New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care will build its home in the heart of Manhattan. Not only will the Center provide respite for people at the end-of-life guest house, it will be a model center engaged in education, training, consulting and daily meditation. The Center’s vision has grown out of the historical Buddha’s last word “care.”
The emphasis of the center will be to provide spiritual care for those facing life challenges, illness and end-of-life. It will be a sanctuary in the middle of New York City, offering a diverse array of services that allow people to engage on a variety of levels. The Center will serve those who wish to come for spiritual practice, to act as caregiver to residents of the guesthouse, to train in contemplative practices, and to find refuge from the fast pace of the city.
The end-of-life guesthouse will be attended by a group of well-trained volunteers who will deliver the practical and spiritual care. Hospice medical services will be provided by a hospice partnership. All the care given will be grounded in spiritual practice. Our staff and volunteers will minister practical, emotional and spiritual care to the sick, their families and friends at this sacred time.
Visiting professional caregivers will also have an opportunity to volunteer and stay at the Center for a short time to deepen their practice through our contemplative modality, and they will return to their own communities enriched by their training.
The Center itself will provide a sacred quiet space for community gathering and learning. At the heart of the Center is the meditation room where daily meditation will inform and allow people of different faith traditions to engage their practice. The Center will also have community areas, including a library, meeting room, classroom, lounge, dining area, an open kitchen, and administrative offices. There will be five to eight bedroom suites for the end-of-life guesthouse as well as accommodations for their family and friends. There will also be four suites for those training in contemplative care. We envision a suite of therapy offices for counseling, psychotherapy, and bereavement. The center will use the highest environmental standards and will utilize renewable and nontoxic building materials.
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