“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Thupten Jinpa, PhD is a Buddhist scholar who has been the Dalai Lama’s main English translator for over 35 years. He is also the Founder of the Compassion Institute and the main author of Stanford’s Compassion Training (CCT), which will soon be offered in Petaluma. Jinpa believes that compassion is probably the best-kept secret for happiness. A growing number of studies now also suggest that when we offer compassion, not only does the recipient of this compassion benefit from our kindness, but we also do.
Yet, the word compassion can sometimes make us uncomfortable. Many are concerned that if we are too compassionate, we will appear to be weak or, that others will take advantage of us. In an era where so many feel exhausted and overworked, the idea that we should change to be more compassionate can feel overwhelming. Compassion cultivation is not about changing who we fundamentally are and rather, about expanding our ability to choose compassionate thoughts, attitudes and responses to the challenges we face in life. CCT is about exercising our ability to access our own compassionate nature more easily.
Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education & the Compassion Institute’s Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), is an 8-week evidenced-based program that is rooted in contemplative wisdom and in modern psychology. The training provides weekly compassion-based meditation instruction, didactics, class exercises and group discussions designed to promote reflection that aims to strengthen compassion skills.
One student shared that she had joined the program because she felt she needed more compassion for herself. CCT she said, did not change the challenges she was facing, but that it transformed her relationship to her own pain and vulnerability. Learning to let-go of self-judgement and being able to treat herself with genuine kindness and care strengthened her. She reported that the program helped her trust herself more deeply, and that it had been a tremendous source of strength. Finally, she said that compassion training had made her a better friend and listener for the people she loves and cares about.
Overall, CCT fosters compassion for oneself and for others. It enhances resilience in face of suffering, increases our sense of connection to oneself and to others. The program also helps to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and it helps to protect against empathy fatigue and burnout. In essence, compassion training aims to help us care for our own humanity with compassion and provides tools that help us take the next step on our compassion cultivation journey.
Stanford and the Compassion Institute’s Compassion Cultivation Training is appropriate for caring professionals, educators, activists, caregivers, hospice staff and anyone interested in using meditation to cultivate compassion.
If you would like to learn more about the upcoming Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) which will be held just a few steps from Aqus Café in Petaluma, starting on Thursday April 12th from 7 – 9pm, attend a free introductory 2-hour session which will be held on Thursday, April 5th from 7-9pm.
To register and reserve your space for the free intro, please contact Sylvia Dolce at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 650-223-4087.
You can also register for the free event through Meetup at:
Learn more about “Why Cultivate Compassion?”, follow this link:
To visit the class webpage:
14 CE’s are available for this program
• CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
• The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
• SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. For questions about CE, visit www.spiritualcompetency.com or contact David Lukoff, PhD at CE@spiritualcompetency.com.
Sylvia Dolce is the instructor for the upcoming Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) in Petaluma. Sylvia a certified CCT Instructor from the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University. Founder of Integrative Self Care, she directed Stanford Medical Center’s Art for Health Program for many years and has been a meditation practitioner for over 25 years. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 650-223-4087