Education & Contemplative Care Training Programs

“Do not close your eyes before suffering. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contacts and visits, images and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.”

—Guatama Buddha

As Buddhist spiritual practice finds an increasing presence within American society and science, there is both an opportunity and a need to use Buddhist practice as a springboard for training as contemplative caregivers. The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care offers four individual contemplative training programs and one Master Level Buddhist Studies program.  All programs are unique opportunities to study Buddhist principles and practices relevant to contemplative caregiving, as well as an introduction to the psychological, social, and ethical issues related to caregiving:

Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care Training Program

(Continuing Education Credits are available for Nurses and Social Workers for this program).

This nine-month course provides an introduction to contemplative care skills with a Buddhist approach, and is a pre-requisite for those interested in our CPE Training Program.

Students enrolled in this training conduct their clinical hours at facilities like Beth Israel Medical Center, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, or places in their local communities (for those who live outside of the New York metropolitan area). This training teaches people who are already caregivers and those interested in caregiving to integrate contemplative practices into their experience of caregiving. You can also apply to receive eight graduate seminary credits for this training, through our partnership with New York Theological Seminary.

To see Course Details, click here.

Medical Education

With our clinical partners, we create curriculum and other educational opportunities for medical students, medical residents, and fellows. All these educational trainings are centered on ethics, compassionate action, contemplation, and empathy. Some of our clinical partners include: University of Arizona Medical School’s Integrative Medicine Center, Mt. Sinai Medical School, and Maimonides Medical Center.

Professional Chaplaincy Training: Clinical Pastoral Education

Train as a professional chaplain with leaders in the Buddhist Contemplative Care field. Offered to our graduates of the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care Training Program, this nine-month course provides one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training.

Those wishing either to become board-certified chaplains or to simply deepen the integration of Buddhist teachings and practices into their caregiving avocation can continue training through our CPE courses. The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care is fully accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and is the first Buddhist organization to offer a fully accredited ACPE Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Buddhist Chaplaincy Training course, training students in spiritual and educational skills from a Buddhist perspective.

4 Units are required to complete the clinical portion for chaplaincy certification, and all four units are offered through NYZCCC, one to two units per year. A 72-semester credit graduate theological degree, or the equivalency of, is also required for certification and is provided by NYZCCC.

 Master Level Buddhist Studies

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care along with New York Theological Seminary are providing a Buddhist track of studies within NYTS Master of Pastoral Care and Counseling degree program.  Students are able to matriculate into this program and have the choice to audit or attend classes for credit.

We are happy to extend this offering with NYTS to those interested in integrating Buddhist studies and practice into their professional or non-professional training path.  To learn more about the current classes and offerings, click here.

Zen Training & Practice

Zen evolved from the teachings of the historical Buddha who lived 2500 years ago in India. Inspired in part by the Chinese practice of the Tao, Ch’an was characterized by a spontaneity and naturalness. Our Center is grounded in Soto Zen, which emphasizes practicing meditation without a goal, as everyone is already inherently awake. Seated, silent meditation is an expression of this.

Soto Zen is distinguished by its focus on the down-to-earth practice of “everyday zen.” It encourages awareness of the workings of one’s own mind as a means of living mindfully in all areas of daily life – at home, at work and in the community. In his “Instructions for the Cook,” Dogen taught that cooking and caring for other people were as important as sitting zazen and chanting sutras. Soto Zen is for those who want to practice Zen in everything they do. In coming face to face with their life in all its aspects, they come to know themselves and find their relationship to all other things. They learn to be truly here and to serve in all ways. (drawn from the Soto Zen Buddhist Association web site). To practice with the center, all are welcome. To find out more, click here.

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