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"What's It All About?" Exploratory/Discussion Group

 

What’s It All About?

 

An exploration & discussion of the big questions in our lives

Facilitated by Ben Bennett-Carpenter & Kathleen Ivanoff

Thursdays, 7pm-8:30pm, Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, & Nov 15, 2012

@ Birmingham Unitarian Church sanctuary, Bloomfield Hills

on Woodward Ave, near the corner of Lone Pine

$10 suggested donation per session ($5 for students)

Contact Ben @ 248 854 8340 or bbennettcarpenter@gmail.com

 

After all, what is it all about?  This four-week exploration and discussion group ventures into the big questions in our lives.  With some inspiration from poets, scientists, filmmakers, and musicians, we’ll explore together questions that range from the nature of human existence in the cosmos to why it is each one of us gets out of bed in the morning.  Through short writings and discussions, we will ponder questions like the following:

                                    What comes to mind for you if you are asked, “What’s it all about?”

                                    What are some main sources of inspiration or reference for you as you live your life?

                                    How do you think about “it all” – in terms of a picture, theory, story, or something else?

                                    How would you describe your place in the universe?  How about your place in society?

                                    If you could change things, what would you change -- & what would you keep the same?

    How would you describe what makes people “tick”?

    What or who defines you and how?  How do you define your self?

The group is open to those who’ve never pondered such questions, those who’ve pondered them their whole lives, and anyone in-between!

 

 Ben Bennett-Carpenter (www.benjaminbennettcarpenter.com) earned a PhD in religion & culture from the Catholic University of America, Washington DC, and more recently (2011), he completed an MA in clinical psychology at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.  He teaches courses in writing & rhetoric, creativity, and integrative studies at Oakland University and has published in related areas. 

 Kathleen Ivanoff's (www.kathleenivanoff.com) formal education began in 1989 as one of a handful of people who gathered to study with Tibetan Master Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche, after he moved to Ann Arbor from India to teach Buddhism in the West.  Eventually she became the Program Director of Gelek Rimpoche’s organization, Jewel Heart, working to develop the core curriculum that is offered in Jewel Heart Centers Worldwide.  In 2007 Kathleen graduated from EMU's Graduate Program in Women and Gender Studies and began teaching creative writing courses at EMU.  In 2011 she graduated from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology (formerly The Center for Humanistic Studies) with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.  She provides psychotherapy in Birmingham through Sollars & Associates and in Ann Arbor. 

 

Week 1 -- Oct 25: “The Mooring of Starting Out”

            Excerpts from Ashbery, Dickinson, & Wetzsteon

            Questions:                     What comes to mind for you if you are asked “What’s it all about?”

                                                     How might you have answered this question 10, 20, or 30+ years ago?

                                                     What are some main sources of inspiration or reference for you as you live your life?

                                                     What comes to mind for you as you read/hear these excerpts?

                                                     

Week 2 – Nov 1:  Making Sense of It All

                Excerpt from Hawking & Mlodinow

Excerpt from Annie Hall [film] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U1-OmAICpU)

Short video: We Are Star Dust  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8g4d-rnhuSg )

           

Questions:                  How do you think about “it all” – in terms of a picture, theory, story, or something else?

                                                     How would you describe that picture/theory/story/something else?

                                                     How do you answer the question “What’s it all about?” or “What’s the meaning of life?”

                                                     

Week 3 – Nov 8: Our Big Histories

               Excerpts from Bryson and Diamond                 

               Short video: Children of Africa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f0vlrTVC2tQ )

 

               Questions:                    How would you describe your place in the universe? 

                                                      How would you describe your place in society?

                                                      If you could change things, what would you change and what would keep the same?

 

Week 4 – Nov 15:  About Us – Human Nature

Excerpt from Pinker

                Short video: Ode to the Brain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JB7jSFeVz1U#! )

Excerpt from Whitman

 

Questions:                   How would you describe what makes people “tick”?

                                      How would you describe what makes you tick?

                                      What or who defines you and how?  How do define your self?

                                      And so what?  Who cares?  What are the implications for yourself and for others?

 

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Ben Bennett-Carpenter,
Sep 27, 2012, 4:03 PM
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Ben Bennett-Carpenter,
Sep 27, 2012, 4:03 PM
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Ben Bennett-Carpenter,
Sep 27, 2012, 4:03 PM
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Ben Bennett-Carpenter,
Sep 27, 2012, 4:03 PM
Ċ
Ben Bennett-Carpenter,
Sep 27, 2012, 4:03 PM
Ċ
Ben Bennett-Carpenter,
Sep 27, 2012, 4:03 PM
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