Contemplative Care encompasses the breadth of our innate caregiving capacity with the depth of meditative wisdom and universal compassion. Contemplative care is more a way of care than a how or what. It brings the gifts of contemplative practice to the knowledge, skills and best practices of caregiving.
A Contemplative Caregiver …
- Attends to others and themselves in an open-minded and non-depleting way in order to act with compassion, technical competence, clarity, and insight.
- Knows that each individual lives through cycles of giving and receiving care, giving and receiving care. Both are an inevitable part of life, and one’s place of giving care may change at any time to one of receiving care.
- Has a perspective on change which enables flexibility and equanimity in living with aging, sickness and dying.
- Actively engages with their own experiences of aging and sickness as much as that of those in their care.
- Cultivates self-compassion as the foundation of caregiving and thus directing compassion towards oneself as well as others while caregiving.
- Observes themselves (thoughts, feelings, body) and others in such as way that they bring acceptance to the here and now, without dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.
- Brings equal emphasis to the process of caregiving as well as the content of experience.
- Attends directly to the immediate needs of those in their care rather than focusing on ‘goal-oriented’ care which can lead to anxiety, disappointment and frustration.
- Appreciates the truth of our interdependence, transcending the division between the self and others.