Friday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016
Acqua Hotel, Mill Valley, CA

Often science defines life in ways that are too small. Things happen daily that science cannot measure or even explain. The essential nature of life cannot be quantified or understood but only witnessed and experienced. These experiences have the power to touch us, inspire us, strengthen us and awaken us. They are also a powerful form of self-care. Frequently they enable us to recognize a deeper meaning in our daily work and enable the work itself to renew us. Yet these holy moments are rarely discussed and shared among professional colleagues.

Hospice is a front row seat on Mystery and Meaning. Through small group discussion, experiential exercises, narrative, reflections, symbols, poetry and journal writing, Dr. Remen will enable us to find and share our stories of Mystery and Meaning, reclaim a greater sense of wonder in our work, and recommit to our calling to meet people at the very edge of life and celebrate the Unknown.

Come prepared to explore the deep meaning of your work as a hospice professional and reclaim a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to do this work together.

As a participant you will have the opportunity to:

  • recognize and discuss three common ways of experiencing your daily work
  • recognize the importance of meaning in preventing compassion fatigue
  • deepen and discuss the collective meaning of your hospice work
  • recognize the meaning present in your daily work
  • recall and share experiences of Mystery and Awe with colleagues
  • learn powerful and tested self care tools for home use
  • learn to set up a Finding Meaning in Hospice Study Group at your workplace
  • experience the connection between symbolism and meaning
  • identify a personal symbol for the meaning of your hospice work
  • explore and share the personal roots of your calling to hospice
  • choose to be open to the experience of wonder and awe
  • write and share a personal statement of their commitment to finding mystery and awe in your hospice work
  • experience the community of service intention that underlies the diversity of training among hospice professionals

Teaching Methodology

Lecture, imagery and symbolism, storytelling and narrative, reflection, journaling, large and small group discussion.

Who should attend

This workshop is designed for health professionals and anyone who who work hands-on with death. These include: physicians, oncologists, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology social workers, hospital chaplains, and hospice professionals and volunteers.

Please note:

CME or CE credit is not available for this workshop.

About Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

RACHEL NAOMI REMEN MD: is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, a co-Founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, and the Founder and Director of The Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is an internationally known medical educator and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. Her books have been published in 24 languages. Her 25-year-old course in meaning, calling and resilience for medical students, The Healer’s Art, is taught at 90 medical schools and more than 16,000 medical students have completed the training nationwide

Dr. Remen has been involved with hospice since 1978 when she opened her 30-year counseling practice restricted to people with life threatening and terminal illness and their families. In 1981, she designed and implemented the professional support group for the San Francisco AIDS Hospice at the start of the AIDS epidemic. Her innovative use of narrative as a form of self-care for professionals has translated to hospices nationwide. Through her writing, her speaking, and her trainings, Dr. Remen has enabled thousands of hospice professionals to uncover and share the deep satisfaction and profound meaning that is innately present in their daily work.


October 21-23, 2016.

Workshop begins Friday, October 21; it runs 9am-5pm on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday from 9am-12pm.


The registration fee per person is $575. To register online and to pay with a credit card or check, click here. If you have questions or problems, please contact Corrie McCluskey at or call 707-575-6801. If you pay by check, we must receive your check within 2 weeks of your registration online; otherwise we cannot hold the space for you.

Register Here
To purchase optional box lunches only (after you’ve already registered):
Click here for credit card payment link.

Cancellation Policy

A full refund (less processing fee of $25) will be issued for cancellations BEFORE September 21. Cancellations after September 21 will forfeit registration fee, but can be reassigned or transferred to another participant at no charge. If you have questions about the workshop, contact Corrie McCluskey at or call 707-575-6801.

Hotel, Travel and Meal Information

Lodging: The Workshop will be held at the Acqua Hotel, 555 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, California 94941. A special discounted room rate has been negotiated for workshop attendees at the Acqua Hotel. Room rates range from $221 (standard) to $269 (junior suite w/ fireplace) per night, plus tax. Click here for the hotel’s online reservation page

Lodging note: If you want to stay at the Acqua Hotel, please know that it is crucial to make reservations well in advance because the hotel will sell out. Book your hotel room as soon as possible so as not to be disappointed!

Additional lodging: We can provide names of alternative accommodations in a range of prices in the immediate vicinity of the event.

Travel: Participants fly in from all over the country to attend our workshops. If you are arriving by plane and will be renting a car, either the San Francisco or Oakland airport are recommended. The San Francisco airport is approximately an hour south of the Acqua Hotel; the Oakland airport is around 90 minutes – it depends on the time you fly in and traffic, which can be quite heavy during morning and evening rush hours. We suggest participants fly in the evening before a workshop, and plan leave the afternoon of the last day – and leave plenty of time to get to either airport. If you don’t plan to rent a car, we recommend flying into San Francisco International and taking the Marin Airporter Shuttle service that has a stop very near the Acqua Hotel (Seminary Drive/Mill Valley).

Meals: If you are a guest at the Acqua Hotel, your reservation includes free continental breakfasts, but the Acqua Hotel does not offer lunch or dinner. There will be 90 minutes available to eat lunch each day, from approximately noon to 1:30 pm. You may choose to either pre-order a catered box lunch (when you pay for registration) that will be served onsite during the workshop, or opt to eat out at one of the restaurants in the immediate area (other options may require a car or a quarter mile walk to access). The box lunches cost $21.00 (inc. tax) per person, per day, and must be pre-paid. They will vary each day, and you may choose either vegetarian or regular (meat) lunch. For example:

  • Box Lunch #1: Grilled chicken focaccia sandwich, pasta salad, kettle chips
  • Box Lunch #2 (veggie): Caprese sandwich with tomato & mozzarella, pasta salad, fruit

Note: If you are on a special diet or cannot eat carbs, we recommend that you eat lunch at a restaurant where you can be sure to have your needs met.

To purchase optional box lunches only (after you’ve already registered):
Click here for credit card payment link.

Register Here
“At 77, I am a woman full of stories. Stories I have lived and stories I have been told. Stories about being a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend. Stories about being a patient and stories about being a doctor. Stories about my cat. Every one of these stories has helped me to live.”
-Rachel Naomi Remen MD