Barely existed just a decade ago, Buddhist contemplative care has now become a full force that changes the contemporary practice of Buddhism all over the world, bringing the insights of the ancient wisdom into practical services not only in hospitals, hospices, and prisons, but also through counseling in education and work places. Such pioneering works have redefined the meaning and relevancy of Buddhist practice in the modern world, and has enriched the scope of chaplaincy and ministry which were available only in the Judea-Christian context.
This course introduces students to the theory and professional practice of Buddhist contemplative care, through scholarly literature, on the roots of this form of Buddhist engaged practice in various Buddhist traditions, as well as the educational foundations of Buddhist pastoral and spiritual care, the understanding of the Buddhist approach to death and dying, and the art of end-of-life care. Students will also learn from the experiences of successful models of Buddhist contemplative care in North America and Asian countries like Taiwan. The knowledge will also be practical to professional medical caregivers, to allow them to understand the anxiety and fear of their patients with a Buddhist worldview, so as to provide more suitable and meaningful palliative care.
The course examines research literature to introduce to the students the developing practice of Buddhist Contemplative Care. Its first section introduces theoretical concepts of contemplative care from the Buddhist tradition, which will be clarified in class through examining various areas of its application. As the student becomes familiar with these theoretical and conceptual propositions, the course will gradually introduce discussions and participation as learning tools to examine twentieth century and current cases.
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