Upcoming Class Dates:
If you would like to sign-up for one of my upcoming CCT courses at Stanford University, please visit the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) here for upcoming course offerings.
Specific course content includes:
Week 1: Introduction to the course and introduction to settling and focusing the mind
The first class includes an introduction to the course content, instructor, and fellow students. In-class discussion and practice will include: connecting with your intention for taking CCT right now, what is compassion, what does it mean to “train” compassion. We will practice cultivating the skill of focusing the mind through breath focus meditation. This step is considered foundational for all other practices in this program.
Week 2: Loving-kindness and compassion for a loved one (step 2)
Learning to recognize how the experiences of love and compassion feel like when they occur for a loved one. The meditation and practical exercises offered in this step aim to help practitioners recognize the physical and physiological signs of the feelings of warmth, tenderness, concern, and compassion towards a loved one.
Week 3: Compassion for oneself (step 3a)
Learning to develop qualities such as greater self-acceptance, tenderness, nonjudgment and caring in self-to-self relations. Connecting with one´s own feelings and needs and relating to them with compassion is the basis for developing a compassionate stance toward others.
Week 4: Loving-kindness for oneself (step 3b)
Learning to develop qualities of warmth, appreciation, joy, and gratitude in self-to-self relationship. While the previous step focused on self-acceptance, this step focuses on developing appreciation for one´s self.
Week 5: Embracing shared common humanity and developing appreciation of others (step 4)
Establishing the basis for compassion toward others through recognizing our shared common humanity, and appreciating the kindness of others and how human beings are deeply interconnected.
Week 6: Cultivating compassion for others (step 5)
On the basis of the previous step, participants begin to cultivate compassion for all beings by moving from focusing on a loved one to focusing on a neutral person, then on a difficult person, and finally on all beings.
Week 7: Active compassion practice (Tong-len) (step 6)
This step involves explicit evocation of the altruistic wish to do something about others’ suffering. In formal sitting practice, this essentially takes the form of a visualization practice where the practitioner imagines taking away the suffering of others and giving them what is beneficial in oneself. This practice is known as Tong-len or “giving and taking”.
Week 8: Closing and integrated daily compassion cultivation practice
In this final class, the essential elements of all six steps are combined into an integrated compassion meditation practice that can continue to be done daily by participants who choose to adopt it.