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Buddhist Approaches to Compassionate Care of the Dying

Residential Program
Dates: Jun 02, 2023 - Jun 05, 2023
Days: Friday - Monday
Number of Nights: 3 nights

Instructor(s): Cheryl Giles, Chris Berlin

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Program Description:

Buddhist traditions have developed numerous practices to prepare for death and to support others in their dying process. This program will explore a range of Buddhist approaches to death and dying, compassion, and contemplative practices that address end-of-life care. We will also explore how we might apply these Buddhist approaches and practices to contemporary caregiving with the dying. Participants will deepen their understanding of the skills that support us in being present to the dying through a Buddhist lens and reflect on the process of dying as an opportunity for spiritual growth through meditation exercises, listening practices, group work, and discussion.

Noble Silence:
Noble silence will be observed following each evening session through breakfast the following morning.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Cheryl Giles is the Francis Greenwood Peabody Senior Lecturer on Pastoral Care and Counseling and core faculty for the Buddhist Ministry Initiative at Harvard Divinity School. She joined the faculty in 1997 and teaches courses on spiritual care, trauma, and contemplative care of the dying.  Cheryl was co-editor of The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work with Willa Miller. Her most recent book is Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom co-edited with Pamela Ayo Yetunde.

  • Chris Berlin is an instructor in spiritual counseling, chaplaincy, Buddhist ministry, resilience, and contemplative practices at both Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard Extension School. He has worked as a full-time clinical chaplain at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he frequently taught mindfulness to both patients and medical clinicians. He is a lay teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and offers regular meditation classes, workshops and retreats in New England.