Certificate in Contemplative Care

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New York Zen Center offers an innovative and transformative learning experience integrating study, care, meditation and community. This program integrates intellectual exploration, contemplative practice and learning in community. Whether you are a doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain, artist or educator, this Certificate will provide you with the opportunity to weave the full spectrum of contemplative care into the daily fabric of your professional and your personal life.

LEVEL ONE

*REQUIRED COURSES

FOUNDATIONS IN CONTEMPLATIVE CARE*
SEPTEMBER THRU MAY
ONCE A MONTH ON FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS
10AM TO 4.30PM
$3950

This nine-month course offers a comprehensive introduction to contemplative care from a Buddhist perspective and is ideal for health care professionals who wish to integrate contemplative practice as well as those interested in becoming caregivers. This course requires 100 hours of clinical volunteer work.

CATCH YOUR MIND*
SEPTEMBER THRU JUNE
ONE SATURDAY A MONTH
9AM TO 5PM
$2800

Through study and practice of the Bodhisattvas Way of Life we will spend ten months exploring how to wake up together. We will dive into the benefits of service, purification, adopting the sprit of awakening, using conscientiousness, caring for awareness, practicing patientce, joyful effort, concentration and wisdom, and dedication. All these qualities are explored in Shantidevas words, and we practice how to integrate them into our moment to moment practice.

*CHOOSE TWO SUTRA COURSES FROM THE FOLLOWING*

PLATFORM SUTRA
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400
The Platform Sutra is considered the formative historical scripture of Zen Buddhism and remains today as the cornerstone of Zen in both the East and West. This course provides students with a comprehensive foundation from which to consider Buddhist theory, differing moral codes, and contemplative techniques.

VIMALAKIRTI SUTRA
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400
Through a close reading of The Holy Teaching of Vimalakīrti, this course will explore the meaning of the bodhisattva’s compassionate vow to liberate all suffering sentient beings. We will investigate the following questions: What is the nature of sickness? What is its origin? How is it cured? What is the role of the bodhisattva? How can a bodhisattva truly effectuate his/her compassionate activity in the world? What is bodhisattva burnout? And what is the remedy?

 LANKAVATARA SUTRA
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400

The Lankavatara Sutra is one of the key texts of Zen. Zen’s first patriarch, Bodhidharma, gave a copy of this text to his successor, Hui-k’o, and told him everything he needed to know was in this book. Passed down from teacher to student ever since, this is the only Zen sutra ever spoken by the Buddha. Although it covers all the major teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, it contains but two teachings: that everything we perceive as being real is nothing but the perceptions of our own mind and that the knowledge of this is something that must be realized and experienced for oneself and cannot be expressed in words. In the words of Chinese Zen masters, these two teachings became known as “have a cup of tea” and “taste the tea.”

LOTUS SUTRA
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400

The Lotus Sutra, a classic Mahayana scripture, is an influential and beloved collection of parables, teachings, and encouragements. A vital wellspring of Mahayana Buddhism, it serves as a primary text for the Tiantai and Nichiren sects, as well as a literary source for Zen and for lay people in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The drama and wisdom of this text are astonishing and enjoyable to read and study. In this class, we will explore by means of lecture, discussion, writing, and contemplation how the insights of the sutra speak to a contemporary audience in the West.  Issues of gender, accessibility to spiritual insight, and skillful means will be analyzed. While the emphasis will be on the text itself, students will be encouraged to deepen their understanding with the varied supplemental readings

 AVATAMSAKA SUTRA
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400
Through study and practice we will dive into the Buddha’s awakening, the Four Noble Truths, Awakenign Beings progress, conduct, dedication, interdependence, Indra’s Net and journey. Known in Chinese as Hua-yen and in Japanese as Kegon-kyo, the Avatamsaka Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture, is held in the highest regard and studied by Buddhists of all traditions. Through its structure and symbolism, as well as through its concisely stated principles, it conveys a vast range of Buddhist teachings.

PRAJNAPARAMITA: DIAMOND AND HEART SUTRAS
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400

The Diamond Sutra, or the Perfection of Wisdom, which cuts like a thunderbolt, is one of the cornerstone texts of Mahayana Buddhism and provides a summary of the core concepts of the Buddha. The Heart Sutra, perhaps the most important of all Buddhist texts, sets out to formulate the very heart, or essence of perfect wisdom and is studied with special reverence in Zen monasteries and the Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries.

LEVEL TWO


* REQUIRED COURSES:

PRECEPT STUDY*
SEPTEMBER THRU MAY
ONE SUNDAY A MONTH
10AM TO 4PM
$1400
This course of study examines the dynamic ethical guidelines associated with Zen practice.
Through reading, personal reflection, writing exercises and study in community, you will deepen your understanding of compassionate care, for yourself and for others. 

