Seattle business leaders ask: How can we bring more compassion and mindfulness into our workplaces?

On May 22, a leading wealth management firm in Seattle called Brighton Jones hosted a first-of-its-kind event in downtown Seattle – “Compassion and Mindfulness at Work” – spearheaded by the company’s Director of Compassion. Yes, you read that right! Cory Custer is Director of Compassion for Brighton Jones; he took my CCT class in 2017 and is intent on building a network of businesspeople working on these issues to learn from one another.

The event asked attendees – 40-plus business leaders, HR professionals, coaches, and consultants with some of the most successful companies in the greater Seattle area – to put on their thinking caps and generate ideas to create more compassionate and mindful workplaces.

I facilitated one of the group discussions, aimed at surfacing specific practices, structures or initiatives that might bring more compassion/mindfulness and asking “What would be the first step?”

  • One entrepreneur shared about her new business, a car detailing facility. She said that the first step is to meet people where they’re at, looking at employees as individuals with a life outside of work, a family, and loved ones to take care of, and acknowledging their need to make sure their family has a home, food, and feels safe.
  • Another attendee, an HR professional for a consulting group, offered that it was important to “bring the practices into life [outside of work],” while another pondered: “How do we sneak in the practices under the ‘wellbeing’ umbrella without being perceived as too woo-woo? Is there enough research out there? Can we still check the emotions at the door if we introduce these practices?”
  • A mindfulness coach wondered under what circumstances it is safe to introduce compassion practices and whether the corporate world believes there is enough data to back them.
  • A building group director described his company’s practice of starting every meeting with 5 minutes of a guided meditation, followed by each sharing something for which they’re grateful.
  • A real estate professional with a good sense of humor said that when dealing with difficult people, he reminds himself: “I don’t want this SOB to occupy my mind rent-free.”
  • A particularly inspiring moment was when a participant described a practice that Cory utilizes when confronted with a repetitive task of, say, inputting information on all 140 employees at Brighton Jones – or any tedious task he’s been stalling on for some time. Cory pauses to reflect on how to get through it with less frustration, sets aside ample time for the task, and with every new name visualizes the person in front of him and offers something like: “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease…” The frustration melts away and the exercise of common humanity gives meaning and purpose to the task.

As CCT teachers, we may sometimes find our work a little daunting and draining. We hear and absorb the stories of overwhelmed parents, overworked healthcare providers, and depleted teachers. We witness the mental and physical penalties incurred by people trapped in a toxic environment, and we wish more corporate leaders would embrace compassion and mindfulness.  It is hopeful to know that in the competitive, often cutthroat business world there is an emerging desire to make it more human, more mindful, and more compassionate.

Finally, here’s the copy for Brighton Jones’s invitation to the event, in case you’re inspired to create such an event yourself:

Compassion & Mindfulness at Work is a gathering motivated by the question: How might we bring more compassion and mindfulness into our workplaces?

Come and join business leaders, consultants and others who work with and for some of the most successful companies in the greater Seattle area to share ideas, opportunities and learning about this important question. Through a series of facilitated conversations and presentations, this event aims to leave attendees feeling motivated and empowered to bring more compassion and mindfulness to their workplaces.

Please join us to begin building a community of professionals interested in helping to inspire more conscious and sustainable workplaces.

October 2018 at UW CCFW

Wednesdays, 6:00pm –8:00pm October 17 –December 12, 2018
Register online at bit.ly/CCFWEvents
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an educational program designed to help you reverse the effect of empathic distress, or negative feelings, and instead increase positive emotions, such as feelings of love and affiliation. Developed at Stanford University Medical School’s CCARE by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers, CCT can help overcome the empathic distress that some people encounter in their profession or personal lives, improving your resilience, and ultimately, helping you feel more connected to others, providing an overall sense of well-being.

What to expect: A two hour weekly class that includes discussion, and in-class partner and small-group listening and communication exercises
Daily meditation practices to develop kindness, empathy, compassion for others, and self-compassion
Real-world “homework” assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and action

Course Description

A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and can become a profound personal resource in times of stress. Thupten Jinpa, the senior author of CCT, describes the program in these words: “What CCT aims to do is to make people become more aware and more connected with their compassionate nature so that their instinctive response to a given situation will come from that compassionate understanding standpoint rather than negative excessive judgement.”

