WELCOME TO THE NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER
We hope these autumnal days of November find you well. We have just returned from leading a Zen Meditation retreat with Roshi at Garrison. All around us were the falling last leaves creating a carpet of every color.
In this newsletter you will find: an article from the Medical Ethics Advisor on the work of the Center, a Dharma talk by Trudi Jinpu Hirsch Abramson, an essay on Poetry and Contemplative Care by one of our chaplaincy students, and many other notices—including the newly released report on Spirituality in Palliative Care. Our chaplains who work on the Palliative Care team at Beth Israel are part of this movement.
This month we wish for each of us to consider what we are grateful for. Thank you to those who donated books to our new library. It is wonderful to build a spiritual care library for many to nourish themselves from. And of course, thank you to all of those who have donated this past month. Your contributions are invaluable, and you have our deep gratitude. Many have used the recurring donation option on our web site, which allows you to make an automatic set donation each month. Please consider this way of providing financial support.
In the Dharma,
Koshin + Chodo
Zen Buddhist Chaplains Practice Not Knowing
The Medical Ethics Advisor features the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care’s unique work at Beth Israel Medical Center in their September Issue’s article, “Zen Chaplains Practice Not Knowing.” To read the article, click here
Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care as a Dimension of Palliative Care. The Report of the Consensus Conference
This report in the Journal of Palliative Medicine Recommends Unprecedented Guidelines to Incorporate Board Certified Chaplains into Palliative Care. This is wonderful news.
The report also created a definition of spirituality that was accepted across the disciplines. “Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” The report identifies seven key areas for improving spiritual care: spiritual care models; spiritual assessment; spiritual treatment/care plans; interprofessional team; training/certification; personal and professional development; and quality improvement. To read the full report, click here
The last week of October was Pastoral Care Week.
Our senior chaplain, chaplain interns and contemplative care volunteers joined the Pastoral Care Department at Beth Israel in giving out information about what we offer. We would like to just take a moment to honor the ongoing service that our senior chaplain, chaplain interns and contemplative care volunteers provide to hundreds of patients, staff and families here in New York and all over the country.
NYZCCC Leads Autumn Wind Zen Meditation Retreat at Garrison Institute
From October 29th to November 1, Roshi Enkyo O'Hara, Koshin Paley Ellison, and Robert Chodo Campbell led our Autumn Wind Zen Meditation Retreat at the Garrison Institute. It was a rich few days of deep meditation, liturgy, dharma talks, and self care time. Special thanks to the Integrative Yoga Therapists and our chaplaincy and Foundations students, who made the retreat such a rich time of deep reflection. The retreat was organized by Mary Remington, our Retreat and Programs Manager. Three bows to you all.
REGISRATION NOW OPEN: NYZCCC Sangha Annual Contemplative Care Retreat: February 11-14, 2010
Join the Core Teachers and the NYZCCC Sangha for four days of teachings, practices, yoga and community time. Come and connect. All are welcome. Space is limited. Register early.
For more information, click here.
Contemplative Care Sangha
Come practice with the Sangha every Monday at OM yoga from 6 to 7:30 pm. All are welcome.
For more info, click here.
Koshin to Speak on NYZCCC's Work at Meditate NYC: Sunday, November 7
For 2500 years, Buddhism has taught meditation as a means of cultivating tranquility, kindness, and wisdom. Research confirms meditation's positive effects on body and mind. Meditate NYC
begins with an afternoon of meditation instruction by speakers from a great variety of traditions. NYZCCC's Guiding Spiritual Teacher, Roshi Enkyo will be the event's MC. The event is FREE and everyone is welcome! Co-Founder, Koshin Paley Ellison will speak about the work of the Center at 4:30 pm. Join us for a rich afternoon of meditation, instruction and dharma talks. Click here
Caring for the Caregiver: A Contemplative Approach to Caring
Join the Co-Founders at New York Open Center for a day-long retreat: Saturday, November 14.