ZEN HISTORY AND PRACTICE*
WEDNESDAYS 4:15 TO 7:15PM
$1400
What is Zen? It is said it is the school of Buddhism that is beyond words and letters. Yet, the Zen school has more texts, poetry and art than any other! This course presents an overview of the Zen Buddhist School with a particular emphasis on the formation of the scriptural and classic literature and the background of the culture and history of ancient China and Japan.

CAPSTONE FINAL PROJECT*
A thesis in which students reflect on their own beliefs developed out of work done in the Field/Student Placement for Supervised Service, and demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in the field of Zen Buddhist Contemplative Studies.  It incorporates texts, spirituality, ethics and history along with a case study that covers the studied dynamics of pastoral care, combined with areas of personal, spiritual and psychological development.

CHOOSE THREE ELECTIVES FROM THE FOLLOWING:

INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPLATIVE COUNSELING

Suffering, illness and death are realities of being human. This course introduces students to the historical arc of theories and techniques about how to be with those experiencing these realities. This is a comprehensive course that will trace theory from its historical past in shamanic practices to the multiplicity of approaches in the present day field of mental health and counseling. We will experientially engage the theories of Carl Roger’s ‘person centered therapy’, Gestalt’s ‘here and now’ dialogical perspective, Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological approach, systems theories, somatic experiencing and mindfulness. Students are encouraged to compare the efficacy of these approaches and develop their theoretical position of ‘what works’ and why.


CONTEMPLATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION

Using religious and psychological texts from the last two centuries to the present, students will trace the movement and thinking about the human condition through the lenses of religion and psychology. Students will read William James, Harry Guntrip, Rudolph Otto, Paul Tillich, Anton Boisen and others in order to learn the similarities and differences between the lenses of religion and psychology. How does each understand the person, the life cycle, crisis, symptomatology and well-being? Religion will be explored symbolically as the collective story that held the energies of psychological processes of the human life experience. As these stories lose their efficacy, the individual must learn to find other ways to access meaning and well-being. Learning to be more present to themselves in the here and now, students will have the opportunity to develop counseling skills of being with another and with ‘what is’. Employing the paradoxical theory of change, students will learn to trust that being with ‘what is’ can offer to themselves and others a much longed for recognition and healing.


PALLIATIVE END OF LIFE CARE

The understanding of suffering and its causes forms the basis of a contemplative approach in palliative and end of life care. This first intensive course will explore the Western philosophical basis for the alleviation of suffering, as well basic tenets of Buddhist thought–the Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. These concepts will be our starting point for exploring patient, family, and caregiver suffering.

METHODS OF ZEN PRACTICE

Methods of Practice is a comprehensive course for zazen, seated meditation practice, and an authoritative presentation of the Zen path. It examines the core aspects of Zen training. In addition, the course goes beyond the first flashes of enlightenment to explore how one lives as well as trains in Zen.

PLATFORM SUTRA

VIMALAKIRTI SUTRA

LANKAVATARA SUTRA

LOTUS SUTRA

AVATAMSAKA SUTRA

PRAJNAPARAMITA: DIAMOND AND HEART SUTRAS

The Certificate can be completed in one, two, or three years depending on personal circumstances.
Level One and Level Two can be taken simultaneously.
Students are required to attend a minimum of 2 Retreats to complete the Certificate.

Transfer of Units to Credits for the MAPCC at New York Theological Seminary

*24 units of this Certificate can be directly transferred to New York Theological Seminary as half of their 48-credit Masters in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC). To see details about the Masters track, click here.

All 48 units of the Certificate can be used towards the equivalency of the 72-credit MDIV, which is required for Board Certification as a Buddhist chaplain. Click here to learn more about the path to Board Certification as a chaplain.

Member Discounts

108 Members receive a 10% discount on all courses and retreats.
216 Members receive a 15% discount on all courses and a 10% retreats.

Continuing Education for Social Workers and Nurses

Continuing Education credits for Social Workers and Nurses are available for some of the courses in the Certificate Program.

Program Expectations

Students are expected to attend all retreats and classes, complete all course work, and cultivate their daily meditation practice throughout each year. Disciplined study and daily practice are the cornerstones and foundations of our learning community.

For more information, please read our Certificate FAQs.

 

ENROLLMENT AGREEMENTS
216 Member Enrollment Agreement – “Compassionate Heart”
108 Member Enrollment Agreement – “Contemplative Mind”
27 & 54 & 72 Member Enrollment Agreement – “Enrollment Agreement”
Non-Member Enrollment Agreement – “Non-Member Enrollment Agreement”

2018-2019 COURSE CATALOGUE
Course Catalog

STUDENT DISCLOSURE FORM
Student Disclosure Form