Compassion Cultivation Training

Compassion Cultivation Training

WHAT IS COMPASSION CULTIVATION TRAINING?

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week program designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and for others. CCT integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. The program was developed at Stanford University by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers.

Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more empathy and concern for others. It develops the strength to be 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 relationships to making a positive difference in the world.

COMPASSION

Compassion is a process that unfolds in response to suffering. It begins with the recognition of suffering, which gives rise to thoughts and feelings of empathy and concern. This, in turn, motivates action to relieve that suffering.

CULTIVATION

Humans have a natural capacity for compassion. However, everyday stress, social pressures and life experiences can make it difficult to fully express this capacity. Each of us can choose to nurture and grow the compassionate instinct, like a plant that is carefully cultivated from a seed. This process requires patience, steady care, proper tools, and a supportive environment.

TRAINING

The process of cultivating compassion involves training our own minds, developing specific skills in how we relate to others, and ourselves and intentionally choosing compassionate thoughts and actions. In CCT, the training process includes:

• Daily meditation practices to develop loving, kindness, empathy, and compassion
• A two-hour weekly class that includes lecture, discussion, and in-class partner and small-group listening and communication exercises
• Real-world “homework” assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and actions

WHY

Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more empathy and concern for others. It develops the strength to be 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 relationships to making a positive difference in the world.

Compassion cultivation can also support one’s own health, happiness, and well-being. Preliminary research suggests that CCT and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhance connection with others.

WHO

CCT is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and for others. This includes parents, caregivers, educators, healthcare professionals, therapists, executives, public servants, and people in a wide range of professions and life contexts. No previous meditation experience is required.

The program was developed at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, CCARE, at Stanford University School of Medicine.  This page offers some additional information.

Celedra Gildea, PhD is a Compassion Cultivation Facilitator in Training enrolled in the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Teacher Certification Program at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University.

LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR INTEREST FOR FUTURE CLASSES

We’ll be planning additional Compassion Cultivation Training classes in the future. 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. Please only register if you can attend at least 6 of the 8 classes. This is both for your benefit, as  each week builds on the previous one, and helps maintain continuity of the learning community.  Class size is limited in order to maintain cohesiveness.