Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Gentle Death: story (slideshow) about a community of Sisters of St. Joseph

This thoughtful slideshow just came out through the The New York Times. It is about the Mother House of the convent of the Sisters of Joseph, a Rochester home specifically built for sisters who are preparing for the end of their lives. They are supported through their end of life with special care that suits their needs at this unique time. When you have the chance, do have a look.

Dying does belong at home, and in community. (As Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi reminds us, we've pathologized death by taking it to the hospital in the last 100 years.) And it means so much when older people can have the spiritual and moral support they need directly in their homes and residences when they need it. Aging people who live in community with loved ones and people they can trust, remember that they are loved and cared for. Therefore, they can relax better, and even have less pain and suffering. What a beautiful way to model for our society what is possible!

Thank you, Sisters of Joseph, for opening up your home and life for us so that we can have a glimpse of your beauty, wisdom, and gentleness. May your compassion and hope be seen by and touch many.

Infinite Peace and Healing, Dancing heart~~~

p.s. If you are in the Seattle area, I'll be presenting my book at Barnes & Noble (Crossroads, Bellevue) this Sat., 2-3PM, and at EastWest Bookshop (Bothell Branch) on July 31, 7:30 PM. See details here.

Also, for more articles on the body-mind-spirit healing modalities, see my articles on

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Deep Compassion that Hospice Workers Share

I've just been getting my feet wet again in some hospice counseling work. It's surprisingly very good to be back at doing this work; and one of the main reasons is that I'm working with a team. I'm being reminded how important it is to have a group of people that one works with. It's been way too long that I've been trying to do things "by myself" -- not by intention so much as that's just the way it's turned out. And now I know that I need teammates. I'm determined to find others to work with and help me in my business(es).

Meanwhile, I'm so impressed by the compassion that my teammates share with their hospice people and families. I recently made a joint visit with one of my nurse colleagues. Her behavior with a gentleman who was struggling with some dementia and congestive heart failure (and who knows what else) was so touching that I was moved to tears. She gave such wonderful care to this man that it was as if she was a member of his family herself! Even though he was not able to respond that actively to her, she kindly talked to him during the whole visit. She also touched him in gentle and very appropriate ways, as she diapered him and wrapped his weeping legs with the gauze and bandages. I truly was amazed and impressed by her love and care.

We humans are so unique and so special. And no matter what is going on in our lives, we deserve to be treated with dignity, love, and gentleness. I'm convinced more than ever before that hospice is a vitally needed and quietly powerful and transforming organization in our world today.

If you have not considered it, I would invite you to consider becoming a volunteer for hospice. This experience will powerfully transform and grow your life through love -- guaranteed!

Blessings of Love and deLight, Dancing heart~~~

p.s. By the way, I read some interesting material on Karen Bishop's WINGS update re Michael Jackson's death and his "higher level energy". Check out the last seven paragraphs of this link, if you'd like to read more.

If you're interested in Body-Mind-Spirit Tools for Healing, see Dancing Heart's website's Link Page.

And if you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in taking a look at my site for more articles on related topics.