“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Compassion manifests itself when acts of kindness are carried out in response to the presence of suffering. Compassion is what makes it possible for our empathetic reaction to manifest in kindness. Kindness can be seen as compassion in action.
Compassion can be shown towards others or towards self in the form of self-compassion.
I first met the founders of MBCL, Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster presenting their Compassionate Living courses at a CMRP (Centre for Mindfulness & Research) conference in Chester in the summer of 2015. Having taught MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and related courses for some years, I knew that I had found something special that naturally integrated and led on from mindfulness practice. Having taken time to deepen into these practices for myself, I would now love to offer back and particularly to those who already have a mindfulness background and practice.
Kindness and compassion are implicit in the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) course. During MBSR we learn that it is the attitude that we bring to our mindfulness and meditation practice that is crucial for the work to be done effectively. In the MBCL course, we take Kindness and Compassion more deeply into ourselves and we get the chance to explore the transformative effect on our own patterns and behaviours when we work with them more explicitly.
Key to the MBCL course is that we have the ability to step into the present moment whenever we need to as we explore this work – our original meditation/mindfulness practice is our foundation as we develop the strength and courage to turn towards the suffering both within ourselves and in the world.
I have personally benefited enormously from initially taking this Mindfulness-Based Compassionate course, as well as from the generous and heartfelt training to teach MBCL by Erik and Frits. Erik and Frits have worked in close collaboration with many of the experts who are working in the field of mindfulness and compassion including Paul Gilbert, Kristen Neff, Christopher Germer, Tara Brach, Daniel Segal and Rick Hanson.
‘Compassion is the capacity to feel concern with pain and suffering, our own as well as others. It involves the wish to relieve this pain and suffering and also the willingness to take on the responsibility in doing so. It is a universal human quality, inherently present in everybody, but not fully cultivated. Fortunately, compassion can be developed and deepened through practice, and this is the aim of compassion training.’
Erik Van den Brink and Frits Koster