Friday, May 26, 2017

still learning...

On Monday I attended the Vermont Ethics Network's spring gathering in Fairlee, VT. Perspectives at End-of-Life:Suffering, Consciousness and the Power of a Patient's Narrative included plenary sessions, an interfaith panel discussion and breakout sessions. 

Two of the speakers were outstanding.

Pulitzer Prizer Winner and Director of Narrative Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Michael Vitez , had us spellbound with his passion for storytelling.

Koshin Paley Ellison, co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the first Zen-based organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in America literally had me at hello. He transformed a room full of health care professionals (and at least one volunteer chaplain) into a quiet, pensive group of listeners. I have ordered his book, Awake at the Bedside, because I know I have much more to learn from this kind man.

One of Koshin Paley Ellison's questions to the gathering on Monday was, "Do you have 5 people in your life that you know would drop everything to be with you if you needed them?" 

And, "How do we practice kindness as a way of life?"

I'm still thinking about all that I heard and experienced on Monday...

How about you, dear readers...what are you "still learning" about?


  1. Beautiful, most impressive and important post, Karen.
    Do I know 5 people in my life that I know etc....?
    I am not sure....
    That question made me think and realise...
    Hope I am or may be one of that important five to somebody.
    Love and blessings,


    1. Yes, this is the flip side of the I someone who would drop everything for someone dear to me? A very good thinking project. xo

  2. I feel like every day brings lessons, Karen, about pride, tolerance, kindness and so many other things. I try to be open to these lessons by being aware and by listening to others. It's not always easy, is it?
    The gathering you attended sounds wonderful. How fortunate you were to be there. Was it in support of your being a chaplain?

    1. yes. every day brings lessons!
      i did attend to support and enrich my volunteer chaplaincy.