Any Buddhist Nurses?

  1. I'm a new nurse deep in the heart of Texas, and pretty much everyone (patients, coworkers, chaplains) assumes that you're a Christian. But I'm not, I'm an atheist and a Buddhist, I don't believe in a soul or afterlife, but I do believe that the Buddhist understanding of reality has much to offer for dealing with death, suffering, and loss. I just read Thich Nhat Hanh's No Death, No Fear, and found it very beautiful and empowering: there is no death because there is no life, because we are all connected to and part of all life.
    I've also found meditation to be invaluable for stress and emotional management.
    (I should mention that I'm in the ICU and people die every day on my unit.)

    Anyway
    Do any of you incorporate similar beliefs or practices in your nursing practice?
    Any techniques or books or practices you have to share?

    Thank you
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    About CriticalJ

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 2
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    4 Comments

  3. by   dzadzey
    I took refuge in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism back in the 90's and, like you, the philosophy of Buddhism speaks more strongly to me than the metaphysics of Buddhism, although it is still relevant. Having worked in ICU for 10 years, meditation has helped me deal with the stresses that occur on a daily basis. I also work closely with our chaplains and palliative care team in addressing goals of care, family issues and end of life issues for those patients of different faiths.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    I have recently started exploring meditation, the divinity of existence and the interconnectedness of all living beings. I am not a Buddhist, still consider myself a Christian, but have been through a lot of things that have caused me to re-evaluate the dogma that rules this world. I too am in Texas.
  5. by   Gampopa
    I've been a Buddhist for the past 20 years and an M/S RN for 12 years. I don't speak much about my path while at work. I've worked at some pretty conservative hospitals and didn't feel like engaging the more closed minded staff. I am constantly using breath work and "meditative moments" to pause and regroup during the day and meditate for 1-2 hrs when not scheduled. My practice has helped me meet pts, families and staff who are challenging to work with. I often have difficulty with the very sick and elderly pts who still want everything done to prolong their lives when to me the inevitable of death is glaringly clear. To witness how many resources go into getting another month or two of life is shocking when there is so much need elsewhere.
  6. by   Eris Discordia BSN, RN
    I am a Buddhist as well...I find that the general principles of mindfulness along with a solid meditation practice help me stay much more grounded, particularly at work.

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