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

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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.

Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration

Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of InspirationCaregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration
by Roberta Cole and Riki Intner
Elders Academy Press (2006)

197 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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In Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration, Roberta Cole and Riki Intner take readers on what can be a life-altering odyssey of connection and caring.

At a time in our history when our population is living longer and longer, caregiving has become a national health issue as well as one of the greatest human challenges of our time. How do we respect, honor and attend to the needs of our elders? As well, how do we respect, honor and attend the needs of those facing life threatening health issues earlier in life.

How do we reconcile the seemingly huge gap between our own needs and theirs? And most of all, how do we create and sustain a dialogue that is meaningful for both?

Woven throughout Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of inspiration are the threads of true experience. We hear from children, friends, relatives and partners, long distance caregivers and many recipients of care. The shared stories help us to navigate the maze of emotion that can be at once tearful and ebullient, gut wrenching and heartwarming. The stories cover moments large and small and often address elder issues of pressing concern – from painful role reversal, driving, safety and depression to loss of mobility and even to last chance romance.

We learn that there is no right way to care and that caregiving opens windows on the full range of possibility available to us when we participate in one of the most profound adventures of our lives. The stories speak of agony and surprise – of joy and despair – but most of all – of discovery. Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration is like having a support group in your own home. Keep it on your nightstand and use it whenever you have the need.

Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration
by Roberta Cole and Riki Intner
Elders Academy Press (2006)
197 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Doing Sixty and Seventy

Doing Sixty and Seventy book coverDoing Sixty and Seventy
by Gloria Steinem
Elders Academy Press (2006)

72 pages, $13.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Gloria Steinem became a spokesperson for issues about aging quite accidentally after declaring to a reporter on the occasion of her fortieth birthday, “This is what forty looks like. We’ve been lying for so long, who would know?” Because of this casual comment about her age and about the collective societal pressure to lie about our age she received an avalanche of thanks and support from other women facing age discrimination. This caused her to realize the far reaching dimensions of age oppression.

In her inspiring essay, Doing Sixty and Seventy, Steinem shares her views on age stereotyping, the unexpected liberation that comes with growing older, and defines what she perceives as the fact that women become more radical as they age. The essay also sheds light on the forces that shaped her life and for readers who have only heard bits and pieces about her the essay offers a primer on her bold and logical theories.

In the essay, Steinem describes turning fifty as “leaving a much-loved and familiar country” and turning sixty “as arriving at the border of a new one” in which she looked forward to “trading moderation for excess, defiance for openness, and planning for the unknown.” In the Preface — written when Steinem is just past seventy and twelve years after the essay was first published — Steinem explains the development of her precious sense of mortality and time.

Elders Academy Press is proud to publish Ms. Steinem’s enlightening and thought-provoking essay — thus allowing it to appear for the first time as an independent volume.

About the Author
Gloria Steinem remains the United States’ most influential, eloquent and revered feminist more than three decades after founding Ms. magazine. A devoted activist and writer, Steinem continues, as she has for more than thirty-five years, to travel nationally and internationally and speak with a calm voice of reason and articulation about gender, racial, and other civil inequity issues.

Doing Sixty and Seventy
by Gloria Steinem
Elders Academy Press (2006)
72 pages, $13.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Faces of Aging

Faces of Aging Faces of Aging by Nader Shabahangi book cover
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2002)

80 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Faces of Aging is a collection of essays and photographic images that address the challenge of aging in a society that is not sympathetic to older people. The result of this negativity deprives us all from interaction with a very valuable segment of the population.

Older people can provide us with experience, knowledge and affection if we change our attitude toward them and begin to see them as a resource rather than a liability. History and the humanistic tradition have shown us that when respected and valued, older citizens can continue to be productive and creative and can contribute to the quality of life.

Faces of Aging is a tribute to elders and is dedicated to removing the veil from the subject of aging. The book invites us to ask how we can remain conscious of the ways in which we impose our own fears of aging, of death, of the changes that invariably occur as we age, onto the elderly themselves: If we ask ourselves to face our own fears of aging and dying, maybe we can begin to understand how these fears express themselves in our work with and attitudes toward the elderly. How, in our interactions with the elderly, can we remain open to what they have to offer us, not only because they have more life experience than we do, but also because they are entrusted in our care? How does our contact with the elderly inform our awareness of our own inner elders? How is the whole topic of the elderly important to those of us in the younger generations?

Why do we age and what for? Of what are we afraid when we think about aging? How did it happen that we humans came to treat today’s elderly in such a disrespectful fashion? How would we like to be seen when we are old? This book is an invitation to look at aging and old age differently, to question our common cultural and personal assumptions about aging and old age. The writing, photos and poems presented will invite the reader to meet with the many images of aging and look anew for meaning in aging and old age, for the maturity and wisdom the Old Wise Guide, inside of us all, offers us.

