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Chaplains
April 17, 2017
Meet chaplains: men and women of different faith traditions who are trained to guide and comfort people of any faith, or people who aren't religious at all. They step in at these moments when life comes into sharp focus, in hospitals, prisons...even on the battlefield. In this special series supported by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, we follow seven chaplains on their daily rounds, in locations ranging from a trauma care center to a Buddhist retreat. 
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Oksana Chapman: Rekindling Faith with the Elderly
In the first installment of our Chaplains series, we spend a day with Rabbi Oksana Chapman, a Russian-speaking chaplain who grew up under Soviet rule and once got an 'A' in Atheism. At Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, she offers the solace of song and ritual to Russian-speaking residents who had to keep their Jewish identity quiet.

Produced by Ruth Morris and introduced by Trace Haythorn, executive director of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.


Arkadiy Glinets and his wife, Roza, share a room at at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, Massachusetts. As young newlyweds in Russia they were forced to hide their Jewish identity. But now, 63 years later, Rabbi Oksana Chapman has married them again -- this time under a Jewish chuppah.

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The Contents of a Spiritual Toolbox
Our guests, a physician and a hospice chaplain, discuss the importance of attending to the spirit as well as the body at the end of life. They describe how they work with elderly patients who aren't religious to build meaning, and they introduce us to the concept of gerotranscendence-- a theory suggesting that as we age we become less self-occupied and more expansive in our spirituality.

Dr. Christina Puchalski
, author of A Time for Listening and Caring, founder and co-director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health
Kerry Egan, hospice chaplain and author of On Living

Courtesy of Wisdom Publications
The Zen Thing
Koshin Paley Ellison is one of a small but growing number of chaplains in the United States who are Buddhists. In fact, Koshin is a Zen Buddhist monk. He works in hospice, and his goal is to take "the Zen thing" out into the world...and the change the very nature of caregiving itself. Produced by Will Coley and KalaLea. Music by LD Brown.

Koshin Paley Ellison, co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care





Zen in the City: Koshin jumps into a Manhattan cab.

Ronald Getter, a patient at the VNSNY Goodman Brown Hospice Residence in NYC.
Photos courtesy of Loris Guzzetta.


The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care that Koshin founded with his husband, Robert Chodo Campbell, is the first ever Dharma-based organization to be accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.

Special thanks to the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice and Palliative Care and the Overlook Medical Center/Atlantic Health System.
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Koshin Reads Two Poems
We asked Koshin Paley Ellison to read a couple poems that have taken on special meaning for him in his work as a hospice chaplain. He shares with us "The Gate" and "The Last Time" by Marie Howe.
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Mindfulness in Medicine
We speak to a palliative care physician and a Buddhist chaplain about contemplative care-- a mindful approach to the patient-caregiver relationship that could even be an antidote to empathy fatigue and doctor burnout.

Craig Blinderman, associate professor, director of Adult Palliative Care Service at Columbia University Medical Center

Tim Ford, fellow at the Transforming Chaplaincy project

This series is supported by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.