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Register today for the next offering of Opening to the Mystery.

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Approved for Continuing Education

*Please note: In order to be eligible for CE credit, you must register with your full name (as it appears on your professional license) and your license state and number.

Approved by NCBTMB for 21 CEUs for massage therapists.

Approved for 21 contact/clock hours of continuing education credit by the Continuing Education Institute of Illinois in collaboration with the University of Illinois Department of Family Medicine for the following professions:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Counselor-Professional/Clinical
  • Dentist/Dental Hygienist
  • Dietitian/Nutritionist
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
  • Nurse (APN, RN, LPN)
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Occupational Therapist/COTA
  • Physical Therapist/PTA
  • Psychologist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Worker
Watch Intro Video


Course Description

When we know ourselves, we are so much more able to meet others exactly where they are.

This course is not about death.  And it’s not about massage therapy.  It’s about life.  It’s about how to invite more joy, more clarity and more simplicity into your life and heart… no matter what your job.

Opening to the Mystery is designed to invite you to deeply consider and even to befriend your own mortality.  Cal Cates will combine a variety of experiential, interpersonal, and individual exercises that support deep inquiry and consideration of emotions and ideas about living and dying.  This course provides guideposts that will lead you to embrace an honest relationship with life that will allow you to be more fully present not only with people who are dying, but also with all of the people in your life.

This course will be beneficial for any person who wants to have more access to their own wisdom and to cultivate deeper, more authentic relationships professionally and personally.  Certainly, if you spend time at the bedside of people who are dying you’ll find you have more comfort there, but this course is not just for people who feel drawn to or already work in hospice care.

Past students have said that their experience in this course enlivened their practice, shifted stuck relationships and helped them to see and to love their family members/spouses in a different, more open way.

Dates & Times

Opening to the Mystery is a live, 6-day online retreat.

We will meet (via Zoom) Monday, November 8th - Saturday, November 13th, 5:00PM - 8:30PM (Eastern) each day.

The course includes individual and small group exercises, reading and journaling, discussion and lecture. It is a highly-interactive exploration of authenticity, presence, and mortality that will include much more joy than you will expect!

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Course Description

    • Dates & Times

    • Recommended Reading

    • About the instructor

  • 2

    Day 3 (Wednesday, June 23, 2021)

    • Know Stillness, No Burnout


Instructor & Executive Director

Cal Cates

Cal has been teaching and developing curriculum for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007. Their experience in clinical practice in hospitals around the US has informed their teaching style greatly. Cal is clear that massage therapy is healthcare and feels a personal commitment to inviting students to consider themselves as integral to a whole person healing process. Their favorite thing about teaching healthcare providers is the ability to blend nerdiness and authenticity to create opportunities to be more effective, more human and more flexible.


A transformative training

"It was a pleasure taking Opening to the Mystery online. It’s a transformative training, and the online format doesn’t seem to change that. The opportunity for deep reflection has served to really anchor and enrich my practice with patients (and myself) at end of life. The connection with other participants amplifies that experience as well, as do the readings. Easily the best CEUs I have ever taken."

True learning

"So many courses present material in a linear and clean fashion. True learning happens when you journey into it and experience it. The instructor brought us up close and personal."

Moving and clarifying

"Very moving and clarifying, at the soul level."

It is empowering

"Always life affirming to discuss death and dying! I'm surprised how many friends have asked me to share information from the class! We need to be less afraid of these discussions. It is empowering. I look forward to continuing the discussion with friends and family."

Amazing and inspiring

Orley Bills III MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW, C-SWHC, Primary Children's Hospital

"I cannot tell you how much this course has impacted me. This has been amazing and learning from you has been inspiring."

Wondrous & mysterious

Teri Osborne, M.Ed., BCMT

"I am so very grateful, Cal, for this wondrous & mysterious experience, it was so very helpful!"

Challenging, enlightening and ultimately life-affirming

Sakinah Irizarry, LMT

"So grateful for this challenging, enlightening and ultimately life-affirming course and for your amazing instruction."

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