Keynote Address & Speaker - 2013 Oncology Massage Healing Summit

Compassionate Presence

Presented by Frank Ostaseski

Explore the importance of compassion and its integral role in all healing. Compassion is that innate capacity that enables us to be open to suffering - to profoundly care without being overwhelmed. The beauty and function of compassion serves to establish a trustworthy connection, support mutual well-being, develops resilience and allow us to stay present in the territory of unanswerable questions.

In the relationship with those we serve, the practice of compassion is essential in the delivery of all effective treatments. Yet, rarely is it acknowledged as one our most available and effective resource - offering immeasurable value to all interventions. Without the presence of compassion, caregiving becomes a series of mechanical or technological efforts that exhaust everyone and heals no one.

Frank Ostaseski draws on 30 years of teaching mindfulness-based approaches to care to explore how to sustain the fearless receptivity of compassion and illustrate its impact on those facing serious or life threatening illness and loss.


In 1987, Frank Ostaseski co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2004, he created the Metta Institute® to provide broad-based education on mindful and compassionate end-of-life care. His groundbreaking work has been widely featured in the media, including the Bill Moyers television series, On Our Own Terms, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and numerous print publications. In 2001, he was honored by H.H. Dalai Lama for his years of compassionate service to the dying and their families.

Ostaseski is a dynamic and visionary Buddhist teacher and a consultant to several healthcare organizations. His public programs, writings and recordings have introduced thousands to the practices of contemplative care. He teaches internationally and is a frequent keynote speaker for hundreds of healthcare organizations such as Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, and the National Hospice & Palliative Care Association - and for spiritually based organizations including the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Upaya Zen Center, and the Esalen Institute. For more information, visit

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