There is a growing body of research which asserts the value of cultivating compassion. As a wholesome state of mind, compassion is essential to individual well-being. As an ethical orientation, compassion is also essential for sustaining rich nourishing relationships. As a social force, it is crucial for addressing global, socio-economic dilemmas.

Participants probe real-world questions such as: What is compassion? What blocks it? Are there limits to compassion? Is there a difference between empathy and compassion? If living from compassion is all it is cracked up to be, why is self-compassion so difficult? How do I enhance my resilience while decreasing worry? How do I jumpstart a sustainable meditation practice? How do I have more meaningful connections with family, friends and co-workers?

You will learn through instruction, meditation, mindfulness and experiential exercises how to cultivate the daily-life skills needed to strengthen the qualities of compassion, courage and resilience. We will discuss how you can “move your attention at will, and how attention is like a spotlight,” as Dr. Paul Gilbert says, “whatever it shines on is what becomes brighter in the mind…”

Not only has cultivating compassion been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of destructive emotions (such as anger and hatred), it is also a sustainable response to the suffering of others, and actually alleviates empathetic distress and burnout. Consequently, Compassion Cultivating Training is relevant to those in health and human services roles who regularly witness suffering in their work. The program is also of value to anyone challenged by suffering in themselves or in our world. 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.

Class Dates: 8-week course
Wednesdays, 6:00pm –8:00pm October 17 –December 12, 2018

Course Fees
$320.00 regular registration
Scholarships and income-based reduced fee options available. Details and registration at: http://www.depts.washington.edu/CCFWB/events
Please see the registration page for details, or email mindful@uw.edu

January 20, 2018…

Women and men are marching in record numbers in cities across the US and around the world in solidarity with the Women’s March in D.C. At the same time, I am busy searching the internet for #metoo messages such as “Make America THINK Again” and “Grab’em by the Ballots: vote.gov.” Then, the moment of truth occurred. I open the Washington Post. First disbelief. The Washington Post chose to publish an article by conservative reporter Mollie Ziegler Hemingway on this day of all days. Yes, I did say conservative, and it was printed in the Post on the very day that women and men were affirming their power and their solidarity in opposing sexism, racism and hate. The article begins like this: “This may seem like an odd moment for saying so, but a year into the presidency of Donald Trump, I’m elated.” My bubble burst immediately. My state of righteous sisterhood decomposed into an angry ball of mush right in the center of my belly. How could a conservative view be featured in the Post on liberal affirmation day? And how could I, a Compassion Cultivation Training facilitator become so upset upon encountering someone else’s elation? Are we wired to feel empathy and compassion for people whom we perceive to be just like us, and feel hatred and separation from people who have different views?

In the 2009 article “From dehumanization and objectification to rehumanization: Neuroimaging studies on the building blocks of empathy” Susan Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at the Princeton University Department of Psychology, answers these questions by arguing that in order to feel empathy or feel with someone else, we must first believe that this someone else is our equal — a human being with intentions, thoughts, and feelings. Then we are likely to recognize and envision them relieved of their suffering. If we view people based on stereotypes, by applying our cultural bias, prejudice and conditioning, we deprive people of their humanity and are not likely to feel empathy towards them. It is time for me to pause, time for me to recognize and accept that it is through my own lens of cultural bias, prejudice and conditioning that I view the world.

