Going Forth: A Buddhist Model for Retirement and Beyond


An Online Course with Wendy Eisner,

Wednesday Evenings from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. October 23 – November 13, 2019


Course Registration: $50 for 4 sessions

Okay I lied: the title isn’t completely accurate. We’ll be discussing many points of view regarding retirement, aging, and life’s transitions, but the Buddha’s words on this phase of life are inspiring and we can start with him:

“Whilst we thus dwell with earnest minds, eager, unweariedly, the memories of household things pass from us; and as they so pass, the heart grows ever more steady, becomes quieted and unified, finds peace.”

For this course I will be both your guide and your companion. I will organize the sessions and introduce some really great, inspiring readings which also offer practical and sober views of the latter phase of our lives. However, this is a path that all of us take, in one way or another, and I intend for us all to be involved in discussing our personal lives, aspirations and fears. I will begin the sessions with guiding remarks and we will have some exercises and contemplations. The core of the class will be a conversation. I hope it will be challenging and loving and helpful for all of us.

I should also add that, to benefit from this course, you don’t need to be nearing retirement. You can be retired for decades, work at home, or just be interested in investigating these topics. You also don’t need to know anything about Buddhism!

Week 1. Addicted to the Rewards of the World

We’ve been conditioned to reject the idea of retirement because we’ve spent our entire lives being told we have to be successful. We may love what we’re doing, or we may hate it. We may not know how we feel because of our deep habits. How do we figure out what we really want?

Week 2. Keeping Busy, Getting Lost

We are also conditioned to always stay busy and “useful”. This time of transition can be an opportunity for re-evaluating our beliefs concerning the correct way to spend our time. It might be time to try out a whole new paradigm for our lives and free ourselves from the need to “do” what we previously thought was important.

Week 3. Impermanence, Aging, and Illness

The transition into retirement isn’t all about Golden Years, is it? It’s also about loss: grieving over our lost loved ones, our youth, and our often-bleak view of the future. By clearly looking at loss and change we can gain some new perspectives and wisdom.

Week 4. Going Forth

We are all different and our needs and circumstances are not the same. We have to accept this and decide what we as individuals can do with our lives given where we are right now. The Buddha had some rather dynamic and enthusiastic things to say about the shift to retirement:

“Go forth for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction. Teach the Dharma which is beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle and beautiful at the end.”

Want to join us? Register here.


Questions? Fill in this form.