Dying with Choice: Leaving Your Body Behind

June 19th, 2020

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Kim Mooney, ThanatologistPresident of Practically Dying, LLC Geo Case, BCCCChaplain, Shamanic Practitioner (Note: Dylan Rivard, LPC did not attend)Private practice, Boulder, COUpadhyaya Elaine Yuen, Ph.D.Minister, ProfessorHost: Barry Erdman, LCSW, DCSW

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.

(Note: This panelist was unable to attend and did not participate):
Dylan Rivard, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor working in his own private practice in Boulder, CO. He is a graduate of Naropa’s Wilderness Therapy program as well as a Certified Hakomi Therapist. He currently provides Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy to clients struggling with treatment resistant depression and PTSD, as well as individual psychotherapy for adults with a focus on mindfulness, somatic experience, and self-love. In his spare time he serves on the board of The Nowak Society providing community outreach and education regarding the use of psychedelics in mental health, and also volunteers with Groove Medical Services; providing psychological first aid to festival attendees. To find out more about Dylan and his work please visit www.dylanrivard.com

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.

Additional Resources


Listen to Kim Mooney’s Interview on KGNU FM, broadcast on 6/17/20

Missed this program?
You can view the Zoom video recording replay HERE:

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