit. The prose pieces in this book bring the reader into the dreams, hopes and insights of those who embrace age. As we live in an anti-age society, this anthology is important as it represents the age pride and the importance of the creative process. This is a masterpiece! And everyone at every age should read this book.”

-San Francisco Author of The Viagra Diaries and Founder/Age March

“We would like to acknowledge all of the offerings submitted for this publication. Though we could not include all pieces submitted, we the judges and editors were enchanted by the many memories and stories that we were privileged to share..”

-Kimberly Kinser – Poet, Writer, Amherst Artist and Writers Workshop Leader.

“The anthology by AgeSong abounds with playful poems of times well lived! It’s a fine thing to read the poem stories that sing of love songs along with hardship from people who are now in their seventies and eighties, even nineties. The humor will delight you. You may wonder what you’ll be saying at that age!!”

-Janell Moon, Poet Laureate of Emeryville for 2011-2012, Author of Salt and Paper: 65 Candles

Gems of Wisdom
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
132 pages, $11.95, plus shipping & handling

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Love Fills in the Blanks: Paradoxes for our Later Years

Love Fills in the Blanks: Paradoxes for our Later Years book coverLove Fills in the Blanks:
Paradoxes of our Final Years

by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)

67 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Love Fills In the Blanks is an insightful heart-opening book that examines paradoxes of aging as they form from the direct experience of the author, Elizabeth Bugental, and of many of her students, each of whom is more than seventy years of age.

For Elizabeth, many things became apparent during the writing of this book. One is that we live in contradictions and paradoxes with the main ones being that as we grow old, we are more conscious of living than we are of dying and of finding than we are of losing. So it is natural that this book forms itself around paradoxes. In the pages within seven paradoxes are emphasized, although there could be hundreds. The book suggests that the right conditions for seeing and embracing the exquisite beauty that life offers us while at the same time experiencing difficulties that life presents us are all present once we approach old age consciously although at times it is difficult to stay aware of the possible hidden in the seemingly impossible.

The reality is that when we care for an ailing partner or adult child, contend with our own aches and pains, face unwanted surgeries, lose a spouse or sibling or friend, we get a rough shove into awareness. But with or without that shove, losses slowly mount and force us to wake up and deal with the inevitable. The paradoxes in this experience are a daunting and beautiful learning. As Elizabeth says, “I find myself seeing them everywhere now and I find that comforting. No need to decide, but to just acknowledge both sides of the seeming contradictions, and to live enjoyably with one in each hand for better balance and perspective.”

Reviews Shared from Amazon

At 87, I am the sort of reader who can be gratefully jolted and relaxed by Elizabeth Bugental s paradoxes. Speaking of giving and receiving, she says Saved and Savior. Which is which? Who cares? and one is shaken into a happier understanding of the matter. This is a touching, wise, and instructive little book.

-Richard Wilbur, Former US Poet Laureate and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Love Fills In the Blanks is a book to read again and again. Each reading will bring a new layer of understanding. We share with Elizabeth, the richness that is only possible as we age and our vision is stripped clear of the confi dent denial of our younger lives. Aging is, as she says, the journey of losing and finding. As Elizabeth teaches, paradoxes are to be embraced. We are all living them. Paradoxes not only express the fundamental ambiguity of our lives, embracing them also carves our capacity for being. As we hold with loving intensity one side of the paradox and acknowledge the other, our capacity to hold both increases.

-Alison Bonds Shapiro, MBA, Chair of the Board of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center

Opening to paradox opens the door to wisdom, and this book helps open that door.

-Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of California, and author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

Love Fills in the Blanks:
Paradoxes of our Final Years

by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
67 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care

Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer's Towards Forgetfulness CareDeeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
$9.95 eBook – Epub & Mobi

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“If you are a researcher, a hospital worker, a teacher, a caregiver, this book belongs on your desk or at your bedside. Deeper into the Soul will push you further than you meant to go, surprising you into a smile of pleasure, a buzz of new learning, a challenge to your usual interpretation of meaning. Best of all, it will engage and enlarge your heart.”

~Elizabeth Bugental, Psychotherapist and Author of AgeSong: Meditations for Later Years

This book is a practical guide for people who work and live with relatives or residents with symptoms of forgetfulness. The authors offer ideas and tips dealing with symptoms such as aggression and wandering, but they also explore a new way of understanding the people for whom we care. They ask the basic existential questions: What are the possible meanings of forgetfulness? What purpose does it serve for both caregiver and the one experiencing forgetfulness?

In Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Toward Forgetfulness Care, the authors invite us to shift our attitude toward dementia, or forgetfulness, as they call it. Accompanying us are four characters—a sage, a psychologist, a physician, and an intern—who each sees Forgetfulness from a different viewpoint. The goal is to develop a perspective which includes the basic ingredients of openness, curiosity and acceptance.

Deeper into the Soul reminds us that each stage of forgetfulness is a meaningful part of the life journey, during which people have important emotional and spiritual experiences. The authors remind us that with each effort to understand others, we expand our view of the world. Rather than simply a disease, forgetfulness has purpose and meaning; rather than simply being in need of our care, people with forgetfulness can teach us about life and living; rather than a burden, people with dementia offer us an opportunity to slow down, to be more open and caring, to get in touch with the essence of our human nature. In the process, we deepen ourselves, deepen our souls.

 

“Deeper into the Soul is a beacon of hope and understanding for victims of dementia, their caregivers and families. This remarkable book presents a comprehensive explanation of the challenges of life with Alzheimer’s, and encourages us regarding its possibilities for the future.”
— Edward Voris, Developer, Builder, Fundraiser; Recently diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s

“In times when our society faces an increasing number of people suffering from dementia, an approach that goes beyond the neurological explanations and adventures into the emotional and spiritual experiences of those suffering and those caregiving brings a perspective that encourages support, understanding, and a very much needed new paradigm to face this challenge. Deeper into the Soul represents that paradigm in which dementia and forgetfulness represent a meaningful part of the life journey.”
— Gloria Cavanaugh, retired President & CEO American Society on Aging/Consultant Institute on Aging

“If you are a researcher, a hospital worker, a teacher, a caregiver, this book belongs on your desk or at your bedside. …Deeper into the Soul will push you further than you meant to go, surprising you into a smile of pleasure, a buzz of new learning, a challenge to your usual interpretation of meaning. Best of all, it will engage and enlarge your heart.”
— Elizabeth Bugental, PhD; Psychotherapist and Author of AgeSong: Mediations for Our Later Years.

 

Deeper into the Soul:
Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care

by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
$9.95 eBook – Epub & Mobi

Purchasing Details:

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The Softcover Edition is Being Reprinted!

Would you like to be notified when it is back in stock?
Please email Michelle at books@pacificinstitute.org and she will let you when we have Deeper into the Soul available again.