Righteousness gave room to a mix of gratitude and empathy; gratitude for the 8 years of President Obama, and the many “wins” and joys he afforded me as a liberal, democrat woman; and empathy for people like Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, who during those 8 years were suffering, the same way that I am suffering now under president Trump. Some of the weight was lifted from my heart in this moment when common humanity was allowed to rise. Just like me, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a political being, whose worldview is shaped by cultural bias, prejudice and conditioning. Just like me, she is affected by her political circumstances. Just like me, she lives in a country where freedom of expression allows us all to speak out, resist and act, based on our values.
According to Fiske, how much we empathize depends on what kind of social attributes we give people. Neuroimaging studies showed that when research participants looked at photographs of people similar to them, social attributes such as warmth and competence were high and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) region of their brain associated with perception was activated. When participants looked at pictures of people unlike them, such as homeless people, their perception was low on warmth and competence, and the mPFC region of their brain failed to activate, indicating a lack of empathy. When Fiske shifted the question and asked research participants to imagine what vegetables the homeless guy might be eating, the emotions of the participants also shifted, and the mPFC regions of their brain activated. This softening of perceptions, from not acknowledging the person at all, to ” they are us, under different circumstances,” is good news. I had come to this place of understanding in terms of Mollie’s article and her views and was able to see her as a human being with her own worldview. Her perspective was very different from mine, but I could see her as a person entitled to her own choices.

One year of President Trump in office has passed. The holidays are gone, and a new year ushered in. As I pause to reflect and contemplate, how will I make it through the days, the months, and the years of this presidency without feeling overwhelmed by the political climate? 3 more years of crazy tweets and dark ages politics… Like-minded friends and colleagues complain: “I told my Dad that if he wanted to spend the holidays with his grandkids, he couldn’t watch Fox news in my house. He replied that we could all learn a thing or two if we watched Fox news!” Can connections endure the political divide? Will a wall of hatred separate us by the end of this president’s political term?

Fiske’s research shines a light on the potential benefits that regular contemplation practices can have in opening our hearts to less stereotyping and more compassionate perceiving of the world. A non-judgmental perception of others, characterized by friendliness, kindness and an open curiosity is key. Feeling another person’s pain and suffering is often a prerequisite to feeling compassion. Now that I have freed myself from “othering” Molly and conservatives, would I be able to move to the next step and actually wish ALL human beings, even the anti pro-choice, even the religious, even the Alt-right; could I mindfully include them in my wishes “to be free from Suffering, to be Happy, to experience Peace and Joy?”
As Richard J. Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder and chair of the Center for Healthy Minds has shown, we can learn to regulate our empathy by focusing and envisioning the person being relieved of their suffering. Regular mindfulness practices such as focusing and repeating a phrase silently in our mind such as, “may you be happy, may you be free of suffering,” shifts the pathways in our brains from experiencing painful empathy to more rewarding areas of compassion. But if I wish Mollie to be relieved from her suffering, does it mean that I should be ok with a President like Trump? Wouldn’t I be giving up my own beliefs? Should I be rejoicing at Trump espousing the anti pro-choice cause? Should I, like Molly celebrate the undoing of the Clean Power Plan regulations? Should I be sharing Mollie’s hopes that the new tax plan will benefit the middle and lower classes in a trickle-down effect? That’s against my beliefs! Wouldn’t I be expecting Mollie to send the same wishes to me, that I be free from Suffering, Happy… and how could she do that when she is religious and I am not? How could she do that if I am a liberal, and she is a conservative? How would it be possible as I am a middle-eastern Arab immigrant, and she applauded Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

This may well be where the work begins, where we reassure ourselves that compassion does not mean giving up on our beliefs. We should keep an open mind, question, study, contemplate, thoroughly explore different sides of the argument, and not lose sight of the humanness of the other. It is our moral obligation to realign ourselves with our own core values and come up with our own course of action, that is what a democracy requires from us. This is how we can live and manifest freedom and justice. We wouldn’t be marching today if Trump had not been elected. I know I will judge, critique and misjudge, but I do not give up on finding a clear, strong and courageous manifestation of compassion. I extend a peaceful salute to Mollie, because I accept that she too is desirous of a just and free world. Mollie, I will not give up my beliefs, and I will keep acting my own compassionate way that is very different from yours, but I do see you sister, and you are a beautiful human being, just like me.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777639/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-wasnt-a-trump-supporter-i-am-now/2018/01/19/58abd43a-fca2-11e7-a46b-a3614530bd87_story.html?undefined=&utm_term=.e702ff47b263&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

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How do we make it through the day without feeling overwhelmed by life?

