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Zen and the Art of Impermanence Awakening to Death

For everyone.

Empty handed I entered the world

Barefoot I leave it

My coming my going

Two simple happenings that got entangled

—Japanese Death Poem

Our culture conditions us to resist opening to the reality of impermanence. In this unique and transformative program, face your fear of death by embracing your life fully. Using meditation, dharma teachings, storytelling, writing, poetry, playful imaginings, and experiential exercises, Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell and Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison guide you on an exploration of the inevitable. Together, they create a safe container to express our fears and vulnerability, re-envisioning the way we live and how we prepare for our death.

Through moments of deep reflection, insight, and fun, discover what holds you back from living fearlessly.

Note This program includes a silent meditation to begin each morning and end each evening. Please bring a journal and a favorite sacred object.

Recommended reading Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast, Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care

What You’ll Experience:

  • Meditation and dharma teachings
  • Storytelling and playful imaginings
  • Experiential exercises.


“As teachers, Chodo and Koshin have an uncanny ability to convey powerful messages in a dynamic, introspective, heartfelt, and humorous manner.” –Dr. Tieraona Low Dog

“The course taught me to breathe and to be present in each moment of life. It has helped me understand that everything— every moment, joy, stress, sadness, and life—will come and go.” —Dr. Bernice Yau, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas at Houston

Program at a Glance

Yoga Experience
Suitable For
Program Theme
All Self-Discovery

“Love and Fear” - New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care


Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell cofounded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, an organization that delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice.

Full Bio and Programs

Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, cofounded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the first Zen-based organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in the United States.

Full Bio and Programs