Anukampa Training: The Foundations of Spiritual Care

Caring for Self and Others,
Beyond Self and Others

Taught by Gil Fronsdal and Vanessa Able
11-month program: September 2024 – July 2025

What is Anukampa Training?

Anukampa is the profound Buddhist word for the “care” motivating both ordinary and spiritual caregiving. It is the sentiment which inspired the Buddha to teach. In Buddhist practice, it is a form of spiritual care that can be directed to oneself and to others. Anukampa is expressed in each of the four Brahmaviharas or ‘sublime attitudes’ of loving-kindness (metta), sympathetic joy (mudita), compassion (karuna), and equanimity (upekkha). It has its fulfillment in the heart’s full liberation.

The Sati Center’s Anukampa Training is an 11-month program introducing foundational practices and values of spiritual caregiving found in Buddhism, and in the modern discipline of chaplaincy. Central to this training are the ten Buddhist perfections, or paramis,that give strength, resiliency, and wisdom to care-giving efforts. These will be combined with a study of ten core human needs to which chaplaincy is often organized. We will consider these as follows:

September Compassion Liberation
October Generosity Meaning
November Ethics Autonomy
December Renunciation Agency
January Wisdom Identity
February Effort Dignity
March Patience Community
April Truth Kinship
May Resolve Healing
June Loving Kindness Reconciliation
July Equanimity Service


Components of the Training

  1. One Monday or Friday morning class each month on Zoom (9:00am – 12:15pm)
  2. A one-hour Q & A session with one of the faculty once a month.
  3. Participants will be assigned a Reading/Writing Buddy to meet with monthly.
  4. Participants will also be assigned a small group of 4-5 other program participants to meet with monthly through the course of the training.
  5. Monthly 1-2 page written reflections to be submitted to faculty, and to be read by Reading/Writing Buddy.
  6. Each month, students will be invited to engage the monthly parami and spiritual theme as a framework for reflecting on their own lives.
  7. 2-4 articles related to of the themes of each month will also be offered.
  8. Completion of written assignments and 90% Zoom attendance will qualify participants for a Certificate of Completion of this program.


Class dates (9:00am – 12:15pm Pacific Time):

  • Monday, September 30th
  • Friday, November 1st
  • Monday, December 2nd
  • Monday, January 13th
  • Friday, February 14th & Saturday, February 15th (online mid-year retreat)
  • Monday, March 10th
  • Monday, April 7th
  • Monday, April 28th
  • Monday, May 26th
  • Monday, June 16th
  • Monday, July 7th

Optional Extra Sessions (10:00am – 11:00am Pacific Time)

  • Saturday, September 21st (Opening session) – Vanessa & Gil
  • Thursday, October 17th  – Vanessa
  • Thursday, November 14th – Gil
  • Thursday, December 19th – Gil
  • Thursday, January 30th  – Vanessa
  • Thursday, February 27th – Gil
  • Thursday, March 27th – Gil
  • Thursday, April 17th – Gil
  • Thursday, May 15th – Vanessa
  • Thursday, June 12th – Vanessa
  • Thursday, July 10th (Closing session) – Vanessa & Gil


The course is offered on a sliding scale:

Please consider offering generously within your means. The tuition payments may also be made in 6 monthly installments.

A limited number of scholarships are available. If you would like to apply, please complete an application.

One Time Payment


Monthly Payment

6 x $166.67
6 x $133.33
6 x $100
6 x $66.67


Gil Fronsdal, Ph.D.
Gil Fronsdal is the senior guiding co-teacher at the Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California, the Insight Retreat Center in Santa Cruz, California, as well as the AudioDharma website and podcast. He started Buddhist practice in 1975, and has been teaching for IMC since 1990. Gil is an authorized teacher in two traditions: the Insight Meditation lineage of Theravada Buddhism of Southeast Asia, and Japanese Soto Zen. He holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford. He is the translator and author of multiple books, including the Dhammapada and The Buddha Before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings.


Vanessa Able
Koji Vanessa Able is a Soto Zen priest and practice facilitator. She is a teacher for the online Introduction to Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at the Sati Center. Vanessa completed her Chaplaincy training at Stanford Healthcare, where she continues to serve as a member of the hospital’s Professional Advisory Group. Vanessa has also served in hospice and jail and is an active member of the European Buddhist Union Chaplaincy Network. She is based in southern France from where she publishes the website and podcast, The Dewdrop.

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