- Course number
How do we treat our self in difficult situations, when something goes wrong, or after making a mistake? What’s the tone of our inner self-talk? Are we sympathetic, understanding, and kind? Or are we self-critical, constantly obsessing on our error?
Self-compassion is the alternative to being self-critical. Research shows that being self-critical is not conducive to success, health, or well-being. Self-criticism results in isolation, tension, and suffering, whereas self-compassion builds confidence, well-being, and resilience. And, self–compassion can be learned.
We can learn to relate to our self like a good friend, who sees our imperfections with a heart of understanding, warmth, and kindness. And, when we courageously open our heart toward our own suffering, our understanding and compassion for others naturally deepens. As we let go of harsh self-judgment and gain insight into the source of our patterns, we begin to sense our potential for unconditional love. Cultivating self-compassion is a heroic journey, which
- builds resilience for the challenges of everyday life,
- improves our relationships with others, and
- enables us to become a force of kindness in the world.
This retreat is oriented to those interested in developing deeper self-understanding, cultivating compassionate interpersonal skills, and practicing meditations that support inner healing and self-forgiveness.
Course topics are covered through a combination of presentations, exercises, dialogue, guided meditations, and paired and group communication methods. Topics include:
- The four aspects of self-compassion
- Recognizing the benefits of self-compassion
- Compassionate mindfulness of the body
- Exploring the obstacles to self-compassion
- Meeting our inner critic
- Being worthy of love
- Developing resilience
- A comprehensive model for self-compassion
- Exercises for compassionate listening
- Developing unconditional friendship with our self
- Definitions of empathy, compassion, and self-compassion
- Clearing emotional unfinished business
- Self-compassion as a bridge to genuine kindness for others
- Forgiveness and self-forgiveness
- Contemplations for developing kindness, self-compassion, forgiveness, and transforming suffering
A large part of the schedule includes practicing and mastering meditations for self-kindness, and learning to apply these meditations in daily life. The purpose is to develop skills and insights that support personal healing and inner transformation.