Pastoral Care & Counsel

Buddhist Pastoral Care & Counsel (BPCC)

Buddhist Pastoral Care and Counsel provides emotional and spiritual support focused on finding meaning, direction and well-being at every stage of life.

Often we feel that something is askew in our life, and we suffer emotionally and physically.  During health crises, chronic illness, loss, or major life transitions, we can become overwhelmed, confused, frustrated and isolated.  At other times spiritual longing can compromise our clarity and raise challenging questions about our purpose and path.

Buddhist insight acknowledges that the pain of being human and the difficult questions we face can be embraced as a source of awareness and freedom from suffering.  Sometimes what limits healing and blocks well-being is both self-created and conditioned, and therefore not permanent.  Learning how to be fully present to our life is a skill that can be learned, creating a foundation for greater clarity, ease, fulfillment, and overall well-being.

Buddhist Pastoral Care & Counsel may be supportive in any of the following ways:

  • exploring questions of identity, purpose, and direction in life
  • emphasizing spirituality as central to health, healing, and wholeness
  • finding meaning in difficult life circumstances
  • understanding and reducing mental and physical suffering
  • recognizing and changing limiting views, beliefs, and habits
  • compassionate support during illness and end-of-life
  • Beginning or deepening a meditation practice

How I work-  My approach emphasizes two important components:

  1. the development of the pastoral relationship, based on a combination of support from me alongside a focus on your evolving sense of self and how you understand your own needs.  This recognizes your own awareness as the greatest source of direction in your life,  and the role of guidance in the development of that awareness.  In this way, the pastoral relationship is collaborative while strengthening your own ability to meet life’s goals and face life’s challenges.
  2. the development of your own self-awareness and skillful meansSelf-awareness relates to insight and understanding, knowing the truth of something deeply,  particularly the truth of how suffering is alleviated and happiness and well-being are created.  Skillful means are skills of the mind and heart – they are both practical and transformational, to be applied to your life, such as greater presence and mindfulness, kindness, and compassion.  There are many skillful means which together contribute to support a mind that is stable and clear, and a heart that is open and resilient.

Influences on how how I work

While I draw from my training as a Theravada Buddhist teacher and my own meditation experience,  Pastoral Care & Counsel may be helpful for anyone interested in a Buddhist-informed contemplative approach to understanding and caring for their own life.  One does not need to identify with meditation or take it up as a practice, though if that is of interest it can be included.   My approach integrates principles of Buddhist psychology and philosophy, meditation, yoga and yoga therapy,  ecopsychology,  attachment theory,  trauma-sensitive methods, eastern contemplative approaches to aging, sickness, and end-of-life, and clinical pastoral counseling.

My intention is to offer a safe and welcoming space for people of all faiths, cultural and racial backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender expression.

Sessions are available by appointment in Cambridge, MA (Central Square), Gloucester, MA, or via Skype from wherever you are.