Two important components of Mindfulness are wisdom (clear seeing) and compassion (the heartful desire to alleviate suffering). Wisdom and compassion are often described as the two wings of a bird. Without either wing, the bird is unable to fly. Life sometimes brings with it painful events both large and small. What we can do is learn to hold what happens with warmth and kindness. We offer mindfulness-based programs that aid us in developing our capacity for compassion.
Our programs are designed to address the quality of attention that we pay to what arises and to actively cultivate the capacity for kind and compassionate action in response to difficulty. Each option is designed to build skills in a particular area. A brief description of each program, including benefits and the format offered, follows.
The Center’s Compassion Programs Include:
- Mindful Self-Compassion
Many of us would be quick to complain about being treated harshly by a loved one, friend or co-worker yet we treat ourselves in ways we would never treat someone else. Self-compassion is actually a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm—the harm that we inflict on ourselves every day by overworking, overeating, overanalyzing, and overreacting. With mindful self-compassion, we’re better able to recognize when we’re under stress and face what’s happening in our lives (mindfulness) and to take a kinder and more sustainable approach to life’s challenges. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help you stick to your diet and exercise routine. And it’s easier than you think. This course is offered in an 8-week and 5-day intensive formats.
- Mindful Self-Compassion in Japanese
- Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities
Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (SCHC) is a 6-hr evidence-based healthcare adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion, the empirically supported program of Dr. Kristin Neff at UT Austin and Dr. Chris Germer at Harvard Medical School. This brief training aims to improve wellbeing and personal resilience in healthcare professionals by teaching mindful self-compassion skills to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur at work and at home.
- The Short Course in Mindful Self-Compassion
The Short Course in Mindful Self-Compassion (SC-MSC) is a 6-week adaptation of the empirically-supported, 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program designed to begin the cultivation of the skills of self-compassion. SC-MSC was developed by Kristin Neff, Ph.D., the pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion, and Christopher Germer, Ph.D., a leader in the integration of mindfulness, compassion, and psychotherapy. The SC-MSC 6-hour program was developed to allow participants to begin to learn a targeted set of MSC practices with less initial time commitment than the full 26-hour MSC program.
- Introduction to MSC
Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help you stick to your diet and exercise routine. And it’s easier than you think. This workshop will teach you ways to comfort yourself in difficult moments and to minimize “caregiver fatigue.” While the program is for everyone it can be particularly useful for those working in the helping or caregiving professions, for those who are caring for someone in their personal lives, and for those who have a strong inner critic.
- Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)
Compassion Cultivation Training 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.
- A Day of Compassion Cultivation
Compassion can help you skillfully navigate the hardships of daily life, and it can bring more joy into your life. Spend a day with Sara Schairer, senior facilitator of Compassion Cultivation Training (developed at Stanford University) and founder of Compassion It, diving into mindfulness, self-compassion, and compassion. You'll gain skills that help you stay open-hearted and present during difficult moments, and you'll also learn to connect more fully with people around you, including those who challenge you.
- Compassion in Business
According to Chip Conley, "The most forgotten fact in business is that we are all human." Perhaps this is why research has found that fifty-two percent of employees thought of quitting, changing jobs, or declining a promotion because they were unhappy. Fortunately, there is a new and exciting body of research emerging that shows the key to good employee health, organizational well-being, and an improved bottom line is the cultivation of compassion in organizations. Compassion has been used by some most famous and accomplished world leaders (Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and more), as well as in highly successful organizations such as Google, General Mills, Vision Service Plan, CISCO Systems, and Facebook. By creating a culture of compassion in organizations, research has found that employees are less stressed and fearful and more satisfied, loyal, engaged, and resilient. With compassion, employees nurture their capacities to be kind, forgiving, and helpful which leads to a more efficient, productive, and pleasant place of work. This is how businesses and humans can thrive together. At the Center for Mindfulness, we offer your organization the help to successfully implement a compassion-based program into your place of business. Truly creating a culture of compassion is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business!
- Youth, Family & Education Programs
In the world we live in today, it seems even more important to raise kids who are compassionate in response to challenging situations, children who can understand the importance of being kind to others. Cultivating compassion comes through practice and we are called upon as parents and teachers to provide opportunities for our children to learn about and practice kindness. Compassion can also be an antidote for impulsive actions and can support self-regulation in children. It can help them to understand and cope with angry feelings that can otherwise become destructive. Compassion can help build healthier connections to others and reduce stress levels that can challenge their well-being. Simple acts of kindness can help children experience an inner calm that can enhance emotional and academic learning. In our mindfulness training programs for teens and pre-teens, we believe it is important to help kids create an attitude of compassion, which can help them develop the skills to change their world.