The Metta Institute was developed as an outgrowth of the Zen Hospice Project (ZHP), nationally recognized as a pioneering model in the movement to improve end-of life care. From the website www.mettainstitute.org we read: METTA is an ancient Pali (Buddhist) term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence and non-violence. It is a strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others. We chose it as our name because we believe it expresses the essential human quality that is most beneficial in the lives of those who are dying and their caregivers.
The Director, Frank Ostaseski, helped form ZHP in 1987, and guided the program for 17 years. Those active or on the board over the years have included Buddhist leader Ram Dass, author and medical doctor Rachel Naomi Remen, and cultural anthropologist and spiritual author, Angeles Arrien.
While the Zen Hospice Project started in San Francisco, a growing movement toward more compassionate and spiritual end of life care has led to the development of other branches and resources across the country, including New York City. The Metta Institute offers an End-of-Life Practitioner Program, first developed in 2002,to establish a national network of educators, advocates and guides for those facing life-threatening illness and the individuals and systems that serve them.