New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in partnership with The Garrison Institute presents the Fourth Biennial Contemplative Care Symposium, Building a Community of Care, Thursday-Sunday, November 8-11, 2018.

NYZCCC’s mission, to transform the culture of care through contemplative practice, meeting illness, aging, and death with compassion and wisdom, is at the heart of this symposium. You will meet thought leaders, healthcare advocates, professional caregivers, spiritual care providers, community leaders, innovators, and dedicated volunteers from around the country who, like you, are on the front line of our rapidly changing and increasingly strained healthcare system.

Through experiential learning, keynote addresses, workshops, conversations with your colleagues at dinner, in the hallways, and as you walk the beautiful grounds at the Garrison Institute, a renovated monastery located on the banks of the historic Hudson River, we will come together to build a community of care.

Scholarships are available on a need basis.  Please contact Katherine Gray at or (212) 677-1087 for more information.  

“It is rare to gather with others who recognize the spiritual dimension of human suffering as well as the deep desire of patients and caregivers for wholeness and healing. This symposium recognizes these needs and will inspire and train us to approach care through a contemplative lens.  We will all benefit from this one-of-a-kind experience.”

-Dr. Craig Blinderman, Division Chief, Adult Palliative Medicine Columbia University Medical Center/New-York Presbyterian Hospital

Indeed, a precedent has been set that relationship-centered care has utility to support critical life transitions. Within this modality, caregivers are more able to meet the needs of their patients, while addressing their own need for resilience and ease.

Who should attend?

Social workers, nurses, physicians, healthcare advocates, hospice workers, volunteer and family caregivers, researchers, chaplains, physician assistants.


13.75 hours of CME’s and CEU’s credits available for eligible doctors, nurses, and social workers.


CME application currently in process with Atlantic Health System.

Social Workers 

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, Inc., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0192. The number of clinical social work continuing education contact hours is 13.75.


New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care is an Approved Provider of continuing nursing education by the Northeast Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The Buddhist Contemplative Care Symposium is approved for 13.75 contact hours.

Keynotes Speakers

Amy Berman, Dr. Ira Byock, Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell, Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, Frank Ostaseski, Rev. Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, and more…

About New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care  

Transforming the way we need illness, aging, and death is the work of NYZCCC. Now in its 11th year, it uniquely brings together the three core elements of providing care, training caregivers, and supporting contemplative practice.

NYZCCC defines contemplative care as a multi-faith, relationship-centered approach to care that draws on the contemplative practice of the caregiver as the primary source of wisdom and loving action. We dare to be brave and creative, becoming intimate with our own suffering in order to alleviate the suffering of others.

NYZCCC’s ZenCare team provides care at New York City healthcare facilities helping to ensure that no one dies alone, and provides one-on-one direct care at end-of-life, as well as grief and bereavement counseling on a sliding scale so no one is turned away.

We have created an extensive educational curriculum accredited by New York State Education Department and the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.  Through a partnership with New York Theological Seminary, NYZCCC established the first accredited Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program in the country. We also offer an extensive compliment of workshops, classes, lectures, retreats and meditation opportunities.

About The Garrison Institute 

The Garrison Institute is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization committed to harnessing the power of contemplative wisdom and practices — from many traditions, and in many contemporary contexts — to build a more compassionate and resilient future for all. Located in a renovated former monastery on the Hudson River just an hour north of Manhattan, the Institute’s retreat facility provides a place of refuge, reflection, and restoration for thousands of people from all walks of life. Their programs explore the intersection between contemplation and engaged action in the world as they work to incubate new fields, build networks, and develop new pathways, rooted in a mix of both spiritual and secular understanding, that lead to deep and lasting social transformation.

Please register for the 2018 Contemplative Care Symposium through the Garrison Institute website.



