Contemplative Caregiver Courses 2015

Principles & Elements of Contemplative Care     January 23 to April 18
This course clearly defines the characteristics of contemplative care and highlights their foundation in Buddhist teachings.  Participants apply their learnings in real life situations and then reflect on these to increase their contemplative care skills.  Topics include: tenets of Zen practice, mindfulness meditation, clarity and ease in the work place, compassionate presence, and a variety of methods for infusing caregiving relationships with kindness and comfort.

Zen Approaches to Aging, Sickness & Dying        May 22 to August 8
This course guides participants in the journey of acknowledgment, transformation and release that makes growth and freedom from the difficulties of change possible.   Topics include: curiosity and beginner’s mind, supporting friends and family in end-of-life decisions, contemplation of one’s own mortality, myths and realistic expectations in caregiving, and Zen rituals for transforming the pain of loss into growth, healing, and inspiration for the future.

Dynamics of Compassion Resilience        September 11 to December 5
A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress caregivers feel in difficult situations and can become a profound personal resource in times of stress. This course develops the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others.  Topics include: contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion, sustainable responses to suffering, self-compassion, and the power of intentional caregiving.

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As Buddhist teachings and meditation find an increasingly strong presence within various parts of American society, there is both an opportunity and a need to train people from all walks of life in the merging of contemplative practices with caring for those who are elderly, ill, or dying.  

Taught by San Francisco Zen Center teachers and professional caregivers, these courses engage individual, family and paid caregivers in contemplative practices and care methods.  People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from each of the courses.  No previous Buddhist, meditation or caregiving experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of each course.  All who attend  share an intention to develop greater skill and confidence in caring for people who are aging, sick and dying.

Each course can be taken separately, while in past years participants have greatly valued the depth and transformation generated by attending all 3 over the course of a year.  Upon completion of all 3 courses, participants receive a certificate as a Contemplative Caregiver.  Continuing education units are available.

Details, Fees & Application: Click here


Video: Introduction  ↓

Read about one Contemplative Caregiver’s experience here.

Video: In the Words of Our Participants  ↓

The Contemplative Caregiver Courses are a collaboration between Jennifer Block, founder of Beyond Measure School for Contemplative Care and San Francisco Zen Center, with Susan O’Connell,  President as the primary vision holder.  This curriculum will inform the Zen-inspired senior living community currently being developed by San Francisco Zen Center.