Online Learning

Compassion in Connection Conference

Exploring Compassionate Education Together

Available until Online

Join top leaders in the field of compassion to learn about the major compassion programs, compassion training, and more.

There are many diverse ways to alleviate suffering, and compassion and connection are at the heart of all of them. In the growing field of compassion teaching, it’s not easy to keep up with the latest programs, developments, challenges, and successes. Join top leaders in the field to explore actual examples of how the practice of compassion is affecting change and making a difference in people’s lives.

Whether you are already teaching compassion, or are interested in learning more about compassion as a general subject, this community-building conference provides an opportunity to:

  • learn about the distinctive competencies of major compassion programs
  • differentiate compassion programs from mindfulness programs or programs focused only on sympathetic or pure empathic responses
  • explore larger issues of science-based efficacy

This is a rare opportunity to gather various compassion programs in one place and build community.

The conference includes:

  • presentations from representatives from each of the five empirically supported compassion training programs
  • a panel discussion on working with specific communities of need and the variations they may require • several brief compassion meditation sessions
  • and more

Professionals can explore different programs and learn what each has to offer. Nonprofessionals can learn more about the field of compassion training, immersing themselves in the breadth and depth of this discipline. Everyone can gain information, new insights, and connections. This conference is structured for those with a beginner-advanced knowledge base in this area.

Meet the Teachers

  • Thupten Jinpa, PhD, holds a Geshe Lharam degree from the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic Unive ...
  • Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, is the cofounder and director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, a m ...
  • Kristin Neff, PhD, the pioneering researcher on self-compassion, is an associate professor in ...
  • Christopher K. Germer, PhD, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and coedit ...
  • Steven Hickman, PsyD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and founding director of the UC San ...
  • Michelle Becker, LMFT, developer of the Compassion for Couples program, is a licensed marria ...
  • Kc Branscomb is a retired chief executive officer in the software industry and a serial entr ...
  • Timothy Harrison is associate director for Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) at the Em ...
  • Rhoda Schuling is a researcher and mindfulness trainer at the Radboud University Medical Center f ...
  • Dennis Tirch, PhD, is founder of the Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, the first clinical tr ...
  • Karen Bluth, PhD, is cocreator of the curriculum Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful ...
  • Lorraine M. Hobbs is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and the d ...
  • Monica C. Worline, PhD, is founder and chief executive officer of EnlivenWork, an organizatio ...
  • Aly Waibel has over fifteen years of experience as an instructor and educational consultant ...


Module 1:

The Compassion in Connection Conference begins with a keynote by Thupten Jinpa, PhD, presenting an overview of the strides being made in the field of compassion training and research.

Recent advances in neuroscience and psychology are demonstrating clearly the positive impact of compassion on individual emotional and societal well-being. Growing networks of compassion educators and targeted compassion curricula have greatly expanded the range of tools and solutions available to communities and organizations challenged by emotional stress, conflict, or intrinsic social bias. Many of these programs are targeting specific problems within identifiable high stress jobs; mitigating professional burnout in communities such as police, first responders, physicians, nurses, mental health practitioners, corrections officers, customer service, or hospice workers. These programs appear to improve emotional resilience and health both in individuals and their communities and promote constructive ways of resolving conflicts without violence or depersonalization within the associated communities.

After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • discuss the recent advances in compassion science
  • identify some of the most interesting applications of compassion cultivation training
  • compare and contrast how compassion training may differ from and/or extend the scope and benefits of other contemplative or mindfulness programs generally

Module 2:

This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren't alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.

Learning Objectives

After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • outline the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program
  • describe the relationship of self-compassion to mindfulness and to compassion for others in MSC
  • identify challenges to learning self-compassion and how they are addressed in MSC

Module 3:

Thupten Jinpa is joined by Aly Waibel to present their Compassion Cultivation Training Workshop, an 8-week course that teaches mindfulness and developing compassion.

The Compassion Institute™ is a leading provider of compassion education programs for professions serving the public under challenging circumstances (e.g. health care, law enforcement, corrections, educators, public service). Leveraging extensive faculty resources and CI's well-respected Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT) course developed at Stanford University in 2009, CI's global network of compassion educators improve human health, happiness, and interpersonal relationships in communities challenged by stress, conflict, and/or violence.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, workshop participants will be better able to:
describe the curriculum of the 8-week course

  • identify CI’s recent initiatives in adapting CCT to specific industries and professions of exceptional need including police, physicians and health care professionals, educators, and prison reform
  • discuss the future directions for compassion curriculum development within CI
  • describe the rigorous teacher training program that supports the certified CCT teacher community that has served over 10,000 CCT alumni to date

Module 4:

Lobsang Tenzin Negi and Timothy Harrison of Emory University discuss Cognitively-Based Compassion Therapy, their research-based series of contemplative exercises designed to cultivate tools for self-awareness, well-being and compassion.

