An 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 care giving 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.