Chaplaincy Speaker Series: “How Can I Help?” with Renshin Bunce
December 16 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am PST
You raise your hand and knock on the door, put a smile on your face and enter a hospital room or a private home, find someone young young or old; male or female; sitting in a chair and chatting, or in a bed and not responding, and introduce yourself – and then what? this is every chaplain’s question. since Buddhism teaches us to greet each moment as it arises, the chaplain who happens to be formed by the Buddha’s teachings will ideally start each visit without a script or agenda. The Patient may be a lifelong Catholic or fiercely atheist , may have set beliefs of their own or never given the world of spirit and the question of death a thought – and what does help look like then?
The question becomes, not what am I supposed to say and do, but how can I keep my heart open to whatever arises. This is where we live the promise that “the whole world is your teacher,” and this is where we learn what help can be, as a chaplain and as a human being
Renshin Bunce is a dharma heir of the late Myogen Steve Stücky. She was priest ordained in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 2003 by the late Zenkei Blanche Hartman.
After seven years’ residence at San Francisco Zen Center, Renshin worked for 12 years as a hospice chaplain. Retired, she now lives in Eureka CA. She and her sitting groups – Beginners Mind Zen in San Mateo, currently meeting over Zoom three times a week, and Beginners Mind Zen in Eureka, currently meeting in person in Eureka – are affiliated with The Everyday Zen Foundation. Although remote geographically, she offers practice discussion and spiritual counseling over Zoom.
Renshin has written three books: Entering the Monastery, an account of life at San Francisco Zen Center; Love and Fear, Stories from a Hospice Chaplain; and Remembering Myogen Steve Stucky, a collection of stories about the former abbot.