Upadhyaya Elaine Yuen – Hearing the Cries of the World: Buddhist Chaplaincy in the 21st Century
Our contemporary times allow suffering to be more evident than ever. At this time, we might ask how Buddhist perspectives may provide service and care that might address this pervasive suffering. Chaplaincy, a profession that supports grief and life transitions with religious/spiritual understandings and practices, is taught through a Buddhist inspired lens at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.
Chaplains and pastoral caregivers are trained to offer support and meaning-making through a number of approaches. At times, individuals and their communities may seek formal religious prayers and rituals to contextualize their suffering. Other times, a psychological or social justice lens that encourages meaning-making may be more beneficial. In the west, Buddhist practices, particularly mindfulness meditation, have become well-integrated into medical and other settings.
In these two sessions we will review the understanding and use of Buddhist-inspired contemplative practices, such as mindfulness and compassion meditation, and explore how these principles, along with formal Buddhist practices, may address psychological and social issues. We will also explore how contemplative exercises may help professionals to identify and work with stress, moral injury, and compassion fatigue.
Morning Lecture and Discussion:
Caring for Community: History and Contexts of Pastoral Care
Afternoon Lecture and Discussion/Workshop:
Ethics and Modalities of Buddhist Care-giving
Upadhyaya Elaine Yuen, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Chair of the Master of Divinity Program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado where she teaches courses on spirituality and ritual, Buddhism, and pastoral care. She has taught national and international programs exploring the interfaces between Buddhism, meditation, creativity, and contemplative care-giving. Dr. Yuen is cross-trained as a social science researcher; and is particularly interested in the relationships between meditation and the creative process. She trained as a Senior Teacher and Upadhyaya (Buddhist Minister) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Elaine continues her exploration of contemporary life through many activities as a teacher, parent, and artist.