How do we make it through the day without feeling overwhelmed by life? Are we wired to feel empathy and suffer with every drama that we witness every day?

In the 2009 article “From dehumanization and objectification to rehumanization: Neuroimaging studies on the building blocks of empathy” Susan Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at the Princeton University Department of Psychology, answers these questions by arguing that in order to feel empathy or feel with someone else, we must first believe that this someone else is our equal — a human being with intentions, thoughts, and feelings. Then we are likely to recognize and envision them relieved of their suffering. If we view people based on stereotypes, by applying our cultural bias, prejudice and conditioning, we deprive people of their humanity and are not likely to feel empathy towards them.

According to Fiske, how much we empathize depends on what kind of social attributes we give people. Neuroimaging studies showed that when research participants looked at photographs of people similar to them, social attributes such as warmth and competence were high and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) region of their brain associated with perception was activated. When participants looked at pictures of people unlike them, such as homeless people, their perception was low on warmth and competence, and the mPFC region of their brain failed to activate, indicating a lack of empathy. When Fiske shifted the question and asked research participants to imagine what vegetables the homeless guy might be eating, the emotions of the participants also shifted, and the mPFC regions of their brain activated. This softening of perceptions, from not acknowledging the person at all, to they are us, under different circumstances, is good news.

Fiske’s research shines a light on the potential benefits that regular mindfulness practices can have in opening our hearts to less stereotyping and more compassionate perceiving of the world. A non-judgmental perception of others, characterized by friendliness, kindness and an open curiosity is key. Feeling another person’s pain and suffering is often a prerequisite to feeling compassion.  As Richard J. Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and founder and chair of the Center for Healthy Minds has shown, we can learn to regulate our empathy by focusing and envisioning the person being relieved of their suffering. Regular mindfulness practices such as focusing and repeating a phrase silently in our mind such as, “may you be happy, may you be free of suffering,” shifts the pathways in our brains from experiencing painful empathy to more rewarding areas of compassion.

Compassion Cultivation Training at UW CCFW starts Feb 7

8 weeks. Wednesdays, February 7 – March 28, 2018 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Registration is required. Please register here.

What to expect: A two hour weekly class that includes discussion, and in-class partner and small-group listening and communication exercises
Daily meditation practices to develop kindness, empathy, compassion for others, and self-compassion
Real-world “homework” assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and action

Course Description

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8-week educational program designed to help you improve your resilience and feel more connected to others—ultimately providing an overall sense of well-being. A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and can become a profound personal resource in times of stress. Thupten Jinpa, the senior author of CCT, describes the program in these words: “What CCT aims to do is to make people become more aware and more connected with their compassionate nature so that their instinctive response to a given situation will come from that compassionate understanding standpoint rather than negative excessive judgement.”

There is a growing body of research which asserts the value of cultivating compassion. As a wholesome state of mind, compassion is essential to individual well-being. As an ethical orientation, compassion is also essential for sustaining rich nourishing relationships. As a social force, it is crucial for addressing global, socio-economic dilemmas.

Participants probe real-world questions such as: What is compassion? What blocks it? Are there limits to compassion? Is there a difference between empathy and compassion? If living from compassion is all it is cracked up to be, why is self-compassion so difficult? How do I enhance my resilience while decreasing worry? How do I jumpstart a sustainable meditation practice? How do I have more meaningful connections with family, friends and co-workers?

You will learn through instruction, meditation, mindfulness and experiential exercises how to cultivate the daily-life skills needed to strengthen the qualities of compassion, courage and resilience. We will discuss how you can “move your attention at will, and how attention is like a spotlight,” as Dr. Paul Gilbert says, “whatever it shines on is what becomes brighter in the mind…”

Not only has cultivating compassion been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of destructive emotions (such as anger and hatred), it is also a sustainable response to the suffering of others, and actually alleviates empathetic distress and burnout. Consequently, Compassion Cultivating Training is relevant to those in health and human services roles who regularly witness suffering in their work. The program is also of value to anyone challenged by suffering in themselves or in our world. 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.

