Compassion Cultivation Training

​Schedule and Registration

Note: CFM requires a minimum of 10 registrants per program. Classes with fewer than 10 registrants will be cancelled and provided a refund. Please be aware of this when making arrangements to attend this program.

Date Day & Time Register Teacher(S) Location
September 16-November 4, 2024 Mondays
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. PST
Register Online Sara Schairer and Burrell Poe Online

Course Description

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8-week course designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others. The course, developed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University, combines traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion.

Compassion unfolds in response to suffering, beginning with our recognition of it, then conjuring change to elicit empathy and concern. This, in turn, motivates us to take action, and help relieve that suffering.

Expanding beyond mindfulness, compassion arises both on the personal level of our individual relationships and on the global level of cultures and nations interacting with one another. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that the problems of the world – social, economic, environmental, and so on – are best understood and viewed through the lens of compassion. With compassion, our empathy for the suffering of others can give rise to altruism – bringing immediate and long-term happiness and tranquility to our lives.

Humans have a natural capacity for compassion. However, everyday stress, social pressures, and life experiences can suppress it –potentially resulting in physical and psychological problems. The good news is that we can train ourselves to nurture others while developing our compassionate instinct. This process requires patience, steady care, proper tools, and a supportive environment.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Apply basic mindfulness skills and utilize mindfulness meditation to stay present to self and others
  • Apply learned compassion skills as a response to everyday needs and demands in personal and professional settings
  • Utilize compassion practice with oneself and others for emotional regulation in the face of distress • Utilize cognitive re-framing with oneself and others from the compassionate stance of common humanity
  • Explain the differences between empathy and compassion • Describe how empathetic distress vs. compassion collapse leads to burnout
  • Utilize evidence-based self-compassion meditation practices in the context of personal and professional relationships
  • List three (3) sources of resistance to the development of self-compassion
  • Explain three (3) ways to recognize resistance to compassion for and from others
  • Describe current research studies on the effects and effectiveness of compassion practices

Why Enroll?

Compassion training extends beyond helping one feel more empathy and concern for others. It includes the development of:

  • The strength to be present with suffering
  • The courage to take compassionate action
  • The resilience to prevent compassion fatigue

Who We Encourage to Attend

Compassion Cultivation Training is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and for others.
This includes:

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Educators
  • Healthcare professionals and therapists
  • Executives and managers
  • Public service leaders and employees
  • Individuals seeking to increase awareness and mindfulness

People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program. No previous meditation experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of the training.

This Training Includes

Mindfulness: Guided daily meditation, visualization, and breathing practices to be done at home to develop loving-kindness, empathy, and compassion

Coursework: A weekly 2-hour class that include lecture, discussion, meditation, and in-class listening and communication exercises with partners and small groups

Assignments: Real-world homework to help you practice compassionate thought and action

NOTE: We recommend that if your schedule will not allow you to attend the first session, or prevents from attending any two sessions of the course, that you consider waiting until the next offering of the program.

8-week CCT Course Fee

The course includes handouts, guided meditations and instruction and is offered for $435 ($385 if you pay in full 30 days in advance for the course). 


UC San Diego Employees may take the course for $385 (or $335 if you pay in full 30 days prior to the start of class).

Continuing Education

Continuing education credits are awarded in the following categories: American Psychological Association and Board of Registered Nursing ($50 additional charge).

Psychologists: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 16.0 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. Credit hours may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. 16.0 CE credit.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to sponsor continuing education. Provider Number CEP16351. 19.0 contact hours.

Cancellation and Transfer Policy

A refund (minus your $50 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations in writing via email to prior to the 2nd class will. There will be no refund after the 2nd class.

In the unlikely event that the course is canceled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.

(Note: CFM requires a minimum of 10 registrants per CCT class to hold class. Classes with fewer than 10 will be cancelled with options for rescheduling into open classes.)