John Eric Baugher is currently completing his forthcoming book Compassion Unbound: Prisons, Hospice, and the Transformative Power of Contemplative Care, an inquiry into the practical, courageous, and playful ways ordinary people cultivate greater freedom and joy in life through caring at the hospice bedside. Drawing on extensive research on hospice caregivers in the U.S. and Germany, including inmate volunteers at a maximum-security prison, Compassion Unbound investigates the inner prisons of the mind and heart that can afflict us all, and the opportunity caring at end-of-life offers for cutting through and liberating us from worn out ways of conceiving of who we are, how we can be in the world, and who does and does not belong within the borders of our compassionate embrace.
Baugher’s writing focuses on the application of contemplative perspectives and practices in healthcare, higher education, and leadership contexts. His recent projects include Leading with Spirit, Presence, and Authenticity (Jossey-Bass, 2014) and Creative Social Change: Leadership for a Healthy World (Emerald, 2016), two co-edited books for the “Building Leadership Bridges” series of the International Leadership Association. John has also published several essays and research studies on topics such as engaged Buddhism, spiritual care, posttraumatic growth, end-of-life care and contemplative learning.
Baugher earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Tulane University in 2001 and has since taught in various higher education contexts including Goucher College, the Evangelische Fachhochschule (Protestant University for the Social Sciences) in Freiburg, Germany, the State University of New York – New Paltz, University of Southern Maine, and the Maine State Prison.
John’s writing has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Maine Community Foundation. John is a long-time hospice caregiver and certified bereavement group facilitator. John regularly offers talks and workshops on spiritual care, grief and loss, and transformative learning. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.