I began working as a healthcare chaplain in 2005, the same year I was ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh into the Order of Interbeing (OI.) For those unfamiliar with the role, healthcare chaplains help patients cope with their changing lives using the patient’s own language of meaning, whether that language is religious, scientific, philosophical or based upon their life experiences. This requires the chaplain to listen with compassion and respond appropriately, without proselytizing the chaplain’s own beliefs. My chaplaincy and OI practices have grown and supported each other over the years and I’d like to share some insights into how they work together to help me serve the ill and dying.
I recently saw a Trident submarine sailing through Puget Sound, surrounded by a fleet of support ships on it’s way to the open Pacific. The Captain of my ferry announced the sub’s presence off our port bow and many of the passengers looked up from their books, puzzles, and conversations to line the windows and marvel at this black nuclear-powered machine sliding silently by.
I brought out my smart phone and looked up the facts. This submarine was equipped with 24 Trident Missiles, each carrying 8-12 independently targetable nuclear warheads able to strike targets more than 7000 miles away. The submarine fleet carries about 50% of the US arsenal of thermonuclear weapons and can hide undetected anywhere in the world for months.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.