Compassion cultivation training (CCT©)
CCT is an 8 week personal and professional development course designed at Stanford University Medical School, and taught around the world by Certified Facilitators. The program includes practical tools and exercises designed to enhance awareness, compassion and resilience. The lead author is Thupten Jinpa with co-authors: Margaret Cullen, Kelly McGonigal, Erika Rosenberg, and Leah Weiss.
Compassion is an awareness of another’s suffering coupled with the willingness to do something to relieve the suffering. Suffering here refers to anything that doesn’t feel “right”. For example, anything that feels uncomfortable, unpleasant, difficult, uneasy. Clearly, body and mental pain cause suffering, but things in our daily life can also bring a sense of dissatisfaction, distress, grief, misery.
We all share the seeds of compassion and we can create conditions for compassion to grow. Guided meditations and informal practices during class and between classes will strengthen our compassion muscle and will support this journey to compassion.
Cultivating compassion involves training our own minds, developing specific skills in how we relate to ourselves and others, recognizing the feelings of giving and receiving compassions, and intentionally choosing compassionate thoughts and actions. We will create a safe space during the two-hour weekly interactive classes, we will:
Have group discussion to share learning experiences
Develop meditation practices to improve awareness (a key component of the training)
Practice listening and communication exercises to strengthen compassion
The 8-week CCT journey
Week 1: Steady & calm the mind
Week 2: Loving-kindness & compassion for a loved one
Week 3: Compassion for oneself
Week 4: Loving-kindness for oneself
Week 5: Common humanity & developing appreciation for others
Week 6: Compassion for others
Week 7: Active compassion practice
Week 8: Integrated daily compassion cultivation practice
Who Can ATTEND CCT
The course is designed for anyone wanting to bring compassion into their lives, for themselves and those around them, as well as those seeking to increase awareness and mindfulness. People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program.
No previous meditation experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of the training.
Compassion training extends beyond helping one feel more empathy and concern for others, including the development of:
The strength to be present with suffering
The courage to take compassionate action
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.
I want to register for the class but will need to miss a class or two, Is that Ok?
It’s to the students’ advantage to attend all eight classes in order to get the most out of the course, as each class involves lectures and group discussions that are key components of the training process. If you know ahead of time that you will need to miss more than one class, then it’s advised to wait to register for a course at a time when you’ll likely be able to attend all sessions. However, if you’ve already registered and know you will miss a class in advance, please contact me. I understand the unpredictability in our lives and will help orient you to any materials if you do miss a class.
A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives by Thupten Jinpa
“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”
- Dalai Lama