Passion and Compassion: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying

Passion and Compassion: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying

Passion and Compassion: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying

Presented By: Dale Borglum, PhD | Saturday, February 10, 2018 | 9 am – 6 pm=

Location: San Francisco Theological Seminary, 105 Seminary Rd., San Anselmo, CA 94960

Cost: $160

**CIP Member Discount cannot be used for this seminar**

CEs: 8 CEs for LMFTs & LCSWs and 8 CEs for Psychologists

Dale Borglum Bio:

Dale Borglum, PhD, founded and directed the Hanuman Foundation Dying Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the first residential facility in the United States to support conscious dying. He has been the Executive Director of the Living/Dying Project in Santa Fe and, since 1986, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the co-author with Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman and Dwarka Bonner of Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook. Dale gives workshops on the topics of meditation, healing, and spiritual support for those with life-threatening illness, and on caregiving as spiritual practice. He has a doctorate degree from Stanford.

Course Description:

For thirty five years I have been blessed to be in close contact with many people who were approaching death. Almost all of these people were reaching out for healing – healing in relationship to death, healing in relationship to illness, in relationship to a wounded heart, to separation from their own self. My consuming interest, both personally and professionally, has been the healing process. Why do some people experience wholeness as they approach death while others lose themselves in denial, depression, distraction? Why is it that some of the most alive and awake Westerners I’ve known have been, almost without exception, people near death? Is there some powerful truth about life and about healing that you and I can receive from these few who, as they went through the process of dying, deeply realized their own wholeness? 

Bringing emotional/spiritual support to someone with a life-threatening illness is a twofold task.  First, help the client realize they are more than that which will die – the finite self – the body and personality. At the same time, honor this finite self, healing it’s woundedness, it’s identification with separateness. Rumi said “Grief is the garden of compassion.” This transmuting separateness of grief into the connectedness of compassion is that the heart of the work. Confusion, anxiety, depression, anger are typical responses arising as the end of a life approaches, both for the patient and for their family.

This presentation will explore possibilities for realizing wholeness at the edge of life where illness, grief, and loss arise. Both psychological and spiritual tools will be used in the investigation of these profound and challenging issues. We will offer participants the opportunity to explore the deeper questions surrounding death, healing, and the sacred, so that each of us can better embody an enlivened sense of being in the world in each moment rather than a sense of isolation and denial.


Source Material:

Approaching the encounter with a life-threatening illness is both an opportunity for psychological integration and for spiritual transformation. A client with a terminal prognosis has great motivation to essentialize and heal their lives, yet emotional conditioning often blocks selfless surrender into the dying process. Using techniques and concepts from early childhood development, Buddhist psychology and Western somatic medicine, we will explore together the profound healing opportunity that dying offers both the client and the therapist.

Levine, Stephen, (1989). “Healing into Life and Death.” Anchor Press, Doubleday.

Levine, Peter, (1997). “Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma.” Berkeley, North Atlantic Books.

Rinpoche, Sogyal, (1996), “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.” San Francisco, Harper Collins.


Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to: 

1. Describe the defining characteristics of compassion.

2. Distinguish between compassion and pity.

3. Fully understand the somatic foundation for being able to let go of identification with separateness.

4. Understanding how to transmute the separateness of grief into the connectedness of compassion.

5. Become familiar with several contemplative practices that will help a client transmute fear of dying into acceptance.

6. Skillfully work with one’s own fear of death as it is resonated by the client’s situation.

7. Enable one’s client to use the prognosis of a life-threatening illness as an opportunity to become more present and alive.


Course Schedule/Outline

8:45 - 9:00                                     Registration

9:00 - 10:00                                   Overview of the healing paradigm-motivation, invocation, awareness, grounding, centering, compassion, empowerment, wholeness.

10:00 - 11:00                                 Motivation for healing. Cultivating awareness of the emotional patterns which cause suffering. Becoming present in    one’s body as the foundation for opening the heart of compassion.

11:00 - 11:15                                 Break

11:15 - 12:30                                 Compassion

                                                                        A. Definition of compassion and discussion of its qualities and benefits 

                                                                                          1. Connectedness, spaciousness and warmth

                                                                        B. Relationship between compassion and appropriate boundaries

                                                                        C. How compassion prevents burnout

                                                                        D. Grief is the garden of compassion

                                                                                          1. Transforming the separation of grief into the connectedness of   compassion

                                                                                          2. Grief work - We are all grieving

                                                                        E. Guided compassion meditation                

                                                                        F. Group exercise exploring compassion


12:30 - 1:30                                   Lunch

1:30 - 2:00                                     Contemplative practices to transmute fear of death, to cultivate the heart of compassion, to accept loss of control. 

2:00 - 3:00                                     Empowerment

                                                                        A. Definition of empowerment

                                                                        B. How the spacious mind of compassion leads to empowerment

                                                                        C. How empowerment leads to healing

3:00 - 4:00                                     Caregiving

                                                                        A. Caregiving as psychological/spiritual work on oneself

                                                                        B. Caregiving for the dying

                                                                                          1. Special practices to help heal fear of death

                                                                        C. Fear of death

                                                                                          1. All fear is fear of death

                                                                        D. Working with physical pain

                                                                                          1. Confusion between pain and fear of pain

                                                                                          2. Pain Meditation

4:00 – 4:15                                                      Break

4:15 - 5:00                                     What is it that dies and what is it that does not die?

                                                      What happens when you die?

                                                      How can the certainty of death yet the uncertainty of the time of our death lead to awakening rather than to fear?

5:00 - 6:00                                     Wholeness

                                                                        A. Definition of Wholeness

                                                                        B. Healing as different from curing

                                                                        C. Wholeness or healing as the goal of all practice

                                                                        D. Healing guided meditation


  * Marked fields are required.
Price $160.00