Celebrating over 20 years of changing the way we care

Structure, Topics & Dates

Authentic Presence is divided into three modules.

The modules are designed as stand-alones, and can be taken in any sequence. This spacious modular approach allows the participants time to practice the methods and integrate their understandings into their work and life.


In order to be certified, participants are required to have taken all three modules. Module 1 and 2 can also be taken as in-person workshops in the countries where they are offered. The certification process can take one to two years to complete.

This format encourages deep, personal growth, expanded learning of current best practices in end-of-life care, and integration within individual work settings. Through a daily contemplative practice, self-reflection, study and interactive participation, participants learn to apply the knowledge and skills needed to respond to the full range of patient and family needs at the end of life.

Module: Cultivating Compassionate Presence

An 8-week online course.
Topics include:

  • Working with our intention
  • Being present with suffering
  • Cultivating authentic presence through the contemplative practices of mindfulness and meditation
  • Sustaining a compassionate attitude and building resilience
  • The nature of suffering in modern care systems
  • Finding the right balance: the practice of Loving-Kindness
  • Caring for difficult patients and clients
  • Simple steps to continue to practice compassionate presence in life and work

Module: Cultivating Mindfulness and Awareness in End-of-Life Care

An 8-week online course.
Topics include:

  • Contemplative approach to end-of-life care
  • Being present with suffering and dying
  • Communicating about death
  • Addressing the fears of dying and responding to the needs of patients and clients
  • Supporting a terminally ill person find meaning, heal relationships and say good-bye
  • Working with family dynamics and supporting families
  • Dignity, spirituality and quality at the end of life
  • Creating a peaceful environment – spiritual care at the bedside

Module: Authentic Presence Immersion Retreat and Integration Program

An 8-day residential retreat with a 10-week integration period supported by the faculty.

The next retreat will be offered October 20–28, 2018 in upstate New York. Program dates: October 20, 2018 – January 27, 2019

The retreat together with the integration period offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the practice and integration of contemplative methods; to connect with one’s own resources of well-being and wholeness while expanding one’s professional skills and knowledge.

The retreat is experiential, and will use a variety of learning modalities, including individual, group and interactive work, as well as lectures.

Retreat period, 2013
Retreat period, 2013

The integration period will focus on integration and offer personal mentoring by an experienced international faculty of health care professionals and educators. During the integration period, participants will be supported through bi-monthly webinars to deepen their learning, and build community. Participants will also have the chance to design an integration project.

Topics covered

Contemplative practice & Contemplative care
  • The contemplative approach to end-of-life care
  • The integration of contemplative methodologies to cultivate greater compassion and wisdom
  • Reflections on impermanence and death
  • Self-care for caregivers: recognizing burnout, and contemplative practice for building resilience
  • Deepening genuine compassion: the practice of Tonglen
  • Essential Phowa: healing in living and dying
  • Caregiving as spiritual practice
Training in contemplative listening and communication
  • Extensive training in the methods for ‘Contemplative Listening and Communication’ and their practical applications
  • ‘Council’: a model for family and bereavement support, and team meetings
Assessing and responding to the needs of the dying
  • The practical, psycho-social and spiritual needs
  • Responding to complex care situations
  • Healing relationships and methods for resolving unfinished business
  • Addressing the deeper dimension of life and death
  • Recognizing and addressing spiritual pain
  • Preparing for death
  • Supporting those not affiliated with a faith tradition
  • The process of bereavement and the spiritual dimension of bereavement



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