Mindfulness + Compassion Certificate Training  

In collaboration with the Mindfulness Project at SickKids Hospital.

A 9 month long certificate training for Health and End-of-Life Care Professionals. 

Begins October 5, 2019 

REGISTER NOW FOR 2019 - 2020

This unique program takes place on 5 weekends over 9 months. It is desgined for health and end-of-life care professionals to develop the skills of mindfulness and compassion in mediating suffering, illness and dying while also sustaining our well being.

You want to make a difference and provide ease for others. This is why you are working in the healthcare, palliative or hospice field. You see the importance in working as a team to alleviate the suffering of patients. You also struggle with the complexity of our health care system in navigating the tender situations that arise in illness and death.

Amidst all of it is you. Your own wellbeing; mental, physical and emotional health. You want to be wise and take care of yourself too. You know this is important. 

A 'wise' caregiver realizes both the joy in being present for another in their time of need, and the need for training and support in being present to the vicissitudes of living and dying. These ‘wise’ caregivers seek awareness skills to support themselves as they learn to meet the challenges of offering compassion within the complex conditions of finding meaning in living and in dying.  

Previous participants have gone onto use the mindfulness and compassion skills from this program in working with patients, their colleagues, and themselves. 


Program Dates & Location 2019 - 2020:  

Module 1: October 5-6 2019/ SickKids, Peter Gilgan Centre, 686 Bay St. Toronto  

Module 2: November 30-December 1, 2019 / Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Ave. Toronto  

Module 3: January 25-26, 2020 / SickKids, Peter Gilgan Centre, 686 Bay St. Toronto  

Module 4: March 28-29, 2020 / SickKids, Peter Gilgan Centre , 686 Bay St. Toronto  

Module 5: May 30-31, 2020/ SickKids, Peter Gilgan Centre, 686 Bay St. Toronto  

Please note that in order to receive your certificate you must attend all 5 modules. Should you need to miss a weekend, you can complete the training the following year by attending the module that was missed.  




  • Includes training in the foundations, theory, and practices of secular mindfulness, as well as an overview of its roots from Buddhist philosophy and Psychology;  
  • Develops mindfulness skills that establish “bearing witness” & “presence”, as a daily mindfulness strategy that is applicable in the workplace and in everyday life;  
  • Encourages and supports participants in establishing a daily mindfulness practice;  
  • Provides crucial experiential communication and relationship building skills, through practices such as “mindful listening” practices, which enhances patient care and workplace interactions;  
  • Focuses on neuroscientific evidence supporting the efficacy of mindfulness and compassion skills, with special concentration on the latest research from the healthcare field that supports its application as best practices in caregiving and self care;  
  • Teaches compassion-based approaches to address and alleviate suffering with self, patients and the entire careteam;  
  • Explores the effects of empathy fatigue, burnout and moral distress and the use of healthy empathy in sustaining well being;  
  • Investigates “system thinking”, team building and interprofessional collaboration skills;  
  • Addresses the psycho-social-spiritual domains within the context of Healthcare and EOL caregiving, including working with children, physician hastened dying, complex suffering, systemic issues, moral distress and structural violence, as well our personal relationship to illness, dying and death;  
  • Builds mindfulness and compassion skills within all aspect of Healthcare and End-of-Life caregiving through exploring case studies and clinical applications to complex scenarios. 


$1675 NOW $995 Thank you to the generosity of a community donor.  

In recognition of our partnership with SickKids Hospital, staff receive $100 off program cost. If you are a SickKids staff member applying for SCPDF please click here for registration. 

Register Here

Module 1: Being Present: The Roots & Practices of Everyday Mindfulness  

You will explore mindfulness as a practice, skill, and state that brings us into the moment and develops greater mental stability and emotional freedom. Being more grounded and at ease in the moment, our empathy with others is enhanced, as we also attune to our inner experiences. As a ground and foundation for our training, participants will be encouraged to establish a daily mindfulness practice as a means for creating a foundation for the development of inner ease and greater self-other awareness. 

Module 2: Mindfulness & Compassion Retreat: Meetings at the Edge  

In our 2-day retreat, we are afforded a rare opportunity to dive into the practice of mindfulness, to contemplative and explore our personal relationship with our inner life and death, and to touch a place of inner awareness and interconnectedness through practicing together. The retreat experience is seen as a core competency in the our program, as it provides a group context in deepening our mindfulness and compassion skills through sitting practice and contemplation. Module 2 invites you to find your “Quiet Mind,” by allowing space and time to just be. You will explore sitting, walking, and other mindfulness skills, as well as contemplative practices exploring meaning, dying, spirituality and lovingkindness.  

