Halloween for Thinkers: Let's Talk Back to Death -- by Affirming Life!

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Halloween for Thinkers: Let's Talk Back to Death -- by Affirming Life!

with Ron Gross

Thursday, Oct. 30, 4:00 SHARP – 5:15 pm

Teachers College, Columbia University

525 West 120th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam Ave. – 116th St. stop on the #1 train)

Room 305 Russell Hall

RSVP to [masked] -- space is limited.

Please bring photo ID required for entry to building, and plan to arrive by 3:45 to be courteous to fellow participants.

Halloween is a holiday that makes fun of Death. At this Conversation, we’ll be inspired by death-defying mentors from Socrates to Woody Allen. Let’s use wit, thoughtfulness, and conviviality to deal with the Grim Reaper! (Costumes are Welcome but optional.)

Please join us to share your convictions, feelings, and hopes. We’ll be in good company: thousands of Americans are attending Death Cafes, Death Dinners, and Death Salons (featured on the front page of The New York Times). A Showtime documentary series, Time of Death, focuses on "real people face to face with their own mortality." An acclaimed recent book, The Death Class: A True Story About Life, reports that there’s a 3-year waiting list to enroll in this offering at Kean University in New Jersey; a similar on-line course, by Professor Shelly Kagan, is available from Yale University.

We are learning to talk about death more freely, frankly -- and life-affirmingly! Come join the movement to demystify this taboo subject. It can be a significant step in learning how to live.

Among the topics we'll discuss are:

Does your awareness of your mortality affect the way you are living your life? Should it? How?

What is one of your favorite novels, movies, TV shows, plays, musical works, or other art that deals with Death?

What happens after death? Do you feel that you are still somehow in contact with anyone you have lost?

Do you feel that you’ve thought enough about mortality, to sort out your ideas and feelings in ways that are satisfying to you?

Do you have any strong convictions about what you would like to happen at the end of your life? Should we have The Pill?

CNY Members please note: This conversation will be followed at 5:45 by the monthly meeting of the CNY Steering Committee, which you are warmly welcome to join!


For more information:

Ronald Gross

Conversations New York




“Would It Kill You to Spend an Hour Talking About Death?”

That’s the conversational challenge to New Yorkers in the period leading up to Halloween!

Conversations on the subject of Death will be hosted by organizations and institutions including the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Trinity Church, and the Death Café of NY which has been featured on the front page of The New York Times.*

In addition, individuals and informal groups throughout the five boroughs are encouraged to organize their own conversations. Easy-to-use instructions are available at http://www.deathcafe.com/how/ and www.TheConversationProject.org (http://www.theconversationproject.org).

“These conversations will be celebrations of life,” says Ronald Gross, director of Conversations New York (CNY), the organization which is promoting the events. “They are inspired by the classic dictum: ‘Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.’ (Bertolt Brecht)

Events will be listed on the CNY calendar at http://www.conversationsnewyork.com starting October 5th.

Ninety percent of Americans think it’s important to have such conversations, according to a report issued by the Institute of Medicine earlier this month, but fewer than 30% actually have them.

Gross will conduct a final event at Columbia University on Oct. 30th, the day before Halloween, at 4 pm -- for the location, RSVP to [masked].

Conversations New York (www.conversationsnewyork.com (http://www.conversationsnewyork.com/)) is a community of volunteers which organized a Conversation Day celebration in Bryant Park on August 30th, in conjunction with similar events in San Francisco, London, and Paris, and earlier this year held a symposium on The Power of Conversation at Columbia University.

* Dates/times/locations:

Sunday, Oct. 12, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm, New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., Ceremonial Hall – 4th Floor, $5 suggested donation, Moderator, Barbara Simpson. A gathering in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea, and eat delicious cake.

Monday, Oct. 20, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Trinity Church, 74 Trinity Place, 2nd Floor Parlor, Facilitated by Jane Gignoux. Join us for an informal gathering where you can safely share with others your questions, concerns and/or experiences regarding any of the many aspects of death—our birthright. There’s no intention of leading participants towards any particular conclusion, product or course of action. All are welcome.

Wednesday, October 15, 6 pm – 7:30 pm, Death Cafe meets at Hunan Manor, 339 Lexington (bet. 39th and 40th Street, Hosted by Nancy Gershman and Audrey Pellicano.

RSVP to http://www.meetup.com/Death-Cafe-New-York-City/events/146245342/

Price $11:00 per person includes endless pots of tea and small plates of savory foods, vegetable soup and fresh fruit.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


Hundreds of New Yorkers coming together in small groups of neighbors and fellow citizens to discuss topics of intensive interest…

Hosted at no cost and at convenient locations and times…

Aided by simple guiding principles…

Inspired by the city’s grand tradition of robust conversation…

Our vision is to inspire, organize, publicize, facilitate and celebrate a renaissance of healthy dialogue in New York City.

Learn more:

If you would like to easily add to our strength, we’d be grateful for your taking these easy steps:

1. Visit us at http://conversationsnewyork.com/about-cny/ to learn more about us, subscribe to our website, and spread the word.

2. Share with us your reactions, questions, and suggestions about this venture. [masked]

3. ”Like” our organization on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ConversationsNewYork

4. Consider convening a Conversation yourself – our site will soon provide resources, but in the meantime just ask us.

5. Tell us about Conversations you think should be listed on our on-line calendar.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about promoting and encouraging stimulating conversations in New York City!

Thank you