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End-of-Life Practitioner Program

Cultivating Presence & Resilience

Metta Institute Programs will be on hiatus in 2016. Stay tuned for new programs in 2017.

Pre-Requisite: Applicants must have completed one other module or previously attended another Metta Institute residential program.

Our Approach

Play Sample Audio Clip:
Frances Vaughan, PhD.
Creating a Sense of Self

This course offers an approach to care that is mindfulness-based, compassion-focused and relationship-centered. We utilize a range of learning modalities to address both personal and professional development emphasizing experiential learning and pragmatic application.

Why This Course?

Norman Fischer

Faculty member Norman Fischer,  Priest, Founder Everyday Zen Foundation, former abbot SF Zen Center

At Metta we believe that mindfulness is an essential characteristic of good clinical practice. Regular mindfulness practice supports healthcare practitioners' ability to cultivate a strong and steady presence. With presence comes the ability to listen attentively to patients' experience of suffering, engage in moment-to-moment self-monitoring, recognize our own errors, refine technical skills, and clarify our values. This enables practitioners to act with compassion, competence, presence, and insight.

Mindfulness has proven effective for healthcare professionals in reducing stress, building resilience, increasing curiosity, and fostering wellness and necessary self-care skills. It supports effective therapeutic relationships with patients and cultivates a cooperative nature that is central to creating and sustaining effective and healing teams.

"Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively."
-Sharon Salzberg

Course Description

In this course we will take time to catch our breath. We will focus on compassionate renewal, simplicity, self-acceptance, and the development of insight. Cultivating Presence & Resilience is offered in a retreat format. Throughout our time together we will engage in a continuous focus on mindfulness, using both formal and informal practices in silence, conversation, movement and dialogue.

We will use simple techniques that begin by focusing awareness on the breath and then expand attention to include inner and outer experience. Mindfulness meditation develops attention that is vivid, non-judgmental, openhearted and fully available in the present moment. The practice concentrates and calms the mind and body. Through mindfulness we gain insight, develop resiliency, cultivate emotional balance and discover peace and freedom.

The mindfulness meditation will be supported by the introduction of other contemplative practices aimed at creating the balancing factors of loving-kindness, compassion and equanimity. We will also utilize open-ended inquiry, the practice of investigating our immediate experience through dynamic questioning, observing, feeling and sensing.

This retreat is held in silence except for the inquiry sessions, focused discussions and interviews with the teachers.

A moment of contemplation

A moment of contemplation Rev. Linda Siddall, Chaplain, Mission Hospice, Redwood City, CA

Course Outcomes

The course introduces tools, practices and skills that cultivate our contact with presence and promote increased resilience. Participants will have the opportunity to learn:

  • How mindfulness practice contributes to rest, renewal, receptivity and responsiveness
  • How mindfulness can be a tool for re-contextualizing and reframing
  • How to build inner resources that help us strengthen our resilience and ability to "bounce back"
  • How to reduce fear based reactivity in decision making while increasing leadership capacities like heartiness, buoyancy of spirit and a can-do attitude
  • Skills for self-regulation of attention, emotional balance and somatic sensitivity that allow us to sense both the full range of our experience and that of the other
  • Current findings from neuro-plasticity and other research supporting the clinical value of mindfulness in healthcare
  • The ethical principles of non-harming, compassion, and wisdom that form the foundation for mindfulness practice
  • Inquiry practices that help participants explore their personal history and psychological structures related to issues of death and dying
  • Insight practices to help caregivers stay present for suffering
  • Open awareness practices that cultivate receptive, non-judgmental attention
  • Contemplative practices that promote pro-social qualities including loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity
  • Reflective practices that focus on the study of impermanence and dying
  • Mindful approaches to the experience and expression of stress, pain, grief, and anxiety

Register now for this 5-day program of mindfulness meditation to improve focus, acceptance and peace of mind. The methodology, drawn from the 2,500 year-old Buddhist tradition, is presented in a non-dogmatic style that is accessible to all faith traditions, and can be fully applied as a non-secular discipline and practice.

Who should attend:

The course is primarily aimed at healthcare professionals. Participants include physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychotherapists, counselors, chaplains, social workers, physical therapists, massage therapists, experienced hospice volunteers and others in the healing professions.

We encourage participants to attend in groups to support the implementation of the course content in their respective settings. Groups of three or more participants from the same institution or organization receive a discount.

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