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. Compassion is a process that unfolds in response to suffering. It begins with the recognition of suffering, which gives rise to thoughts and feelings of empathy and concern. This, in turn, motivates action to relieve that suffering. Humans have a natural capacity for compassion. However, everyday stress, social pressures and life experiences can make it difficult to fully express this capacity. Each of us can choose to nurture and grow the compassionate instinct, like a plant that is carefully cultivated from a seed. This process requires patience, steady care, proper tools, and a supportive environment.
The process of cultivating compassion involves training our own minds, developing specific skills in how we relate to others, and ourselves and intentionally choosing compassionate thoughts and actions. In CCT, the training process includes daily meditation practices to develop loving-kindness, empathy, and compassion; a two-hour weekly class that includes lecture, discussion, and in-class partner and small-group listening and communication exercises; and real-world "homework" assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and actions.
JCC East Bay Berkeley Branch (View)
1414 Walnut St.
Berkeley, CA 94709