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
Taking care of another person through illness and death can be the most profound journey we will ever experience. It can also be the most exhausting both, physically and mentally. The purpose of this daylong retreat is to explore the ways in which caregivers (friends, family members, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and doctors) can utilize techniques from Buddhist and other spiritual and psychological backgrounds to identify and reduce the stress of caregiving for another. We will experientially explore a variety of contemplative practices and tools such as: metta practice, meditation, poetry, writing, and council practice in order to learn how to take care of the self on a deeper level. All are welcome.
For more info, click here.
Contemplative Caregivers and the Four Noble Truths
A Talk by Trudi Jinpu Hirsch-Abramson
Buddhism began with the Buddha’s enlightenment and realization that each one of us is already “perfect and complete lacking nothing.” At the same time he understood that this could not be taught, and that each of us must realize this truth for her/himself.
The story of Buddhism begins with the famous journey Shakyamuni (Gautama) took as he left his Kingdom, where he had been comfortable and completely protected from the world and its problems. He journeyed outside the gate into the everyday world of sickness, old age and death. This “face-to-face” teaching of the reality of suffering transformed him. He searched for the meaning of life and eventually, after many years of sitting, struggling, and despairing, realized the fundamental truths about life and death. Part of his teachings came to be known as the “Four Noble Truths.” These truths point to the reality that we’re already sitting in the perfection of who we already are…we just, as yet, don’t realize it.
To read the complete talk, click here.
Poetry, Meditation and Contemplative Caregiving: Being a Hospice Contemplative Care Volunteer
by Nancy Bennett, Foundations Graduate and ACPE CPE Buddhist Chaplaincy Intern
Roger Housden writes in his introduction to ten poems to change your life
: “Great poetry can alter the way we see ourselves…. you can pick up a volume, open it to any page, and suddenly see your own original face there…” He goes on to say, “……to read poetry…can be a fierce and dangerous practice: dangerous because you may never be the same again.”
Hafiz, Persian mystic and poet, writes:
A poet is someone
who can pour light into a spoon,
then raise it
your beautiful parched, holy mouth.
[TO READ THE FULL STORY, CLICK HERE]
DEDICATED TRAINING SPACE NEEDED
The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care is looking for a new location. We have outgrown our present space at 80 East 11th Street and our rented spaces for our training programs. We have expanded our offerings to three year-long training programs in caregiving, as well as our regular weekly programs, retreats and public talks. At the moment, all our workshops, public education and trainings are held at various rental locations. Our administration and consultations are held in a separate office suite. While we are looking to realize our vision of a permanent home for the Center--including the end-of -life guest house--we need an interim space where we could expand our offerings, provide more direct care, train more people and increase our public education programs. Ideally, we are looking for 3,000 + square feet in the Union Square/Flatiron/Greenwhich Village/Soho areas—centrally located to public transportation and near our partner Beth Israel Medical Center. We are hoping for a donated or subsidized loft space. This new space will enable us to offer a 60 seat (or greater) meditation room, two/three consulting rooms, office, library, classroom, kitchen and multi-purpose common area. In an effort to better serve the needs of our caregivers and the New York City community, we ask for your support. All offers and/or leads are welcome.
Please contact us at: email@example.com.
Make a tax deductible donation to support our work helping others. You can do that here.
We need a large (10” +) Japanese Wooden Mokugyo for our retreats and offerings. It would look similar to the one pictured here.
We need a donation of 2 new Mac Book Pros. If you can offer these wishes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make a Donation to New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
Our mission is to make accessible, the wisdom, compassion and equanimity of the Buddha both locally and globally by: Creating and operating an end-of-life care residence within a larger Dharma center. To mindfully and compassionately serve people approaching death. To support the dying, their family and friends. To train volunteers, staff, monastics and medical professionals the ways of attending to the sick and dying from a Buddhist perspective. Attending to residents physical, emotional and spiritual needs cognizant of the fact that death is an integral experience of life. To provide the larger community, educational programs with a foundation in Buddhist teachings. To offer daily meditation practice, workshops and teachings from visiting Dharma teachers and Healthcare professionals. Your tax deductible donation will go toward making our vision a reality.