After my first Zen Hospice training today, I’m realizing that part of the practice is to not make the hospice residents a special and separate “other.” Since death and dying are mostly hidden from regular life, I can see that there is an impulse to project all kinds of stories onto people who are dying that make them somehow different from the rest of “us.” But they are just humans engaged in a very natural process, one that we all will experience firsthand one way or another. Dying does not make people special – it’s a meaningful time of life, but they’re just humans like we all are. So the practice will be to not “other-ize” them and instead just be humans together with them.
Finishing 40 hours of intense training for volunteering with Zen Hospice Project, I feel myself stepping into a deeper field of experience, meaning, feeling and practice. My intention is to expand my capacity to compassionately and lovingly BE with what IS. Such a honor.