Islam: Religion and Politics, Myths and Realities

The topic of Islam as religion and politics is misunderstood by many of its followers and non-followers. Myths are bandied about by many pundits, as well as others. This course will explore the distortions and realities, the text and context, the relevant and the archaic teachings in the twenty-first century world. Asked by Gallup what they admired about Islam, 57% of Americans responded “nothing” or “I don’t know.”

Geezer Psychology: Explorations in Positive Aging

The course will look at the psychology of aging well. Presentations will examine the characteristics and correlates of healthy and happy seniors. We will discuss how our lifestyle choices during retirement can enhance our psychological health, happiness and resilience. Film clips and biographies will be used to exemplify positive aging and enhance our understanding of the keys to aging gracefully.

Enhance Your Mojo

This course will explore quality of life issues through the use of an inventory that addresses areas including learning, friendships, creativity, etc. The learner will select a specific life change target from the inventory and apply cognitive behavioral principles within a group setting. A final retaking of the inventory will document the changes that the learner has been able to achieve.

The Complexity of Relationships

Who are we and how are we connected? We will carefully read works from seminal sources and then discuss them, Great Books style, with the goal of gaining greater understanding of how we are related to one another, to the society we find ourselves in, and to the larger world. All readings may be downloaded from the instructor’s web site. Topics include: them and us; man and God; man and duty; black and white; man and woman; man and morality; parent and child; man and the State.

Creative Living and Higher Purpose

A major paradigm shift of the sort we are experiencing today challenges us to revisit the basic questions of humanity: Who are we? Why are we here? What are we to do? The good news is that our collective answers seem to hold great promise in creating the new consciousness that Einstein said we need to solve today’s complex problems. This course, especially through discussion, is intended to be very informative, understandable in practical terms, and inspiring.

Augustine and Luther: A Tale of Two Worlds

Using writings and recent biographies, the instructor will provide an introduction to and contrast the life and thought of two of Western Christianity’s most influential thinkers, the times in which they lived and thought and their relevance to our time.

Farley Snell ( has regularly taught courses in religion at the College for Seniors for several years. His PhD is from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Women in Transition

The years after fifty are a time of major transition for many women. Children move on, careers change or end, and relationships often need adjusting. Share concerns, thoughts, ideas and feelings with other women discussing highlights, low points, regrets and successes in terms of past, present and future. We can learn from each other as we reflect on our lives.Perien Gray

Turning the Mind Into an Ally

This course is intended to introduce a Tibetan school of meditation, Shamatha or Peaceful Abiding Meditation, and to open students into a transformative relationship with their own minds, one that brings deepened personal peacefulness and effectiveness in their lives while opening deeper capacities for wisdom and compassion. This course will contain lecture, discussion and meditation practice. The course will be built around the text Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham. Required text: Turning the Mind Into an Ally, Sakyong Mipham, ISBN: 1-57322-206-2. Cost: $14.04.

Photographing Mindfully

Mindfulness traditionally means paying attention without interference to the flow of moment-to-moment experience. In photography, the cultivation of mindful or conscious “seeing” can lead to timeless moments of deep clarity and immersion. This influences the quality of photographs – and often has an impact on other areas of our lives as well. This course assumes basic digital camera experience. Required text: The Tao of Photography, Gross and Shapiro, ISBN: 1-58008-194-0. Cost: $16.49 (new), from $9.75 (used).

Navigating Your Way to Lower Airfares

With the growth of book-your-own air travel via the Internet, finding the cheapest fares and best connections is a challenge for anyone regularly traveling by air, especially from Asheville. While this course can’t guarantee you’ll always find the lowest price, it will teach you how to navigate airline and non-airline web sites as well as hotel and car rental sites to locate available options. It will also review current airfare ground rules, puncture myths, and provide numerous travel tips.