Anyone interested in contemplative care should check out Tina Sussman’s article in the L.A. Times last week, Zen in Their Bedside Manner, profiling the work of Zen chaplains in New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center.
The chaplains in the article are part of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care’s (NYZCCC) training program in Buddhist chaplaincy. According to their Web site, they are the first Buddhist organization contracted to provide chaplaincy services in a mainstream hospital. NYZCCC was founded by Koshin Paley Ellison and Robert Chodo Campbell who are Zen Buddhist priests and chaplains. They work with patients, patients’ families and even staff members to provide relief through deep listening, breathing and meditation exercises and prayer. Additionally, Buddhist perspectives on suffering might be helpful in moving patients in denial closer to a place of acceptance and peace. Those interested in learning more about NYZCCC’s training programs in Buddhist contemplative care can find more information here.