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Wise Caregiving: 8 Foundations for Balanced Caregiving

Tina Gibson

April 8, 2020 @ 8:00 am - June 10, 2020 @ 5:00 pm UTC-8

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We caregivers want to offer compassionate care, but sometimes we don’t know how. We seek a solid place to stand so that we feel grounded and able to extend our hearts to others. But what if there isn’t such a solid place? How do we keep from burning out in an ever-changing, ever-suffering, unpredictable world? In this brand new course co-created by Board Certified Chaplain Jonathan Prescott and MSC Teacher Trainer Tina Gibson, we’ll explore how Jon’s 8 Foundations of Balanced Caregiving offer us ways to sustain ourselves as caregivers within the paradoxes of our chaotic, beautiful world.

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Participants will explore:

–> Practicing boundaries that open our hearts to ourselves and others and transform habits that lead us to feel swept away and burned out;
–> Knowing that we are enough to meet whatever comes;
–> Finding ways to receive while giving;
–> Discerning when to hold firm and when to let go, knowing that we can remain flexible in dangerous winds only when we’re securely rooted;
–> Trusting ourselves and our actions when we can’t measure results;
–> Rediscovering our wholeness in a fragmented world;
–> Exploring our attitudes about our own changing bodies in order to learn deeper compassion; knowing that we are well even when we are not;
–> Becoming intimate with life and death so that we can offer a calm presence during this most natural of occurrences.

This course is designed for:

MSC GRADUATES who are caregivers in any capacity: parents, counselors, teachers, clinicians, children of aging parents, chaplains. This work also support to those who do advocacy work for the environment, animals, and more. This course pre-supposes an understanding and personal practice of self-compassion, though we will continue to explore and cultivate our own inner compassion throughout the course.

This highly experiential course includes discussions, exercises, breakout groups, specific practice encouragements, and periodic triad meetings with the teachers. Any MSC graduate may apply.

Course outline:

Week 1: Foundations and Intro

During this foundational first session, participants explore their deepest wishes for attending the course. We also discuss the overarching themes for the course, class agreements, and more.

Week 2: Self and Other

Living in the balance between self and other, I embrace healthy boundaries as a foundation for sustainable, compassionate care. I am open to seeing and transforming habits that undermine clear boundaries and lead me to feel swept away and burned out.

Week 3: Competence and Compassion

Living in the balance between competence and compassion, I aspire to share myself along with my skills. I allow the infinite resource of compassion to arise in me and make my technical expertise meaningful and relevant. Even as I continually improve, I trust that right now, I am enough.

Week 4: Giving and Receiving

Living in the balance between giving and receiving, I see that receiving is itself a generous act. I accept the healing energy of beauty, peace, and support that are available in all circumstances so that I can respond with gratitude and generosity. Those I care for are my precious teachers. Life is my school.

Week 5: Firm and Soft

Living in the balance between firm and soft, I will honor my limits firmly so that I can respond softly. As I learn to see and accept myself as I am, I know that I can remain flexible in dangerous winds only when I’m securely rooted in my own truth.

Week 6: Results and Futility

Living in the balance between results and futility, I accept that not all results are measurable. I trust mindful awareness to guide my actions, knowing that when my actions are good, positive results ripple out in many directions, even when those results are beyond my view.

Week 7: Ideal and Real

Living in the balance between the ideal and the real, I embrace life as it is. I aspire to live in the fullness of reality without hiding behind ideology. I trust that even the most challenging moments invite me to respond with love.

Week 8: Well and Unwell

Living in the balance between well and unwell, I turn compassionately towards my own changing nature. I embrace decline in order to learn compassion. Aware that everything changes, I will bear witness to the fires of loss within and around me, knowing that I am well even when I am not.

Week 9: Birth and Death

Living in the balance between life and death, I see that all things come and go in every moment. I will transform my fear of death so that I can offer a calm presence during natural cycles of birth and death, grief and joy.

Week 10: Integration and Wrap-Up

During this nourishing integration session, we’ll reflect on what we’ve learned and which other questions we may wish to explore going forward into our lives as resilient caregivers, allies, and perhaps friends, on an ongoing journey.

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About the Teachers

Tina Gibson is an experienced and passionate Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness Teacher, having facilitated programs within the Education System, Cancer Support, Women’s Health and the general community. She has a sound knowledge of health and education stemming from years of experience working with diverse populations in the roles of Kinesiologist, Health Care Worker, Rehabilitation Counsellor, Health Educator and Emergency Paramedic.

Tina practices MSC as she teaches MSC, offering warmth, honesty, understanding and humour. She is currently the only Certified MSC Teacher Trainer and Mentor in Australia, having taught alongside both Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. She’s also an essential contributor and teacher for the MSC Community for Deepening Practice (CDP).

Tina is currently a Chaplaincy student with Upaya. She sees MSC as the artfulness of being compassionately human, with mindfulness deepening and broadening her understanding of what this may actually mean. From this ongoing understanding arises compassion as a slow and steady unfurling / opening / connecting – inwards and outwards.

A big part of who Tina is includes; a grandma, beach walker, nature and animal lover and a wonderfully bad singer and dancer.

Learn more: www.AdelaideMindfulness.com

Jonathan Prescott, BCC BCCC BCPC is a Board Certified Chaplain, Clinical Chaplain, and Pastoral Counselor. As a long time ordained student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Jonathan’s practice is to support people experiencing illness and end of life, foster effective caregiving and reconnect people with their innate wisdom and compassion.

Jonathan provides individual care to hospice patients and their families and offers talks and retreats to help clinicians become openhearted, effective caregivers. In addition to his role as Hospice Spiritual Counselor, Jonathan has served as Chaplain in the hospital and cancer care settings. During Jonathan’s 35-year spiritual practice, he’s utilized his natural warmth and calmness to lead and serve many organizations in the Buddhist, Quaker and non-profit realms, and enjoys being a voice of clarity and compassion on medical ethics committees.

Jonathan has also studied with Dharmacharya Eileen Kiera and Jack Duffy Roshi at The Mountain Lamp Community and with Frank Ostaseski of the Metta Institute and Zen Hospice Project.

At home in the San Juan Islands of Washington, Jonathan relishes the peaceful solitude of his small farm. He balances end of life work with a contemplative practice of meditation, retreat, and connection to nature.

Jonathan is the author of The Road To Freedom: Learning To Drive With Joy And Kindness.

Jonathan’s website: www.WiseCaregiving.org


April 8, 2020 @ 8:00 am
June 10, 2020 @ 5:00 pm


Tina Gibson




This course is available to any MSC graduate. It is offered through the Community for Deepening Practice.

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