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Compassion Training Course

Announcement | December 15, 2010

The GGSC is helping to organize a course designed to promote mindfulness and compassion.

The Greater Good Science Center is helping Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research (CCARE) organize a FREE Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program for adults, starting this month. 

The training is part of a study to examine the differential effects of the CCT meditation program.

Developed by a team at Stanford University headed by Geshe Thupten Jinpa, PhD, scholar and personal translator of the Dalai Lama, this nine-week compassion cultivation training program will consist of a sequence of exercises that progressively cultivate: (1) mental stability through present-focused attention, (2) compassion for friends and family, (3) self-focused compassion, and (4) compassion for strangers and for disliked people. The goal of this training is to provide a practical framework for developing compassion for one’s self and others. Because of the sequencing of the specific meditation practices, it is imperative that you are able to attend all of the eight classes.

The courses will consist of nine two-hour sessions. Sessions will be held in Palo Alto on Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm starting on January 26th and running until March 23rd. In Berkeley, sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm starting on January 25 and running until March 22nd.

Participants must be willing to be randomly assigned to immediate CCT or a waitlist condition (waitlist participants will take the course on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from April-May of 2011). Additionally, participants will be expected to complete questionnaire and computer task assessments before, during, and after the CCT program.

The courses will be taught by Dr. Erika Rosenberg (Berkeley) and Dr. Kelly McGonigal (Palo Alto). Dr. Rosenberg is an emotion researcher at UC Davis and world-renowned expert in facial expression of emotion. Dr. Rosenberg teaches meditation at the Nyingma Institute of Tibetan Studies in Berkeley and is a senior teacher at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Dr. McGonigal of Stanford University, is an expert on the mind-body relationship, award-winning teacher, and renowned author. She teaches yoga, meditation, and psychology at Stanford University, and is a passionate educator in the areas of mind-body psychology and integrative healthcare.

Enrollment is currently open for Winter courses in Palo Alto and Berkeley. If you’re interested in enrolling, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please also fill out the initial screening form by clicking here.

Due to the nature of the course, enrollment will be limited to a group of about 60 people who meet the inclusion criteria for the course.

If you are interested in participating, would like more information, or would like to be notified of future courses in Palo Alto, Berkeley, or San Francisco, please email

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