Authentic Presence Immersion

Training in the Contemplative-based Approach to End-of-Life Care
Saturday 14 October, 3pm to Saturday 21 October, 1pm
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland: 35 Continuing Education Units

A training in the contemplative-based approach to end-of-life care for health and social care professionals

Authentic Presence Immersion is an experiential training in contemplative-based end-of-life care.

This training offers you the space and the opportunity to strengthen your inner balance and enhance your skills and knowledge serving the dying.

Led by a faculty of health and social care professionals and educators from Ireland and Europe, this training is far more than an academic course. Its truly unique approach explores the deeper dimension of living, dying and caregiving by bringing together the practical knowledge of today’s palliative care environments with the contemplative methods of mindfulness, compassion and awareness taught in the Buddhist tradition.

Authentic Presence Immersion employs 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

  • Introduction to the contemplative care model
  • Self-care and self-compassion during challenging times: contemplative resources for building resilience and connecting with our sources of joy and purpose
  • The integration of contemplative methodologies to sustain a compassionate attitude and cultivate authentic presence in therapeutic relationships
  • Dealing with the realities of suffering, grief and mortality
  • Creating a peaceful environment in different settings
  • Caregiving as a spiritual and contemplative practice

Training in contemplative listening and communication

  • Extensive training in the model of ‘Contemplative Listening and Communication’ and its practical applications
  • ‘Council’ – a listening model for family and bereavement support and team meetings

Assessing and responding to the needs of the dying

  • Identifying and addressing practical, psycho-social and spiritual needs
  • Managing 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

Watch a testimonial video


The Immersion module is part of the Certificate in Contemplative End-of-Life Care offered by Authentic Presence Program US. The course has enjoyed great success in the USA for the past 17 years. It is the second time it is held at Dzogchen Beara Meditation Centre. The module can be taken as a stand-alone or part of the Certificate.

For more information:




The training will be held at the Spiritual Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara, West Cork, Ireland. Dzogchen Beara is known for its breathtaking beauty and spectacular views. Nearly everyone who has come to visit has commented on the healing power of the natural environment and the pervasive atmosphere of deep peace and tranquility. There couldn’t be a better place for the immersive experience of this training.

Dzogchen Beara Meditation Centre is a 2 – 2.5 hours drive from the Cork, Kerry and Shannon airports which offer international flights.

Apply Now

If you are interested in participating in this training, you are requested to please complete this Application Form.

Please use this document to help prepare and gather your responses. You will submit answers digitally on the Application Form.

Professional Background

Please describe the work you currently do, and include details of previous professional or volunteer work in health care or human service fields.

What is your motivation in serving others in your chosen field?

Why do you want to take this training?

Considering the course content and expectations, how would you propose to apply the benefits of this training
to improve end-of-life care in your workplace or community?

What challenges do you anticipate in integrating this training with your work?

Contemplative Practice

What is your religious affiliation or spiritual tradition?

Please describe your present contemplative practice. (Meditation, prayer, reflection, other.) How often and how
long do you practice?

Please describe any ways you have integrated your contemplative practice with your work.

Personal Experience and History

1. Is someone close to you presently facing serious illness or death?
2. Has someone close to you died in the last few years?
3. Have you experienced the sudden death of a friend or family member?
4. Do you have a serious or chronic illness? Please describe briefly.

If you answered yes to questions 1-4, please describe what challenges you are facing as a result, on practical,
emotional or spiritual levels.

Please describe briefly the most significant experience with death in your personal or professional life, and how
this has affected your life.

For you, what are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your work?

Have you ever had a near-death experience?

Based on your experience, what are your main unanswered questions about death?

Fee €1350
Five scholarship places available at €950.

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

If you are interested in participating in this training, you are requested to please complete this Application Form.

Read our Terms and Conditions
Enquiries by email or + 353 (0) 27 73032

To view our visitor information, please click here.

Kirsten DeLeo
Kirsten DeLeo
Kirsten has been teaching in the field of contemplative care for more than twenty-five years. She has served in palliative care/hospice as an educator, counselor and chaplain in the US and Europe. In 2002, she helped to pioneer “Authentic Presence”, one of the first training in contemplative end-of-life care in the US. Based on her experience, she wrote the award-winning book “Present Through The End. A Caring Companion’s Guide for Accompanying the Dying”.
Kirsten is a long-time Buddhist practitioner and is currently on the steering committee of the European Buddhist Union’s chaplaincy network. She teaches regularly at Dzogchen Beara and is part of the care team supporting guests at the Spiritual Care Centre.
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.
John Douglas
John Douglas
John Douglas first became interested in Buddhist Meditation in 1990 and moved to West Cork in 1994 to become part of the Dzogchen Beara community. As a Senior Meditation Instructor and Spiritual Care Educator, John is one of Dzogchen Beara’s main facilitators on a range of courses and workshops including Facing Loss and Healing Grief, Deep Listening, Self Compassion and Healing Relationships.

John is a Counsellor & Psychotherapist, accredited with the IACP, working in private practice 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 in Dzogchen Beara.

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.
Rosaleen Maguire
Rosaleen Maguire
Rosaleen is a qualified social worker. She has worked most of her professional life with families and children. Rosaleen also has experience working with the International Red Cross. Rosaleen has a keen interest in group debriefings following critical incidents. For the past twelve years, Rosaleen has worked in the area of palliative care in Lauralynn’s Children’s Hospice, the only children’s hospice in Ireland. For most of her life, she has had a particular interest in the area of bereavement, grief and loss. Her journey with Dzogchen Beara began in 2007 following the death of her father. She is a regular visitor to the Centre. In 2019, Rosaleen participated in the first Authentic Presence training in Ireland.
Noel Kennedy
Noel Kennedy
BSocSC. H-DipASs. NQSW, Complicated Grief Counsellor
Noel currently is the principal social worker at Milford Care Centre, a specialist palliative care service in the Midwest of Ireland. He helps manage the Social Work Department, Pastoral Care Team, Staff Support Service, all of which play a role in accompanying the dying. He continues to have direct involvement with patients and their families. Over the last twenty-five years, he has worked for both statutory and voluntary organisations in community settings, residential care settings and now specialist palliative care. Deepening his understanding of spiritual care and its role in all our lives drew him to Authentic Presence. Noel is a graduate of Authentic Presence’s Contemplative End-of-Life Care Certificate Programme.
Jayne Demakos
Jayne Demakos
Jayne Demakos is a certified therapeutic harpist and certified music-thanatologist (music and end-of-life care). She has worked in the care of the critically ill and dying for 17 years using harp and voice to address physical, emotional and spiritual concerns special to this time. She co-developed and co-led GriefSong, a program using music, especially singing, to be with and process grief. She was the founder of CompassionHarp a not for profit whose mission, from 2014-2022, was to bring therapeutic music to the underserved in central New York. Jayne served on the faculty at Ithaca College developing and teaching specialized courses, ‘Exploring Music in Medicine’ with an emphasis on Hospice. She has presented her work in conferences and workshops in the United States, especially on the east coast, and in Ireland. Jayne has three CD audio album releases.