Now more than ever, we are committed to train and support caregivers in a contemplative approach to care.

For over a decade, the Foundations in Contemplative Care training has transformed the lives of individuals from across the country and around the world by supporting the integration of spiritual practice and caregiving.


We find ourselves in unprecedented times when the entire world is in crisis. In the midst of impermanence and isolation, what is being asked of us? How can we be resilient in new ways to serve others? We are each being called upon to respond to the suffering in the world. How can we answer this call? In response to the realities of COVID-19, these are the questions around which Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison and Sensei Chodo Robert Campbell GC-C will orient the 2020/21 training. We will also be using learning platforms to enhance flexibility and build community and relationships, which are key components of our work.


The mission of New York Zen Center is to transform the nature of care through contemplative practice by creating awareness and skill to meet vulnerability, illness, aging and death with dignity and compassion. We approach this mission through the three interconnected aspects of our center’s work: training, care, and contemplative practice.


In the many years that NYZC has provided care and trained contemplative caregivers, the demand for a compassionate approach to life transitions has become ever more urgent. How do we ensure that as a society, we are aware of the changing needs and are taking action to care for the most vulnerable among us?


Program components include two class days a month, 100 clinical hours in a hospital, hospice or residential community, one-on-one mentoring, and self-directed reading and writing exercises. This training is ideal for professional caregivers such as physicians, nurses, social workers, and hospice workers as well as those interested in becoming caregivers.

Program details


You can access the application form here.

Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis as space permits.

Please return a completed application, application fee, and letter of personal reference to the Center. We will review your materials and if appropriate, contact you about setting up an interview via Skype or Zoom.) After the interview, you will be notified regarding your acceptance.

In addition to practitioners from all streams of Buddhism, the Center welcomes applications from individuals of various faiths who have an ongoing personal contemplative practice (e.g., meditation, centering prayer, etc.) and who share our commitment of exploring the intersection of contemplative practice, caregiving, and social action.

For most months, training days are on both Fridays and Saturdays (from approximately 10:00 – 4:30 ET).  For a detailed schedule please click on the “Dates” tab above.

We will come together as a world-wide virtual community, using online learning platforms for lectures, dharma talks and group discussion, and in small intimate groups for mentor meetings and experiential learning.

The tuition for the course is $3,460. We are committed to working with you to make financial arrangements as possible through scholarship or payment plans.  Please write Susan Kline, the Education Administrator for further information:

Participants commit to attending eight training weekends, completing all reading and written assignments, and meeting with a mentor one-on-one eight times during the training.

No. This is an introductory training program. Each of us has the capacity to embrace the suffering of another person and the ability to provide compassionate care to another.

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 seminary credits for this program. In addition to the tuition paid to NYZCCC for the program, there is an additional charge, paid to NYTS if you want to receive credit.


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