Introduction to Contemplative Care

This introductory course is designed for those working in hospice care and with end-of-life patients. This course gives healthcare practitioners guidance in being fully present with patients, and offers guidance to help sustain themselves through demanding work. Meditation in the Zen Buddhist tradition is a key component of this course.

Contemplative care is an approach to caregiving that incorporates mindfulness practice, compassionate action, and moment-to-moment awareness while in relationship with the one being cared for. It is rooted in Buddhist practices of meditation and contemplation.

Using these practices, contemplative care seeks to transform palliative and end-of-life care, both at the individual level and system-wide, across communities and healthcare organizations. By shifting the emphasis towards the wellbeing of everyone involved in giving care to the dying, contemplative care calls on practitioners to engage their work as a process encompassing action, reflection, and contemplation.


Contemplative Care: An Introduction

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of Contemplative Care and its application in health care.
  • Describe zen-based ethics and meditation practice as they apply to the implementation of contemplative care.
  • Explore mindfulness exercises and meditation practices.

Death and Dying: A Contemplative Approach

Participants will be able to:

  • Examine ways of alleviating fear and stress surrounding end-of-life care.

Completion Requirements

Complete all the course work and course evaluation. Upon successful completion you will be able to print your general certificate of completion. CE credit is not available. The course length is estimated at 3 hours.


Contemplative Care: An Introduction
Overview of the Contemplative Care process, background, and relevance to healthcare, and introduction to the concepts of mindfulness from the Zen Buddhist perspective.

Death and Dying: A Contemplative Approach
Approaches to death and dying, addressing the unknown, and tools for parting.

Contemplative Care Evaluation
Complete the course evaluation to get your certificate for the course.


In Partnership with the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, this course was developed with Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN and Robert Chodo Campbell as lead faculty.

Koshin Paley Ellison
Robert Chodo

Target Audience

All Health Care Professionals