Class Dates: 8-week course
Wednesdays, February 7 – March 28, 2018 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Course Fees

$320.00 regular registration
$325.00: Registration with a certificate of completion to use for CEUs
$240.00 (25% off): UW Affiliate Registration, which requires department approval and budget number

Scholarships and income-based reduced fee options available. Please see the registration page for details, or email mindful@uw.edu

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) and Yoga Workshop, starts Tuesday February 6 on Mercer Island. Offered by Michelle Chambers and Maya Nader

What to expect:  
Each three-hour weekly session will include 2 hours of CCT and 1 hour of yoga asana. The 2-hour CCT format is comprised of meditation, review of related scientific findings, and exercises in group or self-discovery. The yoga portion of each session will offer mindful movement and breathing practices to encourage embodiment of the tools and concepts introduced in CCT.
Daily guided meditation to develop kindness, strength, resilience, courage, connection with others, and self-compassion. You will have permanent access to 8 guided meditations. No prior meditation experience required.

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)
CCT is an 8-week course that was developed at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) to support adults who want to live a more grounded and meaningful life. The guided meditations offered in this protocol are derived from practices found in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition yet they have been adapted to an urban, modern life and are non-denominational and secular.

Step 1: Settle the mind
Step 2: Cultivate loving-kindness
Step 3: Develop loving-kindness and compassion for oneself. 2 sessions for this step as it is often the most difficult one!
Step 4: Establish our shared common humanity, recognizing Interdependence
Step 5: cultivate compassion toward all others
Step 6: Building resilience to recognize the pain and suffering, and facing it with a warm embrace. Last session is to integrate all the steps in one meditation Yoga and Mindful Movement
The Yoga practice offered in this workshop is specifically designed to accompany and enhance the CCT curriculum. It provides a platform for integrating loving-kindness and compassion into body, mind, and heart. This practice is accessible for all levels of practitioner, and no prior yoga experience is required.

COST: $360 for the whole workshop
8 sessions: Tuesday February 6, 13, 20, 27. March 6, 13, 20, 27.
Location: 5472 West mercer Way
Contact: manader@hotmail.com Gracefulyogi@gmail.com

CCT and Yoga!

Interested in jumpstarting -or activating- a sustainable meditation practice AND an intelligent yoga practice? Building resilience, strength and courage in Mind, Heart and Body? More meaningful connections with family, friends, self?

What to expect:
Each three-hour weekly session will include 2 hours of CCT and 1 hour of yoga asana. The 2-hour CCT format is comprised of meditation, review of related scientific findings, and exercises in group or self-discovery. The yoga portion of each session will offer mindful movement and breathing practices to encourage embodiment of the tools and concepts introduced in CCT.
Daily guided meditation to develop kindness, strength, resilience, courage, connection with others, and self-compassion. You will have permanent access to 8 guided meditations.

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)
CCT is an 8-week course that was developed at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) to support adults who want to live a more grounded and meaningful life. The guided meditations offered in this protocol are derived from practices found in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition yet they have been adapted to an urban, modern life and are non-denominational and secular.

Step 1: Settle the mind
Step 2: Cultivate loving-kindness
Step 3: Develop loving-kindness and compassion for oneself. 2 sessions for this step as it is often the most difficult one!
Step 4: Establish our shared common humanity, recognizing Interdependence
Step 5: cultivate compassion toward all others
Step 6: Building resilience to recognize the pain and suffering, and facing it with a warm embrace. Last session is to integrate all the steps in one meditation
Yoga and Mindful Movement
The Yoga practice offered in this workshop is specifically designed to accompany and enhance the CCT curriculum. It provides a platform for integrating loving-kindness and compassion into body, mind, and heart. This practice is accessible for all levels of practitioner, and no prior yoga experience is required.

COST: $350 for the whole workshop, $325 for early birds –sign up by September 14.
Please ask about our sliding scale!

Contact Maya at: manader@hotmail.com​Contact Michelle at: gracefulyogi@gmail.com

CCT at UW starts June 14, 2017

6:00pm – 8:00pm
CCFW UW
Wednesdays, June 14 – August 9, 2017 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Please note there will not be class on July 5.

