Tuesdays for 9 weeks, beginning January 6, 2015
Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue, from 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Taught by The Rev. Betty C. Adam, PhD
Welcome to Compassion Cultivation Training:
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is a nine-week program designed to develop the qualities of compassion and kindness for oneself and for others. CCT integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion.
What is Compassion?
We will broaden our understanding of compassion as we progress through the program. In the beginning, we can say that compassion action involves an awareness of someone’s suffering, accompanied by a heart response and the urge to help end the suffering. Later in the course, we will explore the idea that compassion is an emergent process that arises out of the interaction of non-compassion processes from attentional and affective domains, intention and insight, and embodiment and engagement.
In recent scientific studies, compassion has been associated with
- Decreased negative affect and stress responses
- Increased positive affect and social connectedness
- Kindness toward oneself and others
- Meditation practice time associated with decrease in fear of compassion from others, decrease in worry and emotion suppression, and decrease in mind-wandering to unpleasant topics, which increases self-care and care
Significant Improvements shown from CCT Training:
- Compassion for others
- Receiving compassion from others
Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more empathy and concern for others. It develops the strength to be with suffering, resilience in the face of life’s challenges, and the courage to take compassionate action. These qualities support a wide range of goals, from improving personal relationships to making a positive difference in the world. Cultivating compassion cultivation can also support one’s own health, happiness and well-being. Preliminary research suggests that CCT and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, reduces stress, anxiety, and enhance connection with others.
Humans have a natural capacity for compassion. However, everyday stress, social pressure and life experience can make it difficult to express this capacity. This program was developed at Stanford University by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers to provide a supportive environment, proper tools and steady care to develop the capacity to respond compassionately, consistently. This program includes: developing skills in how we relate to others and ourselves; intentionally choosing compassionate thoughts and actions; instruction, based on the science of compassion; daily mediation practices to strengthen the qualities of awareness, focus, compassion and courage; two-hour weekly classes that support dialogue in pairs and small group listening and communication exercises; supplemental reading, research; and practices for on the spot needs in daily life.
The class participant will be given access to a group site. Class materials, including meditation guides and relevant research articles may be accessed on the group site. Each participant will be given a password to enter the site.
Location and Parking:
Christ Church Cathedral is located in downtown Houston on the corner of Fannin Street and Texas Avenue, at 1117 Texas Avenue. The campus is bordered to the north by Prairie Street and to the east by San Jacinto Street. The parking garage is on San Jacinto Street, just north of Texas Avenue. The garage is free for weekday Cathedral events with a validation sticker. Bring garage ticket with you to class to receive a validation sticker. If coming east on Texas Avenue, take a left on San Jacinto and the garage will be on your right. After 6:00 pm, free on-street parking may be available close to the Cathedral campus.