Compassion is an emotion that provides a sense of shared suffering combined with a desire to alleviate the suffering of others and to show loving-kindness to those who suffer. The benefits of practicing compassion are profound and numerous, not the least of which is happiness, which can be infectious to your partner, family members, friends and even co-workers. Developing the qualities of strength, courage and resilience in the face of suffering can support a wide range of goals — from improving personal and work relationships to making a positive difference in the world. A crucial key to developing compassion in your life is to make it a daily practice.
Faculty and curriculum for this program are from the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine. During your monthlong study you will discover how to cultivate and practice mindfulness and increase self-compassion and self-care; reduce stress, anxiety and depression; and enhance connection with others. Designed to help people improve resilience and feel more connected to others, the program combines traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research to help you lead a more compassionate life. Through instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness and in-class interaction, you can strengthen the qualities of compassion, empathy and kindness.
In this course, you will learn how to:
• Increase kindness and compassion for yourself and others
• Develop profound levels of serenity, resilience and creativity
• Calm the mind and direct thoughts more positively
• Sharpen your ability to focus and pay attention
• Access a variety of self-care skills and techniques
The program will be taught by rotating faculty each week. Week one focuses on mindfulness, taught by Leah Weiss; week two focuses on compassion for self and loved ones, taught by Erika Rosenberg; week three focuses on compassion for the common humanity, taught by Margaret Cullen; and week four focuses on active compassion and integration, taught by Monica Hanson.