Koshin Paley Ellison: How to Forgive
In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Koshin Paley Ellison, author of the wildly popular book, Whole-Hearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up, published by Wisdom. Koshin is co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and a teacher in the Sōtō Zen Buddhist tradition. In this fascinating conversation, Koshin tackles the subject of forgiveness, asking what it means to hold ourselves and our loved ones accountable within a broader framework of compassion. He asks: how do we come to see that every individual has some level of innate goodness, some innate capacity to wake up, even while also being capable of doing bad things? Koshin also addresses helpful ways of framing difficult conversations, and how an honest exchange, even when challenging, can yield even deeper connections with the people in our lives.
About the Interviewee
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, is an author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and Certified Chaplaincy Educator. Koshin co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, serving through contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. He has served as the co-director of Contemplative Care Services for the Department of Integrative Medicine and as the chaplaincy supervisor for the Pain and Palliative Care Department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where he also served on the Medical Ethics Committee. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship, on Faculty of the Integrative Medicine Fellowship of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, and he is a visiting professor at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston Medical School.
Paley Ellison is a dynamic, original, and visionary leader and teacher. He is the author of Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up (Wisdom Publications, 2019) as well as the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care (Wisdom Publications, 2016). His work has been featured in the New York Times, PBS, Tricycle and others.
His six years of training at the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association as well as clinical contemplative training at both Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Medical Center culminated in roles as an ACPE Certified Educator, chaplain, and Jungian psychotherapist. He began his formal Zen training in 1987, and he is a recognized Soto Zen Teacher by the American Zen Teachers Association, White Plum Asanga, and Soto Zen Buddhist Association. He serves on the Board of Directors at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, Soto Zen Buddhist Association and Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.