We all know that retirement homes, nursing homes and hospices all are basically places where the elderly go to live out the final days of their lives, often without enough focus on the resident’s spiritual desires and state of mind. Many such institutions maintain the body but provide very little support in the life-long search for meaning and the continual quest for self-development. In short, these facilities lack a heart.
We will create “The Buddhist Home” as a model of a home that acknowledges the deeper spiritual needs of residents in addition to providing comfortable physical shelter and subsistence and attending to emotional and social needs.
Spirituality can include religious faith and practices, but can also be experienced and understood in non-religious ways as in this definition:
Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature and to the significant or sacred. *
This speaks to the essential processes of the spiritual journey of aging—continuing to find meaning and purpose in living and staying connected and engaged with oneself, others, and the larger world and, when the end of life comes, dying with as much physical, emotional and mental comfort as possible. How can we support those activities or beliefs? And through the programs we develop and the services we offer, are there ways to help elders continue to enrich their own good qualities as well as those of others?
We think so. As we wrestle with these questions for ourselves and those we serve, we will find all sorts of creative ways to support the spiritual journey of aging in addition to the traditional programs we will offer.
As a community with a shared heart, we wish to help each other shoulder our daily burdens so that we can enjoy our lives without having to manage everyday chores alone. With fewer distractions, we enjoy time for meditation, prayer and other group and for private pursuits as well as social interaction in an atmosphere that allows and encourages us to be our authentic selves. The Buddhist Home will have a welcoming presence that truly feels like home. Here, one can enjoy the simple pleasures of life amongst friends.
We welcome people from all walks of life who have an interest in cultivating their spiritual life, desire support up through the end of this life and who want to live in a community where activity is steeped in compassion and knowledge enhanced by wisdom.
* Definition from Consensus Conference: Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care as a Dimension of Palliative Care, held Feb. 17-18, 2009, Pasadena, CA. Sponsored by the Archstone Foundation.)