Founded in 2000 by Beth Kanji Goldring, Brahmavihara/Cambodia AIDS Project is a small Buddhist chaplaincy program working with Cambodian AIDS patients in Phnom Penh who are too poor to access traditional resources.
Cambodia has a tremendous vacuum in spiritual support for the destitute. The Project’s primary intention is to address this problem, to allow people to realize that the Buddha’s compassion is already fully present, even and especially in the midst of poverty, marginalization, deterioration, and suffering. The staff of 10 people visits the sick in hospitals, hospices and their homes. They listen to people’s lives and stories, pray for the dead and dying, and comfort the patient’s family and caretakers. When asked, the Precepts are given to the living, dying, and newly dead. Chanting, meditation, ceremonies, massage, Reiki, Healing Touch and smot, a traditional, unique and very moving form of Khmer chanting are also offered. Often the staff is called on to perform death rituals such as chanting and the cleaning of bodies at hospital mortuaries.
The work of the staff is rooted in Dharma practice. They observe major Precept Days in their meditation hall and continually train themselves through study, meditation, and retreats.
Beth is a former ballet dancer, university humanities teacher, and human rights worker. She began as a student of Maurine Stuart Roshi and currently studies with Gil Fronsdal. She was ordained in 1995. She is also a Reiki master through Glynn DeBrocky.
Beth’s Friday, September 30, 7:30pm talk at City Center is entitled “Gratitude under Fire: Burnout and Renewal.” All Dana/donations for this program will go to the work in Cambodia.
For further information on the Project, please see www.brahmavihara.cambodiaaidsproject.org