  • Amy Berman

    Amy Berman is a Senior Program Officer with the John A. Hartford Foundation. She heads the Foundation’s Integrating and Improving Services grants, focusing on the development and dissemination of innovative, cost-effective models of care that improve health outcomes for older adults. She also directs a number of collaborations with federal partners such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Administration for Community Living. Ms. Berman openly shares her experiences living with Stage IV breast cancer. She has presented to the Institute on Medicine and has authored numerous pieces about her health care choices, palliative care and implications for patients, practice and policy. She has been featured in Forbes and on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. She also blogs on the Hartford Foundation’s HealthAGEnda site ( and can be followed on Twitter as @jhartfound and @notesonnursing.

  • Ira Byock, MD

    Ira Byock, MD is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. He serves as Chief Medical Officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services, based in Torrance, CA. Dr. Byock is Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He served as Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire from 2003 through July 2013. Dr. Byock has authored numerous articles on the ethics and practice of care. His research led to conceptual frameworks for the lived experience of advanced illness, subjective quality of life measures, and effective life-completion counseling. His leadership in development of groundbreaking prototypes for concurrent care of people through the end of life has been foundational to advancing patient-centered care. Byock’s first book, Dying Well, (1997) became a standard in the field of hospice and palliative care. The Four Things That Matter Most, (2004) is used as a counseling tool widely by palliative care and hospice programs, as well as within pastoral care. The Best Care Possible (March 2012) tackles the crisis that surrounds serious illness and dying in America and his quest to transform care through the end of life. More information is available at

  • Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell

    Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. The organization delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. In order to bring the work to a broader audience, he co-developed the Foundations in Contemplative Care Training Program. Chodo is part of the core faculty for the Buddhist Track in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling at NYZCCC’s education partner, New York Theological Seminary. He teaches in the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship. Chodo is a dynamic, earthy, and visionary leader and teacher, Chodo has traveled extensively in the U.S teaching in various institutions as well as bearing witness to the suffering of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and South Africa. His public programs have introduced thousands to the practices of mindful and compassionate care of the living and dying. 30,000 people listen to his podcasts each year. His passion lies in bereavement counseling and advocating for change in the way our healthcare institutions work with the dying. His work has been featured in the New York Times, PBS, Tricycle, Parabola and other media outlets. He is a recognized Soto Zen Teacher with the American Zen Teachers Association, White Plum Asanga, and Soto Zen Buddhist Association.

  • Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN

    Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the first Zen-based organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in America. NYZCCC delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. Paley Ellison is the academic advisor for the Buddhist students in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling program at NYZCCC’s education partner, New York Theological Seminary. He has served as the co-director of Contemplative Care Services for the Department of Integrative Medicine and as the chaplaincy supervisor for the Pain and Palliative Care Department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where he also served on the Medical Ethics Committee. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship, and he is a visiting professor at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, of the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston Medical School. Paley Ellison is a dynamic, original, and visionary leader and teacher. Koshin is the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care (Wisdom Publications, 2016). His work has been featured in the New York Times, PBS, Tricycle and others. Through his six years of training at the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association as well as clinical contemplative training at both Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and NewYork Presbyterian Medical Center which culminated in his role as an ACPE Certified Educator, chaplain, and Jungian psychotherapist. He began his formal Zen training in 1987, and he is a recognized Soto Zen Teacher by the American Zen Teachers Association, White Plum Asanga, and Soto Zen Buddhist Association. He serves on the Board of Directors at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

  • Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA

    Rev. Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA, is the executive director of the Alameda County Care Alliance (ACCA), a faith-based program in partnership with local clinical, academic, and community organizations.  The ACCA Advanced Illness Care Program™ helps persons needing advanced illness care and their caregivers address spiritual, advanced care planning, health (physical and psychosocial), social and caregiving needs by empowering participants and linking them to trusted resources in the community. Since the ACCA began in 2014, the Advanced Illness Care Program™ has expanded to over 14 African American churches in Alameda County and Contra Costa County.  Rev. Perrilliat is responsible for the overall success of the program, which includes program development, relationship development, implementation and training as well as strategic planning on program sustainability, replicability and scaling on a regional and national level. Rev. Perrilliat has over 25 years of experience as a change agent in healthcare, marketing and communications, biotechnologies and community organizations. 

