Institutional Repository

Steeping sati: Integrating tea ceremony into Buddhist chaplaincy practices in Los Angeles

Item and associated files





Doctor of Buddhist Ministry


Gabriel, Victor
Gauthier, Jitsujo
McKnight, Daphna


In the multicultural context of Los Angeles, a significant challenge confronts Buddhist Chaplains: the lack of effective tools to foster meaningful connections between care providers and care seekers in diverse communities. Addressing this issue, this applied doctoral project pioneers the integration of Buddhist contemplative practices into spiritual care through the innovative use of the tea ceremony. The outcome is a handbook that adapts these practices for modern spiritual care needs. This manual emerges from an innovative action-reflection-meaning making-experiment/play model that has guided its creation to serve as a secular tool that fosters mindfulness and enriches both interpersonal and intrapersonal connections within the community.

The implementation of the tea ceremony as a vehicle for sati—the Pali word for mindfulness or the awareness of the present moment—has shown remarkable potential for improving cultural understanding, fostering innovative engagement in spiritual care, and providing a contemporary chaplaincy model that resonates with today’s diverse spiritual landscapes. The project’s effectiveness is evidenced through observable reactions, participant feedback, and testimonials, which highlight the enhanced interfaith connections, deeper empathy, and increased capacity for presence and listening in spiritual care settings.

By emphasizing the transformative power of ritual, meditation, and embodied learning, this doctoral project makes a profound contribution to redefining spiritual care practices. It presents a model that not only addresses the critical gap in tools for Buddhist Chaplains but also enriches the discourse on spiritual care in multicultural settings. Through this work, the potential to create more inclusive, mindful, and connected communities is vividly demonstrated, setting a new precedent for future innovations in spiritual care and chaplaincy.

Degree Granter

University of the West



Library Holding

Full view: