Carl Becker (Half-day)

Workshop Title
Five Pillars of East Asian Spirituality: Supporting Patients, Caregivers, and Bereaved Families

Purpose/ Objective of Workshop
This workshop shows how Asian spiritual perspectives and practices can be applied to help dying patients, their caregivers, and bereaved families.

Brief Description
Kokoro means "Heart/Mind" (心) in Japanese. Kyoto University's Kokoro Research Centre was founded to provide psycho-spiritual support for people in medical and caring professions. This workshop suggests ways that understanding and practicing five aspects of Eastern spirituality--Aspiration, Perspiration, Respiration, Expiration, and Inspiration--can help to support and heal dying patients, their caregivers, and bereaved families. Drawing on his practice with terminal cancer patients, suicidal students, and people bereaved in disasters, Dr. Becker shows how we can cultivate our sense of interconnectedness with each other and with the universe to overcome loneliness and despair.

Target Participants (and any pre-requisite)
People caring for the dying or bereaved, such as nurses, paramedics, social workers, caregivers, counselors, bereavement workers.


Facilitator Bio

Carl Becker received his MA and PhD in Comparative (East-West) Philosophy from the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii in 1981, after studying in Canada, India, and Japan.  Subsequently he taught at the Southern Illinois U, and Japan's National Osaka, Tsukuba, and Kyoto Universities.  Dr. Becker is Professor of Religions and Bioethics at Kyoto University, researching terminal care and medical ethics.  He conducts workshops on improving medical communication and preventing nurse burnout.  He has won awards for his studies on Out-of-Body Experiences and Cross-Cultural Understanding of death and dying. 

His English books include At the Border of Death: A Japanese Near-Death Experience (Tokyo: Yomiuri, 1992), Paranormal Experience and Survival of Death (Albany: SUNY, 1993), Breaking the Circle: Death and Afterlife in Buddhism  (Carbondale: SIU, 1993), Asian and Jungian Views of Ethics (Westport: Greenwood, 1999), and Time for Healing (St. Paul: Paragon House, 2003).

Director, Japan Mind-Body Science Assn.
Director, Intl Soc for Life Information Science
Director, Japan Bioethics Association
Trustee, Japan Assn. for History of Psychiatry
Director, Japan Assn. for Study of Religion
Director, Japan Natural Healing Assn.
Editorial Reader, Mortality  and Near-Death Studies
Member, MENSA, and New York Academy of Sciences