Bodhicharya Hospice, a project of Bodhicharya Deutschland e.V. came into being four years ago through the collaborative effort of Lisa Freund, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, and the Ricam Hospice Berlin.
The purpose of hospice work is to improve or maintain the quality of life of critically ill or dying people, especially through the use of appropriate care, competent treatment of pain, and compassionate concern.
The Bodhicharya hospice service offers support; for example, in the form of regular house visits, conversation, and the simple presence of trained volunteer caregivers.
Working closely with other ambulatory services, the hospice service visits people in their last phase of life, provides information and contact persons relating to questions of pain therapy and symptom control, provides support and advice in bureaucratic matters, and, when necessary, undertakes bedside watches.
Our service includes:
- Providing relief for family and loved ones, when they need time for themselves.
- Listening to the wishes, fears and concerns of those involved.
- Specialized counseling and referrals for questions regarding social insurance, medical care, pain therapy, and the living will.
- Spiritual support.
The Bodhichayra hospice has a Buddhist orientation. The work is founded on the understanding of death as transition. An especial value is therefore placed on attending to mental and emotional aspects until the very end. The development and unfolding of spiritual potential of both those seeking advice, as well as the caregiver is important to us in terms of awareness, compassionate presence, loving kindness, composure, and inner peace.
As a hospice service with a Buddhist orientation, one of the main focal points of our work is the spiritual accompaniment of people with an expressed desire for such support at the end of their life. Learning meditation and mind training techniques, the foundation of our schooling for volunteer caregivers, provides a valuable means of taking care of one self, an aid in relaxation, and the emotional strengthening of the patients.
It is possible to conduct a personalized parting ritual in our space, or to take part in our monthly meditation for the ill and deceased. Public seminars, lectures and trainings take place regularly, to which we invite docents. Our project is geared primarily towards the psychosocial themes, important to people during times of suffering, dying, and introspection. We would like to provide an open yet sheltered space for these feelings and thoughts, memories and encounters.
We would like to encourage the encountering and expression of the spiritual dimension, which all of us carry within us.
We wish that trust in inner wisdom, personal path, and faith can be empowered, enabling peace to grow, and strength to be conserved for the difficult hour of parting.
We would like to act as pillars of support, when confusion and desperation emerge, or when questions arise that seem only to have unsatisfactory answers.
Bodhicharya Deutschland e.V is located on a 1200m2, heritage-protected area in Berlin- Friedrichshain. As a meeting place for young and old, Bodhicharya provides a sheltered space for training courses, skill enhancements, workshops, cultural exchange, and inter-religious dialogue. This is especially important to us, as the center is located in a socially disadvantaged area of Berlin, in which the social structure in general is not adequately served.
Presently, we are operating with a group of 30 volunteers, 2 professionally trained staff members, which are responsible for the coordination: a trained educator with an emphasis on social work, and a nurse.
Our hospice service is affiliated with the German Hospice and Palliative Association, and other occupational associations. We work together with an array of nursing services, hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors.
Coordination & Administration:
Michaela Dräger – Educator, Pall-Care certified,
Dominik Thiergärtner – Nurse, Pall-Care certified
Miriam Pokora – Children’s Nurse, Pall-Care certified (in maternity leave)