MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION​

All human beings experience joys and sorrows. While joys are welcome, when things go wrong—or we believe they will go wrong—our natural tendency is to resist what we’re feeling, e.g., tensing up, casting blame, distracting ourselves. Mindfulness, in contrast, is about turning toward and opening to moment-to-moment experience without defensive overlays, just as it is. Self-compassion is about responding to ourselves with understanding and kindness when things go wrong. Both mindfulness and self-compassion go against our instinctual or habitual reactions, but once learned, they become a radically new and rewarding way of relating to our experience and to ourselves. Paradoxically, the very willingness to face pain eases and lessens our overall experience of it.


So how can we be mindful and self-compassionate in the face of the very real stresses we face through social pressures, family obligations, financial concerns, relationship challenges, or health scares? How can we meet the suffering that we all experience at times? We must practice. We know that repeated practice in any realm changes the brain—what Rick Hanson refers to as self-directed neural plasticity. The practice of meeting suffering with self-compassion and mindfulness is known to minimize pain, increase satisfaction, and maximize resilience. These skills can be learned.

Fortunately, there’s a powerful 8-week training designed to cultivate and integrate the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion. Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is based on ground-breaking research by Kristin Neff and integrated with the clinical perspectives of Christopher Germer. It incorporates empirically-supported tools and techniques that enable participants to respond to challenging, even painful, moments with kindness, care, understanding, and wise action. Enormous research has confirmed the positive results generated through mindfulness. Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being; less anxiety, depression, and stress; maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise; and satisfying personal and professional relationships.

 

You Will Learn To:

  • Increase kindness and compassion for yourself and others

  • Calm the mind and direct thoughts in a more positive way

  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism

  • Reduce defensive reactions

  • Increase resilience both personally and interpersonally

  • Experience more energy

  • Savor and appreciate your life

  • Develop more self-compassion in daily life


The weekly 2.5-hour class includes guided meditations, short talks, experiential exercises, and group discussion. In addition to the weekly class, there is a 4-hour retreat. No previous meditation experience is required although the willingness to develop a regular compassion-based sitting meditation practice is a key component of the training. Participants should plan to attend every session and be willing to practice the compassion-based guided meditations for at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week during the course. Please do not sign up for this course if you cannot commit to missing no more than two of the Tuesday night classes during the course. This course fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher.


This class is limited to 10 participants.
 

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