New York hospital goes zen

ABC: “Zen” is the Japanese word and “Ch’an” is the Chinese word derived from the Sanskrit word “Dhyana” meaning “meditation.” Zen began in China back in the 6th century CE. Zen is practiced all around the world and has recently found a huge following in the United States.

Zen Buddhism focuses on gaining enlightenment through meditation. Zen is a means to reaching enlightenment. Zen declines the study of scriptures, devotional practices and any religious rites (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica). Some of the key beliefs of Zen focus on The Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eightfold Path:

  • First Noble Truth: The observation that suffering (dukkha) is pervasive in life. Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is because of craving. Third Noble Truth: Suffering can be ended by ending the craving. Fourth Noble Truth: Follow the Noble Eightfold Path.
  • The Noble Path: Right views, right understanding of the mind, right speech, right conduct, right vocation, right effort in meditation, right awareness in meditation and right contemplation to achieve complete meditation.

ZEN AT WORK: The New York Zen Center is the first Buddhist organization to provide chaplaincy to a mainstream hospital — Beth Israel Medical Center. The Contemplative Care Program consists of student chaplains visiting staff and patients and conducting weekly group meditations. Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City is taking advantage of those services and offering Zen at work for employees and patients who may be under stress.

OTHER STRESS RELIEVERS: According to Forbes Magazine, the top 10 best stress relievers are: acupressure, exercise, hobbies, staying hydrated, massages, meditation, sex, sleep, therapy and maintaining a nutritious diet. There are also prescription hypnotics, antidepressants, beta-blockers and sedatives that may relieve some stress. Some people relieve stress by volunteering, playing with pets, keeping a journal, breathing and practicing self-hypnosis. (Source: The American Institute of Stress)

For More Information, Contact:

Elizabeth Dowling
Beth Israel Medical Center
New York, NY
(212) 523-7772

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