Authentic Presence Immersion

Professional training in the contemplative-based approach to end-of-life care
Monday 5 October, 8pm to Tuesday 13 October, 11am

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland: pending
Irish College of General Practitioners: 40 CPD Credits and 6.5 GMS study leave days

This programme is part of Authentic Presences Courses. It can be taken as a stand-alone or part of the Certificate in Contemplative End-of-Life Care.

Authentic Presence Immersion offers you skills in the art of being authentically and compassionately present for seriously ill and dying patients.

Lead by a faculty of national and international health and social care professionals and educators, this training is far more than an academic course.

It offers you the unique opportunity to experience and immerse yourself in the principles and practices of contemplative-based care.

The approach embraces the deeper dimensions of living and dying and uses meditative and mindful techniques to support you to connect with your sources of joy, purpose, and wholeness, and enhance your professional skills and knowledge in serving the dying.

The curriculum, inspired by Tibetan Buddhist contemplative methods, is non-denominational and experiential. It uses a variety of learning modalities, including individual, group and interactive work, as well as presentations. No prior experience in mindfulness or meditation is required.


Contemplative practice & Contemplative care

  • The contemplative approach to end-of-life care
  • The integration of contemplative methodologies to cultivate greater compassion and wisdom
  • Reflections on impermanence and death
  • Self-care for caregivers: recognizing burnout, and contemplative practices for building resilience and cultivating self-compassion
  • Deepening genuine compassion to improve therapeutic relationships
  • How to create a peaceful environment in different settings
  • Caregiving as spiritual practice

Training in contemplative listening and communication

  • Extensive training in the methods for ‘Contemplative Listening and Communication’ and their practical applications
  • ‘Council’ – a model for family and bereavement support, and team meetings

Assessing and responding to the needs of the dying

  • The practical, psycho-social and spiritual needs
  • Responding to complex care situations
  • Healing relationships and methods for resolving unfinished business
  • Addressing the deeper dimensions of life and death
  • Recognizing and addressing spiritual pain
  • Preparing for death
  • Supporting those not affiliated with a faith tradition


  • The process of bereavement and the spiritual dimension of bereavement

If you are interested in learning more about the Authentic Presence training, the online programme and how to become certified, visit:

For more information on the Certificate in Contemplative End-of-Life Care, please visit


The retreat will be held in the Spiritual Care Centre meditation room, a bright ecumenical space with beautiful views.


Delicious two course vegetarian lunches, with soup and bread in the evenings. Cooked with love at Dzogchen Beara, using homegrown and organic ingredients whenever possible. Tea and coffee.

Book online now

Fee €1350
Five scholarship places available at €1,000. for more details.

Limited accommodation is available on-site. Book early!
A list of hostels, B&B’s self-catering accommodation and hotels in the local area can be downloaded here.

Vegetarian lunches and light evening meals will be provided as part of your course fee. Breakfast will also be provided for participants staying in all our on-site accommodation.

Online booking here
Enquiries by email or + 353 (0) 27 73032
Download this information here.
Kirsten DeLeo
Kirsten DeLeo
KIRSTEN DELEO is a teacher in the field of contemplative care and leads courses, workshops, and retreats on the topics of caring for the dying, contemplative communication, meditation, compassion and building resilience. She is an international trainer with the Spiritual Care Programme, an outreach network that offers education and care in Europe, North America and Australia. For fourteen years she served as lead faculty of “Authentic Presence,” a professional certificate in contemplative end-of-life care. The certificate was launched at Naropa University/Colorado and now runs as an independent course in the US and Ireland. Kirsten is the author of Present Through The End. A Caring Companion’s Guide to Accompanying the Dying (Shambhala Publications, August 2019)
Katie O'Connell
Katie O'Connell
Katie O’Connell, RGN, CNS, H.Dip. Palliative Care Nursing, MSc. Interdisciplinary Palliative Care, EOLC and Spiritual Care Educator/Trainer. She facilitates NMBI accredited end-of-life-care (EOLC) and palliative care training modules across Ireland for nurses and allied health-care professionals. These trainings include the principles, philosophy and practice of EOLC, incorporating self-care through developing compassion, resilience and emotional wellbeing.
John Douglas
John Douglas
John Douglas is a Senior Meditation Instructor and Spiritual Care Educator and facilitates courses and workshops including Facing Loss and Healing Grief, Deep Listening and Healing Relationships. John is also a Pre-Accredited member of the IACP, working in private practice as a Counsellor in Castletownbere and in ARC Cancer Support House in Bantry as well as being part of the care team supporting guests at the Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara.
Chantal Bergers MD
Chantal Bergers MD
Chantal Bergers, MD, has worked with dying people in her eighteen years as a general practitioner and in recent years in nursing homes. She has been a palliative care consultant and teacher for over ten years and is a member of the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) Taskforce Spiritual Care. Chantal is a trainer in Deep Listening and an educator in the Spiritual Care Programme offering skills training and workshops on death and dying in Holland and Germany.