CBCT® is founded on the insight that strengthening compassion for a wider circle of others is not only good for those others but is also a sustainable path toward personal well-being and fulfillment. Drawn from the Tibetan Buddhist lojong tradition and adapted for people of any or no faith tradition, CBCT combines a series of reflective exercises that include present-moment practices, visualizations, and analytical meditations in order to uncover and loosen the grip of unhealthy self-centered mental habits, to identify and embrace constructive attitudes toward self and others, and to sustain and deepen an unbiased commitment to promote the well-being of others. Developed by Dr. Negi in 2004 at Emory University, CBCT has one of the strongest research bases among current compassion training programs.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, workshop participants will be better able to:

  • discuss of the theoretical foundation of CBCT®
  • describe the distinct concepts and inner skills that the program combines for the cultivation of compassion: stabilizing attention, emotional awareness, self-compassion, impartiality toward others, embracing interdependence, appreciation, and extending endearing feelings
  • describe the three-level model of experiential learning that informs CBCT’s unique sequence of reflective practices, which are designed to sharpen critical understanding and to embody the core insights and skills that support a sustainable compassion over time
  • review the scientific research regarding potential benefits of CBCT, including decreased physiological response and faster recovery time from social stressors, improved empathic accuracy, and reduced depressive symptoms
  • cite recent research on special populations such as PTSD-sufferers, transgender youth and their parents, medical students, and public school teachers

Module 5:

During this workshop, the content and effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) will be presented. MBCL was developed in The Netherlands in 2012, in answer to a growing need for a compassion-based mindfulness program specifically geared towards clinical populations. It was designed as a follow-up to MBSR or MBCT. MBCL has been subject of research since 2013: its feasibility was assessed in a pilot study, after which its effectiveness in reducing depressive symptoms in adults suffering from recurrent depressive symptoms was investigated in an adequately powered randomized, controlled trial. During the trial, moderation (for whom is it effective) and mediation (how is it effective) were explored, as well as participants’ experiences with the program (particularly, how it diverts from MBCT in experience). All these different outcomes will be highlighted during the workshop, with plenty of room for thought and discussion. Particular focus will be given to the practical and experiential ramifications of offering the program as a follow-up instead of a stand-alone intervention, and what participants report as the added value of compassion in terms of their symptoms and overall quality of life.

Learning objectives

Upon completion, workshop participants will be better able to:

  • review the background and content of MBCL
  • discuss how MBCL was researched and what effects were found
  • discuss the questions and issues existing around the implementation and staging of compassion-based programs, in particular for clinical populations.

 Module 6:

Based upon an integration of affective neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, CBT and Buddhist meditation; Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is an innovative form of psychotherapy that specifically targets the cultivation of compassion as a mechanism of action in therapy. A growing body of research demonstrates how cultivating our compassionate minds can help us conquer our anxiety, fear and shame. Rather than being a soft option, the deliberate activation of our compassion system can generate the emotional strength and psychological flexibility we need to face life’s challenges, and step forward into lives of meaning, purpose and vitality. The workshop will teach participants direct, experiential methods for cultivating the compassionate mind, using meditation, visualization, and other dimensions of training the mind. CFT deploys a specific series of imagery exercises and meditations known as “Compassionate Mind Training” which has been found effective in the treatment of shame and other psychological suffering. This workshop will introduce the fundamentals of Compassionate Mind Training in a user friendly and immediately applicable way.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, workshop participants will be better able to:

  • explain and apply the fundamentals of a contextual and evolutionary theory of compassion focused emotion regulation, attachment, and cognition
  • explain the process of compassion as flow: the compassion we feel for others; the compassion we are open to from others; and self-compassion
  • demonstrate how to use imagery for compassion practice

Module 7:

This panel is an exploration and discussion about the adaptations and effectiveness in teaching compassion to special populations.

  • Monica Worline will discuss her work teaching compassion in the workplace
  • Steven Hickman will be talking about a few timely approaches to challenges faced by men
  • Kc Brandscomb will present on the business side of running effective compassion based nonprofits
  • Karen Bluth and Lorraine M. Hobbs will discuss their Making Friends with Yourself self-compassion program for teens
  • Michelle Becker will discuss the differences in teaching compassion to couples.

Beyond the brief presentations, we will explore the considerations of teaching to special populations in general.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, workshop participants will be better able to:

  • describe compassion is introduced in the workplace
  • differentiate how self-compassion teaching is modified for adolescents
  • discuss how compassion is trained relationally with couples
  • identify the effects of compassion training in the prison population

Module 8:

This presentation will provide a broad overview of the research on compassion for self and others. We will explore how compassion is linked to personal and interpersonal well-being, and how compassion and self-compassion are linked to one another. Importantly, we will also examine the research on teaching compassion to various populations, including clinical populations. Finally, we will consider where the field of compassion research is heading and where it needs to go in order to be fully established as an empirical science.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, workshop participants will be better able to:

  • discuss current research on the link between compassion and well-being
  • recognize the relationship between compassion and self-compassion
  • cite the most current research on teaching compassion

More Information

  • The faculty recommends you read the following books and articles in preparation for the course:
  • A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives by Thupten Jinpa, PhD
  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
  • The Mindful Path of Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher K. Germer
  • Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living: A New Training Programme to Deepen Mindfulness with Heartfulness by Erik van den Brink and‎ Frits Koster
  • The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Overcoming Anxiety: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to Calm Worry, Panic, and Fear (The New Harbinger Compassion-Focused Therapy Series) by Dennis Tirch and Paul Gilbert
  • Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are by Karen Bluth
  • Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power That Elevates People and Organizations by Monica C. Worline and Jane E. Dutton
  • The following article and original paper by Rhoda Schuling, et al:

Tuition & Fees

Title Price

The Compassion in Connection course



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