Module 3: The Courage of Compassion: Cultivating Kindness and Befriending Distress  

“Compassionate care” is about being intimate with our selves, as well as with the individuals we care for and their loved ones. It is most of all, says Roshi Joan Halifax, “about giving the gift of no fear”. To achieve this fearlessness, we must learn how to be present to our own grief, loss, stress, and suffering that accompanies this work. In Module 3, in order to open more consciously to suffering of others, we first explore the stages of cultivating compassion starting with giving to others, receiving kindness, and then offering self compassion. As we expand our kindness towards our selves, touching our strengths and our limits, we expand our authentic compassion towards our patients, their family caregivers, coworkers and beyond.  

By embodying, understanding, and practicing the essential elements of compassion, we are not fatigued as we experienced from “Empathy Fatigue, but our sensitivity and intention to serve emerges as caring compassion.  

Module 4: Relational Mindfulness &Collaboration

Critical to effective collaboration is “self-insight” and “other-understanding,” that is, an awareness of one’s self (biases, reactions, judgments, etc.) and our capacity to remain open in context of our interprofessional relationships, where others may be in similar states. In Module 4, we enter the uncharted territory of Relational Mindfulness, where we engage our inner feelings, thoughts and reactions, as we simultaneously meet others with greater acceptance, openness and compassion. Relational mindfulness and compassion co-arise as our mindfulness acts as a “protective measure” that grounds and develops stability, as we navigate the tender edges of our human exchanges. Our compassionate presence acts as a skillful means in creating “safety,” enhanced empathy, and patience for our selves, patients and our workplace colleagues.  

Healthy, effective, collaborative and mindful team building require communication and listening skills that foster understanding and create cross-culture respect and helps us in alleviating the distress and breakdowns that are natural outcomes of old habits and patterns

Module 5: Integrating Mindfulness and Compassion into Whole-Person Care  

Module 5 is a “practice” ground for accepting the challenging, distressing or unacceptable, and it is also about the skills needed to stand in the midst of changing and uncertain conditions with openness and acceptance. With a strong emphasis on team practices and clinical applications, we investigate actualizing the skills by addressing some of complex scenarios we encounter, such as, mental health, complex care, working with children and physician hastened death. Working collaboratively as well as understanding the role of leaders in building teams, we will encounter a series of case studies and evocative Healthcare and EOL scenarios that ask us to integrate our Mindfulness and Compassion training skills, as well as exploring a Systems views in how to integrate the skills into our lives and to bring them into our workplace.

Frequently Asked Questions:  

Do I have to currently be working in the health or end-of-life care field? 

Our certificate training is designed to best serve those who currently work in health or end-of-life care fields, or who are undergoing study and apprenticeship soon to be fully hands on. 

Such as: Registered Nurses, Doctors, Hospice Workers, Social Workers, Death Doulas, Grief Counsellors, Chaplains, Mental Health Professionals, Physical Therapists.  

Each participant brings their unique background of service and experience. If you're not sure this certificate training is for you, please email us at info@saranainstitute.org with your detailed intentions for registering.  

I don’t think I can afford this all at once. Do you do payment plans? Yes! We require a minimum of $200 as a deposit. From there on we arrange a schedule for payment and assist you as much as we can in the process.  

What happens if I register and something comes up? Is there a cancellation policy?  

Yes! It's all here on our Cancellation Page.

What do I do if I need miss a module?  

We understand that things come up. Let our admin know when you find out you can't attend a module. There is a fee of $125.00 to make up for a missed module. You will not be granted full certificate of completion until you make the module the following year.  

About Sarana Institute 

Sarana Institute is a non for profit registered charity that offers mindfulness training and resources to deepen compassion in caring for self, other and the earth.  

We are a community inspired organization. 

 Sarana means “refuge or sanctuary” in Pali (an ancient language from the time of the Historical Buddha). For us, sarana means where we draw inner or spiritual strength and meaning. A place of refuge is both an inner state or an outer place that reminds us of our wholeness.

Read more here about our inspiration, values and CoFounders, (Revs.) Angie & Andrew Blake.

Instagram: @sarana.institute