Archive for December 22nd, 2011

White Tara 白度母
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White Tara Meditation

The white tara represents wisdom, purity, and truth.  Her mantra is chanted by those seeking to remove obstacles in their lives and longevity.

May this chant bring with it time and space to feel serene.  May it help foster self-compassion.

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Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama) 2008, 2005 & 2...

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Check out the LA Times review of HH the Dalai Lama’s new book.

Book review: ‘Beyond Religion’ by the Dalai Lama.

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An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...

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Great Op-Ed in the NY Times on problems that the dying face. . .

The first hospice in the United States was founded in 1974 in Connecticut.  And for the most part, we have stayed with the model of care that was started at The Connecticut Hospice. 

And 40 years ago, it was a brilliant and necessary movement that needed to come to us.  And 40 years later, some people are terrified of the word hospice.  We’ve had four decades to teach the general public about hospice, break through barriers, and hold the space for people in every state to have the option of compassionate care at the end of life.

But there are certainly gaps in the system.  We need more respite care, more caregiver education, more education to other medical professionals on the uses of palliative medicine and referring to hospice earlier.  And of course, we need to continue getting the message out about having those difficult discussions at home and at the doctor’s office before we absolutely have to make decisions.

In the 7 years I worked for hospice, there were only a handful of families that were unhappy with our services.  Those families often had other problems going on as well such as family disagreements, “unfinished business”, family secrets, or mental health issues and let’s face it most families have at least one of those things happening.

Those families that did love the hospice that I worked for used hospice intergenerationally and referred friends and family for our services.  And yet, people still get referred into hospice in the very last days and hours before their death.  So how do we change this?

How do we stretch a philosophy of care beyond its borders when there are people who still cringe at the site or sound of the word?  We really need to start looking at these issues as our overall population gets older, as more families no longer live near extended families, and as more and more of us don’t get married.

We need to be having the conversation now.  Was a nursing home the right place for this patient in the article?  What about a palliative care center?  What kind of hospice was this family working with and could they not have had traditional in home hospice with a network of friends, family, volunteers, and paid professionals like CNAs?  Or is this issue much bigger than bandages?

Would love to hear what you think!


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Deutsch: Om mani padme hum (Tibetisches Mantra)

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Simply lovely, healing, and gentle chanting of Om Mani Padme Hum.  Listen to it to aid in your meditation or to have a few moments of relaxation.


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