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Contemplative Caregiving

Finding Healing, Compassion, and Spiritual Growth through End-of-Life Care
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Shambhala
 | 
April, 2019
ISBN:
9781611807042
In stock now: 
4
$25.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Integrating two decades of hospice care and social science research, this heartfelt book offers practical lessons on the transformative possibilities of end-of-life caregiving.

Contemplative Caregiving is an indispensable guide for end-of-life caregivers and for anyone seeking to transform experiences of caregiving and grief. Rather than leading to burnout and despair, caring for those who are suffering and dying can enrich our lives with meaning and further our own spiritual growth and resilience. Whether you are caring for a loved one with cancer or dementia, grieving a sudden traumatic loss, or even serving time in prison, Contemplative Caregiving offers encouragement for showing up to the fullness of life in whatever those circumstances may be. Healing, compassion, and spiritual growth are available to us all, in this lifetime, right now.

Baugher’s unique style of integrating social scientific research on caregiving and grief with teachings from Buddhist, contemplative Christian, and other wisdom traditions illuminates how we each can transform experiences of loss and suffering into a path of compassion. He weaves together powerful stories from interviews with diverse hospice caregivers—Vietnam veterans, nurses, housewives, Catholic nuns, those convicted of murder—with the author’s own journey toward wholeness in the face of grief and traumatic loss, including the murder of his own mother. Through rich storytelling, teachings on compassion, and skillful contemplative exercises, Baugher invites you to join him in exploring the healing power of contemplative caregiving.

Caring for others at the end of life has shown me that affirming the humanity of others is crucial to my own joy and sense of vibrancy.

Contemplative caregiving can be a spiritual practice in its own right—a practice that parallels the benefits of mindfulness while extending them beyond the personal level to inspire compassionate shifts in families, hospitals, and broader spheres of society.

“An inspiring and compassionate story of how to transform personal suffering into the ground of mutually beneficial service. It is possible to keep our heart open in hell. This book illuminates the way.” —Frank Ostaseski, author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

Publisher’s Description: 

Blending personal insights from twenty-five years of hospice volunteering with contemplative social science research, this thoughtful and engaging book offers practical lessons about the transformative possibilities of compassionate end-of-life caregiving.

After author John Baugher's mother was murdered in 1987, he felt that he was fated to join her killer in life imprisonment--not behind bars, but behind psychological walls of unresolved grief and anger. Baugher turned to hospice volunteering as a way to channel his experience, marking the beginning of a twenty-five year journey of exploration--in both public hospices and prison hospice programs--and the possibility of discovering compassion and even humor in the face of death. In this beautifully written book, Baugher weaves together insights from his experience with those gleaned from interviews with dozens of hospice volunteers from widely varying backgrounds. "Caring for others at the end of life has shown me that affirming the humanity of others is crucial to my own joy and sense of vibrancy," writes Baugher. Contemplative caregiving can be a spiritual practice in its own right--a practice that parallels the benefits of mindfulness while extending them beyond the personal level to inspire compassionate shifts in families, hospitals, and broader spheres of society.

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