  • Frank Ostaseski

    Frank Ostaseski is a pioneer in end of life care. In 1987, he cofounded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. He guided that groundbreaking work for almost 20 years establishing a longstanding model for mindful and compassionate care. In 2005, he founded the Metta Institute training countless healthcare clinicians and caregivers and building a national network of educators, advocates and guides for those facing life-threatening illness. Frank has dedicated his life to service. It has been fusion of spiritual insight and practical social action. It manifests in caring for the homeless, serving on the early front lines AIDS epidemic, lobbying congress, teaching meditation and most daunting raising four teenagers at the same time. He has distilled hard-won lessons from his own life journey and synthesized 30 years of being with dying into his personal brand of wisdom. He inspires and engages diverse audiences from Harvard Medical School students, to Mayo Clinic clinicians, and Wisdom 2.0 seekers. His work has been highlighted on The Oprah Winfrey Show, featured by Bill Moyers on his PBS television series On Our Own Terms and honored by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.

  • Sebene Selassie

    Sebene Selassie is a meditation teacher and certified Integral Coach®. She has been studying Buddhism since majoring in Comparative Religious Studies as an undergrad at McGill University. For over 20 years she worked with children, youth, and families nationally and internationally for small and large not–for–profits. Her work has taken her everywhere from the Tenderloin in San Francisco to refugee camps in Guinea, West Africa. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Sebene is a breast cancer survivor.

MEDICAL DOCTORS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements of the Medical Society of New Jersey through the joint providership of Atlantic Health System and New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. Atlantic Health System designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 13.75  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Atlantic Health System is accredited by the Medical Society of New Jersey to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

SOCIAL WORKERS: New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, Inc., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0192

This program is approved via NY State Board Offices for Social Work for 13.75  clinical social work continuing education contact hours.

NURSES: This program approved for 13.75  contact hours from NE-MSD CNE, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission On Accreditation.


  • Describe, integrate and demonstrate how contemplative care approaches can be used to improve communication between palliative/hospice care providers and their patients and families.
  • Describe, integrate and demonstrate how contemplative care approaches can be used to improve the assessment and management of spiritual-existential concerns in patients with advanced, life threatening, or terminal illnesses.
  • Identify team stressors, signs of clinical burnout, and their management using a contemplative care approach.
  • Explore ways in which a contemplative practice can facilitate self-care and a healthy work-life balance.


Professionals working in palliative and hospice care, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers.


To provide the most effective palliative and end-of-life care possible.
To encourage leading researchers, physicians, spiritual care providers and patient advocates to learn from each other and grow as healers.
To share contemplative best practices and experiential teachings, while collectively beginning work toward common standards of practice.


Amy Berman, Ira Byock, MD, Rev. Robert Chodo Campbell, Rev. Dr. Koshin Paley Ellison, Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA, Frank Ostasesk


There are no disclosures at this time.


There is no commercial support for this activity.


We are seeking workshop leaders in the fields of integrative medicine, palliative, hospice, end-of-life, and contemplative care to bring valued insight and inspiration to a dedicated group of caregivers exploring what it means to care for the most vulnerable among us.

Workshop leaders will receive a 30% discount off the price of registration for a single room. NYZCCC’s previous three symposia were at capacity with 200 participants. We anticipate this year’s event will follow suit.

NYZCCC is seeking proposals that emphasize experiential learning, skill building, innovation, and emerging trends. Please consider the following areas of inquiry:

  • • Skill-enhancement: innovative or trending approaches in caregiving that expand possibilities and thinking
  • • Diversity: how to implement skillful approaches that support and ensure ethnic, economic, and gender diversity in both caregiver and patient populations
  • • Community-building: emerging and proven strategies for collaboration and support for caregivers
  • • We welcome creative proposals that that will enhance, support, inspire the work of symposium participants

Deadline for submission is March 16, 2018

Apply to lead a workshop