Compassion Programs at UCSD

Self CompassionTwo important components of Mindfulness are wisdom (clear seeing) and compassion (the heartful desire to alleviate suffering). Wisdom and compassion are often described as the two wings of a bird. Without either wing the bird is unable to fly. Life sometimes brings with it painful events both large and small. What we can do is learn to hold what happens with warmth and kindness. Toward that end, we offer mindfulness-based programs that aid us in developing our capacity for compassion.

Our programs are designed to address the quality of attention that we pay to what arises and to actively cultivate the capacity for kind and compassionate action in response to difficulty. Each option is designed to build skills in a particular area. A brief description of each program, including benefits and the format offered follows.

The Center’s Compassion Programs Include

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Mindful Self-Compassion

Many of us would be quick to complain about being treated harshly by a loved one, friend or co-worker yet we treat ourselves in ways we would never treat someone else. Self-compassion is actually a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm—the harm that we inflict on ourselves every day by overworking, overeating, overanalyzing, and overreacting. With mindful self-compassion, we’re better able to recognize when we’re under stress and face what’s happening in our lives (mindfulness) and to take a kinder and more sustainable approach to life’s challenges.

Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help you stick to your diet and exercise routine. And it’s easier than you think. You can find out more about this program by clicking here.

This course is offered in an 8-week and 5-day intensive formats.

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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. It includes instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and in-class interaction, to help you strengthen the qualities of compassion, empathy, and mindfulness.

This course is offered in an 8 week format.

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Compassion in Business

According to Chip Conley, “The most forgotten fact in business is that we are all human.” Perhaps this is why research has found that fifty-two percent of employees thought of quitting, changing jobs, or declining a promotion because they were unhappy.1 Fortunately, there is a new and exciting body of research emerging that shows the key to good employee health, organizational well-being, and an improved bottom line is the cultivation of compassion in organizations. Compassion has been used by some most famous and accomplished world leaders (Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and more), as well as in highly successful organizations such as Google, General Mills, Vision Service Plan, CISCO Systems, and Facebook.

By creating a culture of compassion in organizations, research has found that employees are less stressed and fearful and more satisfied, loyal, engaged, and resilient. With compassion, employees nurture their capacities to be kind, forgiving, and helpful which leads to a more efficient, productive, and pleasant place of work. This is how businesses and humans can thrive together.

At the Center for Mindfulness, we offer your organization the help to successfully implement a compassion-based program into your place of business. Truly creating a culture of compassion is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business!

Learn more about how your organization can benefit from our Compassionate WorkLife Integration Programs

Youth and Family Programs

In the world we live in today, it seems even more important to raise kids who are compassionate in response to challenging situations, children who can understand the importance of being kind to others. Cultivating compassion comes through practice and we are called upon as parents and teachers to provide opportunities for our children to learn about and practice kindness. Compassion can also be an antidote for impulsive actions and can support self-regulation in children. It can help them to understand and cope with angry feelings that can otherwise become destructive. Compassion can help build healthier connections to others and reduce stress levels that can challenge their well-being. Simple acts of kindness can help children experience an inner calm that can enhance emotional and academic learning. In our mindfulness training programs for teens and pre-teens, we believe it is important to help kids create an attitude of compassion, which can help them develop the skills to change their world. Find out more about our programs for teens, pre-teens and parents.