About the Author
Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D., received his doctorate from Stanford University and is a licensed psychotherapist. His multicultural background has made him an advocate for different marginalized groups of society throughout his adult life. In the 1980’s he worked with abused children and teenagers and led anticipatory bereavement groups for Coming Home Hospice. In 1992 he founded the non-profit organization Pacific Institute with the purpose of training psychotherapists in a multicultural, humanistic approach to counseling and to provide affordable therapy services to the many diverse groups living in San Francisco.

Faces of Aging
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2002)
80 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Ambiguity of Suffering

Ambiguity of SufferingAmbiguity of Suffering book cover
by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
230 pages, $24.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Suffering holds one of the deeper meanings of life: the ability to connect with your soul, your deep humanity. This connection with suffering pushes us to become ever more aware. Rather than trying to eliminate suffering, we can celebrate it as an opportunity to deepen who we are. This book is my effort to re-introduce a love of philosophy to psychology. As Suzuki Roshi states, we’re beginning to look again at the world from a place of not knowing rather than knowing — a world full of possibility and probability, as opposed to fact and clarity.

From the Preface

The legacy of this book – lived through Nader’s teaching, his numerous elder-focused writings, his groundbreaking work in elder care, and ever rippling into new realms of possibility – is evidence of the vibrancy and passion that reside between its pages. This is not surprising, considering that the ideas put forth in this book are essentially a preface to the decades of Nader’s service to elders. Just as Freud’s Project became an underlying treatise for his later intellectual contributions to psychology,parallels abound between this writing and Nader’s later contributions to existential and process-oriented psychology, as well as his revolutionary impact on elder care.

Nader is acknowledged in the field for his promotion of a new language for what is traditionally known as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond simply reframing these phenomena as experiences of “forgetfulness,” this new language is infused with an appreciation of the utter mystery and depth of the forgetting experience, rather than focusing solely on what is tragic.

 

“A clarion call for those of us privileged to call ourselves awareness workers, psychologists, counselors, social workers, process workers and psychiatrists alike. Nader Shabahangi’s words invite us into a challenging dialogue with Freud and Heidegger, two thinkers whose ideas forever changed our way of understanding the inner and outer world. Above all, Ambiguity of Suffering alarms us to awaken from the prevailing narrative of positivism, and to enter a world rich with ambiguity, mystery, and meaning.”
— Troy Piwowarski, Psy.D., LLP, Licensed Psychotherapist

“In this inspired re-contextualization of psychological epistemology, Dr. Shabahangi problematizes the very grounds upon which mechanistic influences of human behavior are predicated. Categorical diagnoses of the many forms of human suffering reflect an effort to eradicate pathological mental conditions, and yet, as Dr. Shabahangi demonstrates, the experience of making meaning as a human in the world compels suffering — just as the ambiguity of suffering, and all that accompanies its existential significance, nourishes the meaningfulness of being. From the orientation of Heidegerrian philosophy, Ambiguity outlines historical and present-day mechanistic conceptualizations of the human experience, problematizes a reductive understanding of the human mind and spirit, and advocates for a more holistic conceptualization and treatment of the “problem” of psychopathology.”
— Stephanie Rothman, Ph.D.

 

 

Ambiguity of Suffering
by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
230 pages, $24.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years

AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later YearsAgeSong: Meditations for our Later Years
by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2005)
83 pages, $20.00, plus shipping

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AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years is a heartening, insightful companion for reflecting on the journey of aging.

Growing old is not an option. But how we age is a choice. At least we like to think so. AgeSong gives us a pleasurable nudge and a little inspiration to take charge of our aging. None of us knows how many years this final life-phase will last, but it’s a pretty good bet that it will last at least as long as our adolescence.

If we can remember back that far, unlike this life-phase, those teens and early twenties seemed to go on forever and we sure didn’t have a plan. Now we’re old enough and maybe even wise enough to decide how we’d like to live before we die. And maybe we even have the guts to make the choices we need to make to do it in style.

The style, of course, needs to be our own, not one planned out for us by society, our children, our peers, or even our personal habitual mind-sets. We’re finally old enough to consult our deeper selves and do it our way.

AgeSong can be taken in small doses to direct our thinking toward the possibilities ahead of us rather than the life we’ve left behind. It offers us a look into a world that, for many of us, has always been available, but which we may not have had the physical or mental luxury of enjoying. It provides us a simple, yet profound, breathing space to take in the richness within our reach that could fill our last days with wonder and gratitude.

About the Author

Elizabeth Bugental spent her 20’s and 30’s as a Catholic nun in Los Angeles. She taught on all levels and was, for over a decade, Chairperson of the Department of Theatre Arts at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Her second career, lasting into her sixties, was as a psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area, in private practice and working jointly with her husband of thirty-six years, James Bugental, noted Psychologist and author. She held a doctorate in Speech and Drama from Stanford University, a Masters Degree from Catholic University of America and practiced as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years
by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press, 2005
83 pages, $20.00, plus shipping

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