(2 credits)  This course will explore methods of embodied spiritual leadership in support of Buddhist/spiritual communities, with a particular emphasis on cultivating the inner and outer qualities of skillful community ministry and spiritual care. When we model and embody commitment to following a spiritual path, our community and acquaintances may perceive us as religious leaders or “spiritual friends,” and come to rely on us in formal and informal ways; it is, these days, incumbent that we prepare ourselves well to offer them the best care we can, through training ourselves in more than philosophy and meditation. Students will develop their self-awareness and their understanding of their impact on others, and they will come to see how issues such as equity, trauma, ethics and so forth inform the ways in which we share and represent the dharma.

The course builds on spiritual care theories, skills, and service from CS303 with the practice of Spiritual Care Conversations, and the writing and delivery of a dharma talk or homily. This course will help strengthen students’ understanding and practice of compassion for others, including discussion of contemporary application of skillful means, co-constructing spiritual practice environments, facilitating group practices, religious education and pedagogy, working in relational dynamics, and integrating these pieces into one’s personal service.