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Bend, Oregon

Side By Side Project


The Center for Couples for Aging Together in Spirit

Caryl & Jay Casbon


The Side by Side, Hand in Hand: Couples Aging Together in Spirit  Project Center was born in the night, an inspiration that came to Jay in a dream, charging us to explore the nature of relationships as couples age together into the last season of their lives. It was birthed out of deep wondering about our own relationship, what dynamics we witness shifting within and between us, and what it means to get older together. How can we make the most out of these years, and contribute to others’ understanding of this as well?  Finally, we are most curious about how couple’s spiritual and creative lives impact and inform their relationship and their aging process.  We aren’t “doing” a study, but are undergoing it along with those who choose to partner with us.


While our society tends to frame aging as a disease, failure, or at best as a necessary misfortune, and the aged as a needy minority, we intuit and experience that, while clearly there are numerous challenges unique to this stage of life that demand courage and attention, it can also hold many treasures of deepening spiritual formation, as well as strengthening intimacy as a couple. There are many jokes about how hard it is to retire and actually go home to the person you married…every day, all day long, 3 squares a day. But who considers the possibilities of going deeper together at this poignant stage of life? We have personally found that aging allows for a quality of consciousness, and an experience of deep time, that is attuned to the movement of Spirit, creativity, depth, and generativity. Some have called aging a kind of “natural monastery,” or a “studio for creativity,” for it is a time of life that invites contemplation, concentration, imagination, perspective, and offers the gracious space and freedom to enter these realms, if you so choose.


Through a spacious yet intimate interview process with carefully selected couples, we are delving into these themes and exploring the ways that consciousness, courage, truth, love, trust, respect, and personal development weave a tapestry of meaning, purpose and aliveness as we age together, in Spirit. Our intention is to create a four-part film series, with a user’s guide, and eventually a book with our findings, to be used in online courses, institutes for leaders, and spiritual communities interested in exploring these themes as well. 


Please contact us if you are interested!