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.”

—Thich Nhat Hahn

As Buddhist practice becomes an increasing presence in American society and science, there is both the opportunity and the need to use this practice as a springboard for the training of contemplative caregivers. The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care offers a Graduate-Level Contemplative Care Certificate, a Masters Degree in conjunction with New York Theological Seminary, and fully accredited Buddhist Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training.  All of our educational offerings provide a unique opportunity to study Buddhist principles and practices relevant to contemplative caregiving and serve as an insightful introduction to the psychological, social, and ethical issues related to caregiving:


Foundations in Contemplative Care Training Program

This program is currently approved as CE’s for Nurses and Social Workers and is pending final NYSED approval for other students.

This nine-month course provides an introduction to contemplative care with a Buddhist approach, and is a prerequisite for those interested in our Certificate Program, Masters Degree in conjunction with NYTS, and Professional Chaplaincy (CPE) training.

Students enrolled in this training conduct their clinical hours at facilities such as Lenox Hill Hospital, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, The Riverside or in their local communities (for those who live outside of the New York metropolitan area.) This training teaches those who are already caregivers, and those interested in caregiving, to integrate contemplative practices into their experience of giving care. Eight graduate seminary credits for this training can be garnered through our partnership with New York Theological Seminary.

To see Course Details, click here.

 Contemplative Care Educator Training

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care is pleased to present a training program for Contemplative Care Educators. It is designed to meet the growing demand for NYZCCC’s clinically based education and to ensure that this transformative experience is available for generations to come. Trainees will recieve extensive mentoring and support as they develop their teaching skills, deepen their Zen practice and realize their vision of becoming a part of NYZCCC’s educational leadership.

To learn more, click here.

 Clinical Pastoral Education: Professional Chaplaincy Training

We provide an opportunity to train as a professional chaplain with leaders in the Buddhist Contemplative Care field. Offered to the graduates of our 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.

Certificate in Contemplative Care 

New York Zen Center offers an innovative and transformative learning experience integrating study, care, meditation and community for health care professionals, including nurses, social workers, therapists, physicians and affiliated health care professionals.

Click here to read more.

Zen Training & Practice

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

Soto Zen is distinguished by its focus on the down-to-earth practice of “everyday zen.” It encourages an awareness of the workings of one’s own mind as a means to living mindfully in all areas of daily life, at home, at work and in community. Soto Zen is for those who want to practice Zen in everything they do. In coming face to face with life in all its aspects, we come to know ourselves and find relationship to all things. We learn to be truly here and to serve in all ways. All are welcome to practice at our Center. To find out more, click here.

Medical Education

With our clinical partners, we create curricula and educational opportunities for medical students, residents, and fellows. All of our educational training is centered on ethics, compassionate action, contemplation, and empathy.  Our clinical partners include: University of Arizona Medical School’s Integrative Medicine Center, Mt. Sinai Medical School, and Maimonides Medical Center.


NYZCCC is licensed by the New York State Department of Education.