“At one of the times that I’m supposed to be extremely miserable, I would say that this is the most loving I’ve ever been in my life.”

As Rose Tisnado’s physical body became ravaged by terminal cancer, she received regular visits from Robert Chodo Campbell, a Buddhist priest and co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. Chodo used Buddhist practices including guided meditation and mindful breathing to help Tisnado stay present to what she was experiencing in the moment, which is profiled in the short film Love and Fear. Tisnado died in 2007 at the age of 57.

The Center is the first Buddhist chaplaincy training program in the United States that’s fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Trainees, approximately 46 of them to date, don’t have to be practicing Buddhists to enroll. The program’s instructors include rabbis, nuns, as well as Buddhists. They learn to develop a Buddhist contemplative practice, and also to support people in their own faith traditions.

What differentiates a Buddhist approach to chaplaincy care? As Chodo explains to Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, most chaplains are rooted in a theology and doctrine that has predetermined ideas and rituals for helping people through illness. Whereas Buddhists, Chodo explains, are “coming in from a place of just being present to whatever is arising in the moment.”

“For most of us, we see suffering and we feel the impulse to do something,” says Koshin Paley Ellison, the Center’s co-founder, in a 2008 interview with Rev. Danny Fisher. “A core of the teaching in our training program is learning that just being is enough.”

The film “Love and Fear” provided courtesy of Working Pictures.


Share Your Reflection

14Reflections

Reflections

This is welcome and refreshing. This will help me care for my brother who resides in a care center. Thank you!

AWESOME! Beautiful ,So very true. What a gift you gave everyone making and sharing this.
Patricia Schlehuber Cape Cod MA.

This is a phenominal video. What a blessing. I teach end of life care to home care nurses. I would love to incorporate this video into my class. Would that be possible?

What a gift to give to our patients and family members, active listening and discussion to give people the choice to avoid treatments not wanted and understanding about what options they can have. Always working toward the goal of enhancing peace-of-mind to patients, families, and caregivers.
Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., has an End of Life program that needs to be shared as well.

Thank you for showing this video. These Centers do truly important work.

 there is such compassion in this silence.
Thank you

Thanks for sharing the idea there would be some apprehensions from segment but i am up for it.

This is great. Thank you so much

Loved reading through your post on this outstanding blog site thanks for your information

 there is such compassion in this silence.
Thank you

Our elders really need special care. As they grow old, there
are so many things that they do need including their health needs.

Thank you for this illuminative video.  I have been energized to go to the people I know who are dying (the infirmary where I live) with greater understanding and love. A question I will dare to ask:
What does it feel like to be dying? was important to me.   Also, the insight about life--always going...dying is about living.  I want to come to your Center some day.
                  Namaste,
                        (Sister) Therese Monaghan, O.P.

Beautiful.

I think this kind of mindful care works also with people living with chronic illness. I am so glad to have seen this video. If it were possible, I would take this training, in order to strengthen my ability to share beingness with the people I come to know who struggle with the changes that illness brings. Thank you for showing me what is possible. Thank you for what you are doing. May it spread.