Living Mindfully with Compassion
This 8-week course is a follow-on course from MBSR. It aims to deepen the benefits of a mindfulness practice by exploring practices that cultivate compassion for ourselves and others. Mindfulness is often defined as, ‘the awareness that arises when we focus our attention in the present moment in a kind and non-judgemental way’. As we become more mindful it can often become more evident that approaching ourselves and others in a kind way is not so easy. Luckily compassion can be developed through practice.
Research shows that motivating ourselves through kindness, rather than criticism increases our happiness and reduces anxiety and depression. Compassion training can help us move through life in a richer way. It can help us manage difficult life experiences with generosity rather than harshness and can support us in feeling more connected and less alone.
Course Structure. The course is 8 weeks long and each class runs for 2.5 hours. This is complemented by a 3.5-hour practice session on a Sunday. The course will be made up of a mixture of guided practice, discussion, teacher input and exercises. There will be a daily home practice using audio recordings and encouragement to do some journalling. The course will be offered just once a year.
This course has been designed as a graduate course for people who have some mindfulness training, preferably in the form of mBSR or other training that has led you to a daily immersion in mindfulness practice. if you have not done mBSR but think you may have done something similar contact the teacher to talk it through.
Often times when we practice extending compassion to ourselves and others we can have a strong response- and sometimes find ourselves being very uncompassionate. We may discover cynicism, self-criticism or dislike. When this occurs it is very helpful to be able to stabilise yourself through engaging with difficult thoughts and feelings in a mindful way.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”