“I learnt that death is not something to be feared, that to face death is in fact very inspiring and uplifting. That there is much to be done to prepare for one’s own death and much to be discussed with friends and family.” – Seminar participant
Judy is an experienced program facilitator and offers a range of seminars on spiritual care for the dying, and other related subjects, the most well known being “Facing Death – Embracing Life”.
People from all walks of life attend for both professional and personal development.
Her personal style is inspiring, humorous, straightforward and sensitive. She offers the gift of extra-ordinary ordinariness. Judy is inspired to offer practical ways to benefit and support those facing life threatening illness or death, their families and caregivers. She brings together Buddhist wisdom and insights to improve end-of-life care; exploring universal spiritual principles that resonate with people of any faith or none.
A combination of meditation practices from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and cognitive reflection deepens our understanding of our attitudes towards death and dying and how unacknowledged grief can impact on our lives. We also look at the practical aspects of end-of-life preparation.
The seminars are interactive; she believes that we all have wisdom and experience and can learn from each other.
You can read about the different seminars and workshops she offers on this website, however she also offers personally designed group seminars and individual counselling and supervision tailored to your needs. She runs events by request, so please contact her with your expression of interest.
Below is a list of Seminar Topics.
Judy’s accomplished work history can be viewed here: Judy’s History
Facing Death – Embracing Life
Duration: Two day seminar
Death, loss and suffering are a part of life, of being human. In recognising that they are part of us, we can create pathways to prepare and assist us in dealing with all aspects of our lives.
In this seminar we explore the practical, inescapable side of death such as the importance of funerals and other rituals, wills and living wills, and considering our unfinished business. Participants have said that by addressing these practical issues they have accessed a greater capacity for joy and forgiveness within themselves.
There is information and discussion about loss, grief and mourning and both personal and cultural attitudes to death and dying. The focus is on skills not therapy.
The seminar is structured to encourage participants to use their own life experience, to participate to their comfort level, and to draw on the experiences of the group, facilitating greater trust and learning. Participants are encouraged to identify their own strengths and build on them.
Opening the Heart to Loss and Grief
Duration: Public talk or full-day seminar or 2 day seminar
What is normal when grieving? No two grief experiences are the same, however there are common emotions that seem to be found with all experiences of grief. Unfortunately how to cope with death and dying and other losses is not something commonly talked about. Bereavement is not an illness, it is a wound that given time and care will heal – it is a period of transition.
During the seminar we look at the deeper spiritual dimension of life and death, at loss in our own lives, and using different processes and contemplations we discover our own unique style of dealing with loss, grief and the process of mourning. By journeying through it we know more about ourselves, and because we know more about loss, we know more about life.
Spiritual Preparation for Death
Duration: Public talk or full-day seminar
This seminar introduces processes, contemplations and meditations to assist us prepare for the time of our death. Through these processes we begin to approach death without fear uncovering a depth of peace and joy and confidence that transforms both life and death.
By reviewing our life we can make peace with ourselves and our loved ones. In preparing spiritually for our own death we also develop the awareness and skills to assist other people through this challenging time.
The seminar will include:
- Spiritual dimension of life and death
- Methods for healing relationships
- Deep listening skills
- Practices of meditation, compassion and forgiveness
- Ceremonies and funerals
Spiritual Needs of the Aged
“Age is opportunity no less than youth itself though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars invisible by day” – Longfellow
Duration: Half or full-day seminar
Audience: Those working in aged care; family members caring for ageing loved ones.
We look at the difference between spirituality and religion and explore how spirituality manifests in our lives. During the seminar we learn to assess the spiritual well-being of a client. Loss, grief and mourning are also covered, as is hope in old age and the importance of giving permission to die.
Early studies have shown that when people have a sense of spiritual well-being and meaning to their life, symptoms of depression diminish. Caregivers can play a very valuable and important role in assisting and supporting their clients through this important process.
Life and Death – Endings, Beginnings and Transitions
Duration:One day seminar
Endings often imply death and sometimes they challenge our sense of who we are. In no rite or myth do we find death as something final, but always as a transition to another mode of being, indispensable to regeneration.
This seminar offers simple meditations, contemplation and reflection to look at our relationship to death and change, and identify our personal style of dealing with transitions. We explore the validity of our ideas around life and death and our capacity to be more intimate with fear. We look at change in our lives, develop an understanding of the phases of transition, and develop new skills for negotiating transition.
By recognising our own unique style we develop a greater understanding of ourselves, so that we can start to embrace the challenges of living with impermanence.
Integrating Spirituality and Caregiving
Duration: Public talk, full-day seminar or 2 day seminar
Audience: Professionals and volunteers working in health care; family members caring for their loved ones
As a caregiver, the first person we need to take care of is ourselves. When we forget to do this we can find ourselves stressed, burnt out and lacking the confidence and inspiration essential to sustain us in our work.
This seminar explores how the practices of meditation and compassion can help us face and overcome the challenges of caregiving and reconnect us to our inner source of love and compassion, which can be deeply healing both for ourselves and for others.
Healing and Preventing Burnout
Duration: Public talk or full-day seminar or 2 day seminar
This seminar with Judy Arpana is for health professionals, workers in community organisations, professional and volunteer carers, across all disciplines. Judy will discuss how being compassionate to yourself will enhance your compassion and care for others and enable you to live a fuller, more authentic life.
Themes include – recognising and preventing ‘burnout’; being able to say ‘no’ – Loving Kindness and meditation practices.
Seminars can be tailored to suit your or your organisations needs. Please contact Judy to discuss your plans.
Duration: 2 hours
Audience: Open; families, friends, small groups
Learn more about an Advance Care Directive and how it can benefit you and your family.
Advance Care Planning is a way of thinking about, discussing and writing down your wishes for care and treatment should the time come when you are unable to speak for yourself due to illness or injury.
In this workshop, I provide the opportunity to discuss and complete an Advanced Care Directive form, as well as detailed funeral options. Families, friends and carers will often value the opportunity to discuss and better understand your wishes, as this will help them make decisions if you are unable to do this for yourself.
Health care professionals can also benefit from knowing the expressed wishes of their patients. An Advance Care Directive can also assist in avoiding, or at least reducing, unwanted treatment. Advance Care Directives can be binding at common law and medical practice, if they fulfil the criteria of specificity and competence at the time of writing.
Discussing these matters with family and close friends is extremely important, as it creates a dialogue that provides the information needed to fulfil your particular wishes in your final days.