Aging, Dying and Awakening: A Day of Meditation with Anna Douglas

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A day of meditation with special guest teacher Anna Douglas.

“Aging, illness and death are treasures for those who understand them. They are Noble Truths, Noble Treasures. If they were people, I’d bow down to their feet every day.”
 Ajahn Lee, Thai Forest Master

This sentiment is not our culture’s usual attitude, so this statement may sound jarring, or even distasteful. But as we ourselves grow old, it may begin to make sense. In fact much of the Buddha’s teaching becomes much more relevant as we age. Impermanence, emptiness of self, the suffering of wanting things to be different — all reveal themselves more clearly as the truth of aging takes hold in our very own body. And it is not all bad news: in the midst of these intimations of our mortality, something else emerges — we may resonate with the words of Martin Luther King: “You can’t choose when you will die or how you will die, but you can choose what you give your life to.” Dr. King lived this truth. He knew very clearly what his mission was, what mattered to him more than life itself. What do we choose to give our lives to? Paradoxically, we may discover that remembering our mortality is indeed vital to putting us in touch with our best and truest self.

Join a group of practitioners who are interested in seeing aging as a process which offers opportunity for loosening our fears and deepening in wisdom and compassion. The day will include silent sitting as well as Dharma teachings, interactive exercises, and discussion.

There will be a pot-luck community meal around 12:30; please bring a food dish to share.

Find teacher biographies and photos on our Teachers Page.


IMSB offers a day of meditation one Saturday each month. These monthly day long programs offer a consistent and easy opportunity for meditators to maintain a steady commitment to meditation, deepen their practice, explore various dhamma themes, and cultivate relationships with the community—and still be home in time for dinner!

The day long programs are usually structured with alternating sitting and walking meditations, augmented by meditation instructions, reflections, and teachings. Shaila Catherine leads most of the day longs, complimented by periodic guest teachers or community events.

There will be a pot-luck community meal around 12:30; please bring a food dish to share.

Everyone is welcome. There is no registration. Folding chairs are provided. Bring a mat and cushion if you prefer to sit on the floor. Beginner’s to meditation are encouraged to come on time since both sitting and walking meditation instruction are usually offered in the mornings.

These monthly events may take place at any of the churches where we meet—in Los Altos, Saratoga, or Mountain View. Be sure to double check the website event listing to determine the correct location.

IMSB relies upon the generosity of participants to support our teachers and cover organizational expenses. Dana is a word in the ancient Pali language that describes donations, offerings and generosity. Two bowls will be available at an event to practice dana for the teacher and IMSB; we encourage you to give joyfully and generously, according to your resources and means. IMSB is a 501(c) (3) organization. All donations are tax deductible as permitted by law.