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Just back from the Fifth International Conference on Positive Aging entitled “Innovation in Positive Aging.” It was hosted by Fielding Graduate University and held in Los Angeles, California at The Center for Healthy Communities of The California Endowment.

My colleague, Carol Orsborn, Ph.D. and I, Bob Weber, Ph.D., convened a series of five presentations on the topic “Developing Resilience through Spiritual Exercise in the Second Half of Life.”

Each presentation focused on a different question about developing spiritual resilience.  This blog posting will sketch the first question and invite you to consider your own answers to the question.  Four succeeding posts will frame the other questions and invite your consideration of them as well.

Carol Orsborn is the author of many books including The Art of Resilience: 100 Paths to Wisdom and Strength in an Uncertain World.  Currently, Carol is Senior Vice President with which provides audio-based spiritual content for the long-term care community; Senior Strategist with; and CEO of

As a clinical psychologist in private practice (Cambridge, MA); a supervisor, teacher and consultant at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA); and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, my focus at this time is the integration of aging, spirituality and mental health. One fruit of my interest is

The presentation at this conference arose from our mutual interest in these three elements, their interrelationship, and their integration.

For your reflection and consideration, here is the first overarching question and its five sub-questions:

What is mature spirituality?  And what is the relationship between mature spirituality and resilience?

  1. What is a psychologically and spiritually healthy vision of aging that neither reviles, marginalizes, nor romanticizes?
  2. How has your spirituality changed/deepened over time?
  3. What notions of God have you outgrown?
  4. What is the relationship between spirituality and religion?
  5. How can you assess your progress towards a more mature spirituality?


Posted in agingContemplAgeingmental healthspiritual issuesspiritualityWisdom on 10 December 2011
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