What is Contemplative Caregiving?

Contemplative caregiving is an approach which emphasizes the person facing a major life transition. Too often, our institutions are so focused on the issue at hand that the person inside of the illness or life change gets forgotten. Contemplative caregiving is an approach of openness and presence: we meet the people we serve exactly where they are, without any agenda except to be of service. End-of-life holds the fullness of what life is, for ourselves as individuals and for the people we leave behind. The hope of this approach is to bring humanity back to the dying process, and to allow it to be an experience of the meaning of a life, not just the loss of it.

The endings of life give life’s meanings a chance to show. The beginning of the end of our order, our way, is now in view. This isn’t punishment, any more than dying is a punishment for being born. Instead, the world whispers: All we need of you is that you be human, now.
— stephen jenkinson

What does a Contemplative End-of-Life Doula do?

Drawing from the contemplative and ethical teachings of Buddhism, and informed by training as an End-of-life Doula, I provide spiritual care for patients and families. I also bring my skills as a yoga therapist to provide gentle movement, breath practices, meditation, and visualization. I am available to work with you no matter what stage in your process you feel you need support, both at home and in health facilities.

Services can include:

  • Emotional, spiritual, and practical support. 
  • Yoga therapy, including gentle movement to sustain connection to the body, breath work for calming and stability, and visualization and meditation to aid in the processing of difficult moments and to promote comfort and peace.
  • Development of ritual, rememberance, and legacy plans.
  • Self-care support for families. 
  • Vigil services.
  • Help with funeral/memorial preparations, burial options, and crafting a service for your loved ones.

How do we begin?

I provide End-of-Life Care through the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in their Zen Care program, as well as on an individual basis in the Hudson Valley. If you are a family interested in providing this care for a loved one, an individual going through a major life transition, or an institution interested in how this care could serve your community, please get in touch via the form below so we can begin a conversation.

 

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