Training

4 Weeks Courses

Introduction to Compassionate Care

24 Weeks Course

Compassionate Care Companion Training

Karuna is the Sanskrit word for “compassion.” Compassion invites engagement with suffering persons with the intent of helping them heal. Many of us feel compassion for others’ suffering and would like to help but don’t know how. Karuna Care Education was established to respond to this need.

Karuna Care Education’s Practicum is an introductory level Lay Chaplain training program for spiritual practitioners of Sanatana Dharma [aka: Hindu] religious traditions, e.g., Gaudiya Vaishnavism, etc who aspire to provide chaplain ministry in hospitals, hospices, prisons, group homes, homeless shelters, police departments, fire departments, the military, religious communities and congregations, or wherever people in crisis may need them. Karuna Care Education trains its students to develop heart-connecting relationships that can grow into cohesive, caring communities.

Course Dates

January 15, 2022 – July 23, 2022 [24 classes in 7 months]

There will be no classes on the following North American Festival Day weekends:

  • March 19, 2022 – Gaur Purnim
  • May 14, 2022 – Nrsingha Caturdasi
  • May 28, 2022 – Memorial Day Weekend
  • June 11, 2022 – New York Ratha Yatra

Class Times

  • Cohort A – Saturday Evenings New York Time 
    •  5:30pm – 8:30pm [3 hours]
  • Cohort B – Saturday Mornings New York Time 
    • 7:30am – 10:30am [3 hours]

Students will only be allowed to attend the Cohort they enrolled in at the start of the Course. This means if you have to miss a class, you will not be allowed to join the other one due to group bonding issues.

Students will only be allowed to miss class due to illness or a family emergency. If a student misses more than 3 classes during the course, they will not be able to receive a certificate.

Weekly Time Committment

10 hours including weekly zoom class.

  • 4 hrs – Compassionate Care Conversations
  • 30 minutes – Spiritual Assessment Notes on Care Conversations
  • 30 minutes – Weekly Reflection paper 
  • 1-2 hours [5 times per course] Case Study or Critical Incident paper
  • 1 hour during the 24 week course =  Theology of Compassion Reflection Paper 
  • 1 hour during the 24 week course – Mid-Unit Self-Evaluation Paper to present in class
  • 1-2 hours during the 24 week course – Final Self-Evaluation Paper to present in class
  • 2 hours per week –  Google Classroom supplementary videos + Required Reading

Required Reading for the Course

  • “Counseling Skills for Companioning the Mourner: The Fundamentals of Effective Grief Counseling” by Alan Wolfelt
  • “How to Listen, Hear, and Validate: Break Through Invisible Barriers and Transform Your Relationships” by Patrick King

Eligibility for Training

Students wishing to be trained as a Certified Karuna Care Provider and becoming a member of the Karuna Care Association must take the 3 Introductory 4 Weeks courses listed above in order to be considered for this 12 Weeks Course:

  1. Impact of Grief on Spiritual Growth
  2. Name your Feelings – Tame your Mind.
  3. Trauma, Addictions and Complicated Grief

Students can sign up at any time to the Introductory Courses, as long as they complete the 3 of them.

STEP 1

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have a personality that is naturally inclined to have compassion for suffering persons?
  2. Do you want to increase your self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills to create heart-connecting relationships with others?
  3. Are you ready to take an honest look at your current behavior and attitudes and make progress towards becoming a more authentic, transparent, and vulnerable person?
  4. Do you have basic computer skills, e.g., sending emails, doing simple internet searches, uploading documents, and basic word-processing? 
  5. Are you willing and able to volunteer 4 hours a week accompanying a person through a life-cycle crisis by offering them non-judgmental, compassionate care online, by phone or in-person at a healthcare or public services organization (hospital, hospice, prison, airport chapel, college campus, senior living home, etc.)?
  6. Are you willing and able to commit to Karuna Care Education’s two 12-week semesters (total=24 weeks) of online learning and practicum?  Please review the Training Schedule before answering this question. 
  7. Are you open to exchanging honest feedback with your peers’ regarding your personal learning process?
  8. Are you willing to explore your strengths and limitations regarding your interpersonal relationship skills? 

STEP 2

If you answered “Yes” to all the questions above, please download the application below. Completed applications should be emailed to admissions@karunacare.iskcon.org

If you answered “No” to any of the questions, please wait to submit your application until you are able to participate fully in the KCE program.

STEP 3

Once we have received your complete application, you will be invited for an interview by the Karuna Care admissions committee. Interviews will be conducted on Skype or Zoom.

Successful applicants will demonstrate

  • Their ability to identify and express emotions.
  • Their genuine care and compassion for others.
  • Their ability to identify their personal strengths and limitations.
  • Their willingness to take risks in order to grow as compassionate care companion.
  • Their openness to receiving honest, compassionate feedback from others regarding their attitudes and behaviors.

romapada_profile

“Ramhhoru dasi has a unique combination of assets to provide Karuna Care’s much needed resource within our devotee communities – namely, she has decades of experience in the professional world of counseling, along with decades of experience interacting within our ISKCON society and its leadership. I am absolutely confident that her gift to our devotional community will have a dramatic impact on improving the quality of care and attention given to our members.”

Romapada Swami, ACBSP
ISKCON initiating Spiritual Master

GBC Member


“What I loved about Rambhoru Brinkmann as my Training Supervisor was her ability to walk with her students without imposing her views on them, but rather, gently challenging them to seek their own truths.” 

Arely Deras
Former Student 


“I’m grateful, as one of Rambhoru Brinkman’s students, for her guiding gentle smile that saw me through challenging and transforming moments of my life. I appreciated her dedication and commitment  to the well-being of each student no matter their race, color, gender or background.”

Stephanie Ramos
Former Student

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