Religion, Ethics & Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation (161)

Mindfulness meditation helps us learn to live in the present moment with non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of what is.  It helps us to flow more easily with the ups and downs of our lives.  It is a practice which helps to create a more peaceful mind and heart open to deeper wisdom.  Controlled clinical studies of mindfulness-based meditation have documented reduction of physical and emotional distress and increase in greater health and well being. Our leader is Nan Spence, who for the past 11 years has studied mindfulness with respected teachers and has been authorized to teach it by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Nan holds a Master’s Degree in Theology with an emphasis in spirituality.  The class maximum is 16.

Fridays:  September 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 & November 7 • 10 - 11:45 a.m.
Price: $139 Members; $169 Non-Members    
Room: C140

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Buddhist Psychology: The Six Perfections (162)

Among the many practices carried forward by the living traditions of Buddhist mind-training are the “Six Perfections” or “Six Paramitas.”  A person who wishes to develop on the Path of compassionate action and wisdom relies on the Six Perfections: 1) generosity; 2) fidelity to moral precepts; 3) patience as the antidote to anger; 4) resolute effort; 5) mental concentration; and 6) wisdom.  We will discuss the Perfections from a traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhist viewpoint, and consider how they are relevant to our contemporary lives.  The class will be led by SVSU psychology professor Eric De Vos, who also leads the OLLI Buddhist Psychology Interest Group.

Tuesdays: October 7, 14, 21 & 28 • 3 - 5 p.m.
Price: $27 Members; $54 Non-Members    
Room: C129

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History & Philosophy of God (163)

Human beings appear to have spiritual brains – brains that are capable of feeling deeply connected to something greater than themselves.  Spirituality also appears to have positive, and sometimes negative, effects on people’s mental and physical health.  Spiritual practices, beliefs and phenomena are expressed and experienced in all kinds of ways and now modern neuroscience can offer new insights into the meaning and nature of spirituality.  We will look at the brain’s action in near death experiences, myth development, revelation, salvation philosophy, and many more interesting topics.  We will also study the role the brain has in religion and mental health, religion and brain dysfunction, and religion and health, to name a few.  We will use a Teaching Company DVD which features Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroimaging specialist.  The class will be led by OLLI member Ron Taylor.

Thursdays: October 23, 30, November 6, 13 & 20  9:30 a.m. - Noon
Price: $32 Members; $62 Non-Members   
Room: C129

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Death and Dying: An Exploration of Mind and Medical Ethics (164)

In this class we’ll interweave and explore a number of questions about the mind and medical ethics in the context of dying and the dead.  In session one we’ll explore ethical controversies surrounding the brain death protocol and the cardio-pulmonary criteria.  Is one dead when the body is alive and psychological states forever cease?  No one wants to die badly, and the war against death is not winnable, yet most Americans die in an intensive care unit (ICU).  In the next session, we will explore the notion of a good death in the context of physician-assisted suicide (PAS)  and dying in an ICU.  When a patient refuses a life-sustaining treatment they hasten their death; PAS also hastens death.  What are the ethically relevant differences?   This thought-provoking class will be led by SVSU philosophy professor James Hitt.

Tuesdays: October 28 & November 4, 10 a.m. - Noon
Price: $18 Members; $36 Non-Members  
Room: C129

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