Loading Events

« All Courses

Taking Difficulties onto the Path: Relational Wisdom in Caregiving Practice

Residential Program
Dates: Aug 02, 2024 - Aug 07, 2024
Days: Friday - Wednesday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Cheryl Giles, Chris Berlin

Course Navigation

Program Description:

In a Buddhist context, compassion involves a response to suffering that is fully engaged and free of judgment. This allows for a deeper wisdom of caring for self and others. This ideal, however, can pose challenges to professional caregivers who strive to balance compassion with challenges in relational encounters due to subjective experience and other differences. Intersectional identities between caregiver and careseeker require skillful means for compassion to nurture relational wisdom in the caregiving relationship. How might Buddhist practice help us cultivate a deeper sense of awareness of what we bring to our encounters with others? This program will explore: 1) how compassion can transform the intersubjective caregiving relationship; 2) the triggering that can arise due to unresolved trauma and how to practice skillful responding; and 3) the healing possibilities of intersectional understanding in our encounters with others through awareness and insight. Applied teachings will include Atisha’s 7-Point Mind Training (lojong), practices in self-compassion, trauma-sensitive somatic mindfulness, and socially engaged Buddhism.

A number of spots in this program will be reserved for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ participants.

Noble Silence:
Noble silence will be observed following each evening session through breakfast the following morning. Additional silent practice periods will be scheduled throughout the program.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Cancellation Policy:
This policy applies to all residential programs, including Paths. If you need to cancel your registration, please contact us as soon as possible. Please note cancellation fees are at most $50 for those receiving financial assistance. As of 2023, 100% of your deposit is forfeited if you cancel less than two weeks before the program start date and there is a $50 cancellation fee if you cancel two weeks or more in advance. Beginning in 2024, prior to six weeks before the program start date, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs more than two nights and $25 for programs two nights or less. 50% of your deposit is forfeited if you cancel between two and six weeks of the program start date. 100% of your deposit is forfeited if you cancel less than two weeks before the program start date.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    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.