Courses that combine mindfulness with compassion training can help us develop and deepen our natural human capacity towards compassion, so we can be kinder to ourselves and others. As well as equipping us to meet life’s challenges, compassion is also a gateway to increased happiness.
Mindfulness: "Deliberately being aware of what is happening, as it is happening, without judgement." Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing — being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity.
Compassion: “A sensitivity to the suffering of self and others, with a deep commitment to try to prevent and relieve it.” Self-compassion is a life-changing way of thinking that is rooted in Mindfulness. Compassion is the capacity to feel concern with the pain and suffering of ourselves and others. This capacity is accompanied by the wish to relieve this pain and suffering and the willingness to take responsibility for it. Every human being has the potential to be compassionate. It is a quality inherently present in everyone, but for various reasons often not fully cultivated.
Research in neuroscience has shown that by means of practice, self-compassion can be developed and deepened. By learning to have more kindness and forgiveness for ourselves, we have more compassion and empathy for others. This is the aim of the Mindfulness Compassion Based Living Course.
This experiential course starts with building self-compassion into basic mindfulness practice. Through compassionate imagery and mindful self-compassion, we cultivate positive emotions as a way of building up an inner resource, from which we can approach the difficulties that are part and parcel of being alive. We then approach the self-critic: that persistent inner voice that is harsh and condemning, and always finding fault in what we do. What it would be like to cultivate an inner voice that is kind and supportive, and to live life from this place, rather than from a place of destructive self-criticism?
The benefits of this Mindfulness Compassion Based Living Course are personal and global, from enhancing emotional and physical well-being, boosting happiness, reducing stress, along with improving relationships as we connect more authentically with others.
If you have already have an established regular mindfulness practice, then progressing to the Mindfulness Compassion Based Living Course is the next step in applying loving kindness - first to yourself, then others, releasing negative attitudes and living joyfully from the heart.