Dying with Choice: Leaving Your Body Behind

June 19th, 2020

11:30am – 1:30pm

Location: The Boulder Jewish Community Center
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Kim Mooney, ThanatologistPresident of Practically Dying, LLCGeo Case, BCCCChaplain, Shamanic PractitionerRob Colbert, MA, Ph.D.TBDUpadhyaya Elaine Yuen, Ph.D.Minister, ProfessorHost: Dawn Taylor, Phd

About The Presentation

Dying today is often complex, tugging us between bodies that can die for a long time, our fabulous, relentless medical system, and the desire to have a death that reflects the wholeness of our life.  What does it mean to die with dignity? How does medicine help and hinder that? Can we learn how to let go without fear?  What are our roles and responsibilities to our own deaths?

In this presentation, we’ll discuss volitional ways to recognize and approach death as part of life as well as choices about how to die when we want to.  In the panel portion of the presentation, we’ll talk about how to prepare oneself to be less fearful in the dying and death process through practices In Buddhism and Shamanism as well as with psychedelic medicines. 

About the Panelists

Kim Mooney has worked in the end-of-life and grief field for over 26 years, with hospice, and as an independent consultant, most recently receiving the international Association for Death Education and Counseling’s 2018 Community Educator award. She has worked with statewide Advance Care Planning initiatives, crisis intervention teams, the Colorado End Of Life Options Act, and The Conversation Project.  She is the Founder of Practically Dying, LLC, an educational and support organization whose mission is to help us remember how to engage birth, life and death as opportunities to live without hesitation and die without regret.

Geo Case, BCCC is a board certified clinical chaplain and shamanic practitioner with 20 years of experience in home health and hospice.  He has had the honor of providing spiritual care, energy work and ritual within the western model of hospice in addition to private practice.  Through his personal and professional experience with death, he has found deep honor and respect for each individual’s unique journey home.

Rob Colbert, MA, Ph.D. received his BA in Contemplative Psychology in 2008, and an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology in 2012 from Naropa University. At Naropa Rob helped co-organize a student group, the Naropa Alliance for Psychedelic Studies (NAPS), and while finishing doctoral course work at the California Institute of Integral Studies became a member of the Entheogenic Research, Integration and Education (ERIE) student group. Rob completed his dissertation in 2018, titled “Evenings with Molly: a Grounded Theory Discovery of Adult Recreational MDMA use,” which investigates the use of MDMA in adult committed relationships. Rob will be speaking about psychedelic medicines and how research evidence suggests their use can help people cope with anxiety, depression, and help prepare for death.

Upadhyaya Elaine Yuen Ph.D. is a Buddhist minister and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  At Naropa, she teaches courses on pastoral care, spirituality and ritual, and trained as an interfaith hospital chaplain at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.  She is currently researching how Buddhist chaplaincy is practiced in the West as well as in Asia.  She continues her exploration of contemporary life through many activities as a teacher, parent, and artist.

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