Rabbi Rami talks to Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast about the journey that brought them to advocating for contemplative care and their new book Awake by the Bedside. A review of their book appears in the May/June 2016 issue of Spirituality & Health magazine.
Koshin Paley Ellison is a dynamic, original, and visionary leader and teacher. He co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, as well as numerous academic positions advocating contemplative care. His groundbreaking work has been widely featured in the media, including the PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and in numerous print publications such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He is the co-author of the chapter “Rituals and Resilience,” in the book, Creating Spiritual and Psychological Resilience, Routledge, 2009. He also authored the chapter “The Jeweled Net: What Dogen and the Avatamsaka Sutra Can Offer Us as Spiritual Caregivers,” in the book The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work, Wisdom Publications, 2012. He is a Senior Zen Buddhist Monk, Dharma Teacher and student, ACPE Supervisor and Jungian psychotherapist.
Matt Weingast, MFA began his first experiences with meditation when he was twenty. After serving in the Peace Corps in Ghana, Matt traveled for a few years in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Thailand, and India. He studied and taught at UMass-Amherst, where he received his MFA in Creative Writing. He currently lives at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, where he continues to work, study, and practice. After taking care of a dear friend at the end of his life, Matt experienced the depth of connection between meditation practice and caregiving.