Cultivating Compassion as We Encounter Others

June 24, 2017, 9:30 am—4:00 pm

A program for anyone who is interested in working with others. 

GRACE is an active compassion model developed by Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD., Abbot of Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, NM. GRACE is an acronym for a set of five components that represent a repertoire of mental capacities and processes that when practiced can lead to deep awareness of the needs and states of another and a deep empathic response recognition within ourselves. GRACE training can lead to ways of dealing with our own stress and fears as we enter into difficult situations with others. This is an excellent program for social workers, care-givers, aides, nurses, physicians, chaplains, and anyone who works with others whether in their work, as a volunteer or as a family member. 

In this active six-hour workshop participants will learn the terms behind GRACE model, explore the meaning of each of these terms and practice them in small dialogue groups. There will also be large group discussions. There will be periods of meditation practice around each of the terms. 


By the conclusion of the training, each participant should be able to:

  • Define the five terms within the GRACE acronym
  • Explain the conditions within which GRACE can be used
  • Work with the GRACE terms as they review issues in their work and private lives
  • Utilize GRACE in their volunteer and work situations
  • Use GRACE in their interpersonal connections

Cost: $175 for nonmembers, $125 for ZLMC members


Mark Shishin Gelula, PhD is a practicing member of ZLMC and President of the ZLMC Board. He has been on the faculty of the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Dept. of Medical Education for 21 years. In that setting he teaches and does research related to meditation, mindfulness, stress reduction and resilience among medical students, health professionals and health professions educators.

He has also been a volunteer for ten years sitting with actively dying patients at the Rainbow Hospice in-patient unit. As part of that work, he became interested in the GRACE model. He has taken 60 hours of training in the model at Upaya Zen Center and now teaches the process to health professionals, medical students and the lay public.

Patricia Bloom, MD is practicing member of ZLMC. She is a Family Physician, Geriatrician and Hospice physician, currently employed by Rainbow Hospice. She has been trained in the GRACE model at Upaya Zen Center and has completed over 60 hours of training in the model. She and Mark have previously taught the GRACE model to Social Workers, Grief counselors, Nurses and Volunteers at Rainbow Hospice.

Drawing as Not Knowing

Sunday, July 9, 2017, 1:00—4:00 pm


"there are always flowers for those who want to see them."
"exactitude is not truth"
Henri Matisse

(no experience preferable)

This hands-on workshop will be taught by Susan Sensemann Professor Emerita, School of Art Design, UIC, painter, photographer, writer. 

Send the inner critic to the river for a July afternoon.

Bring a #2 pencil, a ball point pen and a pair of scissors. Other supplies will be supplied. 

Cost: $75 for non-member, $60 for ZLMC members

Instructor: Susan Sensemann

July 30, 1-4 pm
with Beatrice DeFranco

Give your body the gift of deep, dynamic relaxation using the elements of nature. Let Beatrice introduce you to this flowing form of qigong exercises, designed to increase your flexibility, improve your balance and lower your stress levels. Balancing and organizing your energy system is a proven and time honored feature of qigong practice. 

Beatrice DeFranco has been teaching qigong since 1998. She has studied with several Tai Chi masters, and others specializing in breathing and bio-energy techniques as vehicles of transformation and health. She is also a certified Herbalist, Diplomate of Asian Bodywork/Structural Therapy and is certified by the NCCAOM.

Cost: $75 for nonmembers, $60 for ZLMC members

November 17-18, 2017
with Roshi Robert Joshin Althouse

Forgiveness is not a popular subject and when it is talked about it’s often misunderstood. The strength of forgiveness lies in acknowledging an injustice and the justified anger that arises from that betrayal. The power of forgiveness lies in moving beyond that with a clear intention to free the heart from resentment and bitterness through an act of mercy and compassion. 

  • Forgiveness is a choice.  In this retreat, you will be presented with the opportunity to choose to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. You will learn about: 
  • what forgiveness is, and what it is not
  • clinical studies that show clear physical and mental benefits of forgiveness 
  • four specific steps for taking this healing journey 

Friday, Nov. 17: 7-9 pm
Saturday, Nov. 18: 9 am - 4 pm

Cost: $175 for nonmembers, $150 for ZLMC members

"Sit with the suffering of all sentient beings.There is no victim or perpetrator here. Only the goddess of mercy and compassion."
Roshi Robert Althouse


"The Center is a thoroughly warm and welcoming milieu, where the spirit of Buddhism is ever-present and palpable. Bob and June are two wonderful paragons of authenticity, being-present and being-available for all seekers; everybody is lovingly invited to participate in the groups, classes, events to the extent one is comfortable. Very Zen, very real." 

David Beleckis