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Being a Compassionate Companion - A Talk by Frank Ostaseski

Caring for those with serious illness can be an intense, intimate, and deeply alive experience. It often challenges our most basic beliefs. It is a journey of continuous discovery, requiring courage and flexibility.

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Photo: Frank Ostaseski, Buddhist teacher and leading voice in end-of-life careOn October 29, 2010, world-renowned Buddhist teacher and end-of-life care educator Frank Ostaseski discussed the challenges, rewards, and spiritual journey of being a "compassionate companion" to seriously ill loved ones in a special presentation for clinicians, medical students, and the general public.

According to Ostaseski, the practice of compassion is equal in importance as good pain management or symptom control. Yet, rarely is it acknowledged as our most available and effective resource, offering immeasurable value to all interventions. Without the presence of compassion, Ostaseski says, caregiving becomes a series of mechanical or technological efforts that exhaust everyone and heals no one.

View a Recording of the Talk

The talk was recorded and is available for viewing online, in two parts:

About Frank Ostaseski

Frank Ostaseski is a Buddhist teacher and a leading voice in end-of-life care. In 1987, he co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2004, he created Metta Institute to seed the culture with innovative approaches that reaffirm the spiritual dimensions of dying.

His year-long End-of-Life Care Practitioner Program is among the most comprehensive professional trainings in the country. His public programs throughout the United States and Europe have introduced thousands to the practices of mindful and compassionate care of the dying. Frank's groundbreaking work has been widely featured in the media, including the Bill Moyers television series On Our Own Terms, the PBS series With Eyes Open, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in numerous print publications. In fact, AARP magazine named him one of America's 50 most innovative people. In 2001, Frank was honored by the Dalai Lama for his many years of compassionate service to the dying and their families.

For more information about Frank and the Metta Institute, visit