Compassion Cultivation Training™

Learn how to train your mind to intentionally choose compassionate thoughts and actions and develop skills that help you relate to others—and yourself.
Description: A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and can become a profound personal resource in times of stress. Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8-week course designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others.CCT 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.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. The training includes:
  • Coursework: Two-hour weekly classes that include lecture, discussion, and in-class listening and communication exercises with partners and small groups
  • Meditation: Daily meditation, visualization, and breathing practices to develop loving kindness, empathy, and compassion
  • Assignments: Real-world homework to help you practice compassionate thought and action
Who Attends:  People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program.  Everyone is welcome.  A commitment to attend each session is requested.  No previous meditation experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of the training.

Dates: To be determined
Time: 2 to 4pm
Instructor: Jennifer Block
Location:  Insight Meditation Center, 108 Birch Street, Redwood City, CA

Benchmark Events

Cost:  There is no tuition per se for this course.  Rather, it is offered by donation, in the tradition of the Buddhist practice of dana (generosity).  The suggested sliding scale donation is $15 to $20 per class.  Participants are asked to make their donation in one payment at the first class.
Participation in the course requires regular attendance.  Registration is for either Section A or Section B, not both or a combination of either.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are not  available.
About the Instructors:
Jennifer Block’s life work is providing spiritual care to people in crisis, mentoring caregivers, and teaching people how to access their innate capacity for caring and healing.  Based in San Francisco, Jennifer is a longtime dharma practitioner and Buddhist chaplain who provides care to individuals who are facing the spiritual and emotional issues related to aging, sickness, dying and grief.  She is also a nationally-recognized educator and consultant who bridges spiritual, hospice, and contemplative care modalities through the curriculum developed from her many years of hospice and chaplaincy service. Jennifer teaches the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training program at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and the Contemplative Caregiver Course at San Francisco Zen Center. You can learn more at www.jenniferblock.net.
Judy Long is a longtime practitioner at the Insight Meditation Center (IMC) and a member of the Chaplaincy Council. She is a professional Buddhist chaplain who provides palliative care with a special focus on care for caregivers. Judy is a graduate of Stanford’s Compassion Teacher Training at CCARE and is training with a Stanford teacher mentor as she completes certification. You can contact Judy at jntlong@gmail.com.
More about Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT):    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 and the resilience to prevent compassion fatigue.  These qualities support a wide range of goals—from improving personal and work relationships to making a positive difference in the world. Preliminary research suggests that the CCT course and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhance connection with others.This course was developed by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine.  CCARE investigates methods for cultivating compassion and promoting altruism within individuals and society through rigorous research, scientific collaborations, and academic conferences. In addition, CCARE provides a compassion cultivation program and teacher training as well as educational public events and programs.  More information is available here.
Disclaimer: Compassion training courses are educational and are not meant to treat psychological disorders. Participation in the course requires regular attendance and adhering to basic classroom policies. Participants who miss more than two classes or otherwise disrupt the learning environment may be asked to withdraw from the course without a refund.