Foundations in Contemplative Care 2017-2018

A nine month training program in spiritual caregiving

Sept 7th, 2017- May 5th, 2018

Are you ready to train in contemplative care skills with other like-minded people? Would you like to study with leaders in the field of Buddhist caregiving? Foundations in Contemplative Care is designed to meet the needs of people in a variety of ways by:

• Building a community of caregivers interested in integrating caregiving with contemplative practices

• Beginning training for those interested in becoming volunteers or professional caregivers in their local communities, hospitals, hospices, and other places where spiritual care is needed

• Offering basic training in spiritual care including attending the sick and dying, performing ritual, and offering spiritual direction


Attend an Informational Session about the upcoming 2017-2018 Foundations program on Monday, April 24th, 7:30-8:30pm at NYZCCC. Click here for more info.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To download the 2017-18  Foundations Application OR upload your completed application, click the button below.

Foundations Application

Program Components

  • Eight monthly trainings including one four-day residential Contemplative Care Retreat, at the Garrison Institute
  • 100 hours of volunteer contemplative caregiving at a clinical site (hospital or hospice.) Students local to New York City complete these hours at VNSNY or Lennox Hill. Non-local students can do their clinical hours near to where they live
  • Eight one-on-one mentoring sessions
  • Monthly assigned reading and writing assignments
  • Monthly meetings with peers


  • History of Contemplative Care: applications and settings for spiritual care and engaged Buddhism
  • Contemplative Care Skills I: purpose and functioning of a caregiver, establishing spiritual care relationships, active listening, spiritual counseling, verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Contemplative Care Skills II: spiritual assessment, ritual, collaboration with other professionals and disciplines
  • Buddhist practices related to contemplative care
  • Cultural competency in a multicultural world
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Use of Self; when to disclose and when not to, boundaries and ethics of conduct; personal safety; sexual feelings in spiritual care relationships
  • Interfaith and multi-faith ministry, religious directives
  • Creating and Leading Rituals: memorials, rites of passage, practice rituals
  • Ministry to death and dying, grief and loss
  • Critical Incidents: trauma, addiction, suicide, homicide, domestic violence
  • Elective Study

To complement the training program, the New York Zen Center offers public talks, retreats, workshops, and other training programs. To view upcoming events, click here.


Classes will be held at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in New York City:  119 W. 23rd Street, #401 (between 6th and 7th Avenues).

2017/18  Training Dates:

Classes meet from 10am-4:30pm.

Friday, Sept. 7

Saturday, Sept. 8

Friday, Oct. 6

Saturday, Oct. 7


Thursday, Oct. 19 thru Sunday, Oct. 22

Friday, November 3

Saturday, November 4

Friday, Dec. 1

Saturday, Dec. 2

Friday, Jan. 5

Saturday, Jan. 6


Thursday, Jan. 11 thru Sunday, Jan. 14

Friday, Feb. 2

Saturday, Feb. 3

Friday, March 2

Saturday, March 3

Friday, April 6

Saturday, April 7

Friday, May 4

Saturday, May 5

Guidelines for Enrollment

The training program is designed for people who have a Buddhist or contemplative practice, or are interested in beginning one. With this in mind, the guidelines for entering the program are the following:

  • Letter of recommendation from a Buddhist teacher or someone who knows your spiritual practice
  • Regular and committed Buddhist or contemplative practice and study for at least six months (or previous chaplaincy training)
  • Two Buddhist or contemplative retreats of one week or longer or the equivalent. If you have not yet experienced a week-long contemplative retreat, NYZCCC will help provide that for you
  • An in-person interview (non-local applicants are required to come in for interview)
  • Background check conducted by NYZCCC

Graduate Credits

This is a graduate-level training that includes several self‐directed learning components. It does not certify you to become a chaplain. However, successful completion of the Foundations Program does make you eligible to apply for our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training program. Also, once you are accepted to the Foundations Program, you have the option to register through our partner institution, New York Theological Seminary, to receive eight graduate credits for this program. There is an additional charge, paid to NYTS for these credits. To learn more about NYTS and our relationship with them, please go here.

Continuing Education Credits

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 Foundations program is approved for 120 contact hours.


NYZCCC 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 Foundations program is approved for 120 contact hours.

Learning Objectives:

Using the Buddhist precepts as a springboard for discussion and activity, students of The Foundations in Contemplative Care Program will learn 1) to perceive the suffering around them, 2) bring interpretative rigor to what they perceive, 3) see events from multiple points of view and be moved to compassionate action through the principles of bearing witness and not knowing. These skills will be acquired within the restrictions (time, costs, etc.) of the current environment for health care workers.

Speaker Disclosure Statement:

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care’s staff and teaching faculty have no conflict of interest relative to the Foundations Program.

For more information regarding contact hours, please call Mary Remington at 212.677.1087

Tuition and Admissions

  • The cost for the nine-month program is $3,950 (payable by check or credit card). This also includes the cost of a triple room at the Contemplative Care Retreat in October.  You may pay a modest supplemental fee if you would like a double or single room. Please note, all retreat teachings are offered on a dana basis. To allow the teachers to continue their dharma work, support from the participants is needed. There is an opportunity to contribute at the end of the retreat.
  • A limited amount of financial aid is available. Those awarded are asked to offer assistance during training days.
  • Space is limited. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.  They are accepted year-round.

Applications are received and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, so sending in your application early is advised. To download the application, click here.

The first non-refundable payment of $2,000 is due 2-3 weeks after students are accepted to the program.

The balance of payment of $1,950 is due on Friday, August 25, 2017 (two weeks before class begins).

If a student withdraws before Sept. 7, 2016 (the day Foundations begins), student receives a 25% refund of the second payment.

If a student voluntarily leaves or is asked to leave the Foundations program after it begins (Sept. 9, 2016), tuition will not be refunded.