Supporting the Carers 

San Francisco has more than 6,000 homeless people on its streets every night.

Kirsten DeLeo and Rosa Kocher from Rigpa’s Spiritual Care Program recently started a training series for a group of social workers, nurses and healthcare professionals working at the frontline.

This group works at two housing developments for formerly homeless residents and is affiliated with the University of California San Francisco Citywide Support Services Team. They offer on-site clinical services for these adults who experience complex medical issues and severe mental illnesses.

The goal of the series is to deepen their ability to provide end-of-life care to their clients, enhance their capacity to manage difficult situations and build resilience through meditation and contemplative practice.

In April, the San Francisco Rigpa Center hosted a one-day retreat on the cultivation of presence and compassion. People deeply appreciated having the space and time to come together in a supportive environment and look at some of the challenges they face from a new, fresh perspective.

Last week, in the first follow-up session, a number of participants shared how the tools they learned at the one-day retreat helped them show up for their clients in a deeper, more meaningful way.

This partnership formed after someone who was inspired by seeing Sogyal Rinpoche at a public talk in San Francisco in December 2016 reached out to Rigpa’s Spiritual Care Program. If you are interested in learning more about Spiritual Care’s programs, please visit our website or contact us.

Spiritual Care Joins Buddhist Chaplaincy Discussions

Rigpa’s Spiritual Care Program has also been involved in discussions with a number of educational institutions about the fast-developing field of Buddhist chaplaincy. Kirsten DeLeo (pictured far left) attended a meeting at Naropa University in Colorado in February to explore how the different groups involved in delivering chaplaincy training programs, including Harvard Divinity School, could collaborate in the future.