Registration is required. Please register here: http://summer2017cct.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2138883817

Course Description

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8-week educational program designed to help you improve your resilience and feel more connected to others—ultimately providing an overall sense of well-being. A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and can become a profound personal resource in times of stress. Thupten Jinpa, the senior author of CCT, describes the program in these words: “What CCT aims to do is to make people become more aware and more connected with their compassionate nature so that their instinctive response to a given situation will come from that compassionate understanding standpoint rather than negative excessive judgement.”

There is a growing body of research which asserts the value of cultivating compassion. As a wholesome state of mind, compassion is essential to individual well-being. As an ethical orientation, compassion is also essential for sustaining rich nourishing relationships. As a social force, it is crucial for addressing global, socio-economic dilemmas.

Participants probe real-world questions such as: What is compassion? What blocks it? Are there limits to compassion? Is there a difference between empathy and compassion? If living from compassion is all it is cracked up to be, why is self-compassion so difficult? How do I enhance my resilience while decreasing worry? How do I jumpstart a sustainable meditation practice? How do I have more meaningful connections with family, friends and co-workers?

You will learn through instruction, meditation, mindfulness and experiential exercises how to cultivate the daily-life skills needed to strengthen the qualities of compassion, courage and resilience. We will discuss how you can “move your attention at will, and how attention is like a spotlight,” as Dr. Paul Gilbert says, “whatever it shines on is what becomes brighter in the mind…”

Not only has cultivating compassion been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of destructive emotions (such as anger and hatred), it is also a sustainable response to the suffering of others, and actually alleviates empathetic distress and burnout. Consequently, Compassion Cultivating Training is relevant to those in health and human services roles who regularly witness suffering in their work. The program is also of value to anyone challenged by suffering in themselves or in our world. 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.

What to expect:

A two hour weekly class that includes discussion, and in-class partner and small-group listening and communication exercises
Daily meditation practices to develop kindness, empathy, compassion for others, and self-compassion
Real-world “homework” assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and action
Please see the course handout for more details.

Class Dates

8-week course on Wednesday evenings for 2 hours
Wednesdays, June 14 – August 9, 2017* | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

* Note: there will not be class on July 5.

Course Fees

$300.00 regular registration
$305.00: Registration with a certificate of completion to use for CEUs
$225.00 (25% off): UW Affiliate Registration, which requires department approval and budget number

Scholarships and income-based reduced fee options available. Please see the registration page for details, or email mindful@uw.edu

About the Instructor

Maya is a certified CCT instructor by CCARE, Stanford University. A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Maya earned her B.A. in Political Science from the American University of Beirut. She moved to the US in 1989, at the height of the Lebanese war. As she continued her quest for peace in her country and region, Maya obtained a Master’s degree in Communication and Marketing from Boston University. She speaks French, Arabic, and English and is grateful for the cultural richness these languages encompass. Through this lens, Maya views compassion as a bridge between cultures and religions and as the cornerstone of a more peaceful world. In her teaching CCT, Maya continues to practice self-help and assist others in broadening compassion, which ultimately creates opportunities for peace. Maya is a certified yoga teacher, and teaches yoga in prisons to residents and staff.

Fall Session

Compassion Cultivation Training starts mid October on Mercer Island: Please contact me for more info if interested!

WHEN: Wednesday evening October 19, 26 November 2, 9,16,30 December 7,14

TIME: 6:30-8:30PM

WHERE: Mercer Island

The CCT program is offered in 8 weekly sessions, 2 hours each, and consists of six steps

Step 1, Session 1, involves settling the mind and neutrally observing one’s own thoughts and emotions

Step 2, Session 2, teaches participants how to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion for a loved one

Step 3, Session 3 and 4, helps the participant develop loving-kindness and compassion for oneself

Step 4, Session 5, establishes our shared common humanity, recognizing the interdependence of all living creatures and our fragile blue planet

Step 5, Session 6, deepens the ability to cultivate compassion toward all others, including those we perceive as difficult

Step 6, Session 7, involves visualizing transforming others’ pain and suffering and offering them one’s own happiness and joy

Session 8: The course culminates with an integrated daily compassion meditation practice