For the Buddha, the First Noble Truth is that the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable. In our society, the reality of aging and death is a taboo topic. The main goal of our group is to learn how to cope with our mortality through our mutual support. Facing the reality of our death can be a precious spiritual practice that we can share with others.
Our group gathers to discuss books that address the issue of aging and death in an honest and constructive way. We meet on the second Thursday of the month to share our reactions to our monthly readings. Readings for each session are recommended but not required to attend.
Starting February 9, 2023, we’ll read Alive Until You’re Dead by Susan Moon, a Zen teacher, the Introduction and first chapter (Joyful Effort). We’ll continue for a total of 10 weeks.
Here is paragraph from the Introduction:
You don’t know how long you’re going to live. You know you’re going to die, but it doesn’t seem real. Then, as you get older, people you love die. You ache for them. Your mortality impresses itself upon you. You notice the impermanence of all living things, maybe even of the human species, and you realize how amazing it is to be alive. You notice the joy of feeling connected to something beyond yourself. You catch a glimpse of what Zen Master Dogen meant when he said nine hundred years ago, “The entire universe is the true human body.”
Moon, Susan. Alive Until You’re Dead (p. ix). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.