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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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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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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