The enso, a single stroke Zen circle, symbolizes the unity of all things and the endless transformation of things. Its inclusiveness combines the visible and the hidden, the simple and the profound, the empty and the full, the beginning and the end. Creating this circle is an ancient mindfulness practice.

Service Opportunity

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for an LPN, RN, NP, PA, MD or DO

Enso House, a unique two-bed hospice set in a beautiful Northwest island community, is seeking an experienced health care practitioner to provide hands-on care to terminally ill patients, in an environment informed by spiritual practice, for three months or more, starting fall/winter 2015. For those who are interested in end-of-life care and spiritual practice, this is the ideal opportunity. This unparalleled opening has arisen because our long-term nurse/Zen practitioner has returned to Germany. Nurses or doctors of any specialty are welcome to apply. Experience in end-of-life care, while beneficial, is not a requirement.

At Enso House, care is provided to one or two individuals at a time in a home-like setting. The goal of care is to create an environment in which each person is able to travel on their own particular path toward the end of life in as much comfort as possible and with as much support as they desire, surrounded by their family and friends in exactly the ways they wish, and deepening into the depth of healing and completion that their own life is uniquely seeking. There is room for the family and friends to stay with their loved one, and they are encouraged to participate with the staff in care-giving as well as to be supported themselves, whether that means bringing their family dog, or inviting their favorite musicians in, or throwing a party.

Care-giving at Enso House is informed by the professional and human commitment of the care-giving team, and for most of the team, by their spiritual perspective on life as well. The full-time anchors of the care-giving team are an internist with specific training in palliative care, a nurse, and a monk. Some are long-time students of Zen Buddhism, and all live on site. A strong group of volunteers from the surrounding community add a variety of valuable skills to the care of the Enso House guests, their families, and the facility itself.

Medical decision-making and ultimate patient responsibility remain in the hands of the primary care physician for each patient. Patients are enrolled with the local Hospice service, and orders for their care are negotiated between the primary care physician and the hospice nurses. The staff of Enso House implement the orders and provide the direct patient care, as well as give input from the vantage point of their round-the-clock interaction with each patient.

Responsibilities would consist of taking regular shifts of bedside care, helping to prepare meals, and participating in the general activity of a small, spiritually-oriented, care-giving endeavor. The benefits provided include room, board, accident insurance, and a small monthly stipend. Licensing and insurance expenses will be paid by Enso House.

Founded in 2002 under the guidance of Zen Master Shodo Harada Roshi, Enso House is closely affiliated with neighboring Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery, where meditation is practiced every morning and evening. Intensive meditation retreats are held 4 times a year. A senior monk from the Roshi’s monastery, Sogenji, located in Japan, is assigned for six-month period to the care-giving team at Enso House as an opportunity to cultivate compassion and to deepen their spiritual practice in the presence of the mystery of death.

The south end of Whidbey Island, where Enso House is located, is a picturesque, small town/rural community that is a haven for artists, musicians, social activists and cultural creatives of many kinds, as well as those who love hiking, sea kayaking, old growth forests, and snow-capped mountains. It is a place that nourishes the soul.

If interested, please contact Ann Cutcher, MD, Director

To learn more about the Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery, see


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