Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)™

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To register/purchase tickets: https://cct_8weeks_writerscenter_spring2020.eventbrite.com

What is Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)™
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) ™ is an eight-week meditation course designed to strengthen your innate capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness — toward yourself and others. Created by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University, CCT can help you live with more joy and intention.

We all face difficult situations, challenging relationships, and internal thoughts and beliefs that prevent us from experiencing the best life has to offer. When we become more aware, open, and curious about the world and people around us, we learn to use our natural compassion in practical ways to navigate life’s toughest personal challenges and move through ups and downs with greater confidence and ease. Practicing compassion can alleviate our worries and fears so we can become powerful forces for good — in our relationships, families, workplaces, and communities.

The 8-week course meets once a week for two hours (Tuesdays from 7-9 pm) from March 17 through May 5. Each class includes:

  • Guided meditations and online recordings for use at home
  • Group discussions and in-class exercises relevant to each week’s theme
  • Optional readings, videos, and practices for outside the classroom to enhance learning and support a daily meditation practice

You can read more about the Compassion Institute and CCT here.

There are many different types of mindfulness or meditation practices. Why CCT?
All of us, but especially writers and artists, can be very self-critical. Compassion Cultivation Training helps us be more generous to ourselves, strengthening our vision, positivity and focus. Those dedicated to creative expression or bettering the world tend to empathize easily—we’re used to placing ourselves in other people’s shoes. But some of us, especially those whose work is guided by concerns for social justice, can experience empathic distress and what some call “compassion fatigue.” In CCT, we learn how to develop reserves of strength, courage and resilience. This 8-week course introduces participants to, and helps support them in, a daily meditation practice that can uplift and inspire.

I’m already compassionate. Why do I need this course?
All of us have the innate capacity for compassion, an emotion that reinforces our feelings of common humanity and motivates us to help those in need. Everyday stress, social pressures, and life experiences, however, can suppress compassion — potentially resulting in physical and psychological problems. The good news is that, with daily practice, we can develop a more sustainable way of coping with life’s hurdles and learn to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others.

Optional Reading
During the course, I will provide links to videos, suggested readings, and share poems. If you wish to prepare for CCT, I highly recommend reading Thupten Jinpa’s A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives

About Brandel France de Bravo
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I am a public health professional with work experience in 20 countries. I am also a poet and essayist whose creative work has been recognized by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) with four fellowships and the Larry Neal Award in poetry. I was introduced to Compassion Cultivation Training while participating in a year-long program at Stanford University where the CCT curriculum was designed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers. I hold a Master’s in Public Health, a Master’s in Fine Arts (poetry), and am a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training. You can read more about me here: http://www.brandelfrancedebravo.com/

Teaching Style
CCT instruction emphasizes experiential learning. I will guide short in-class meditations to prepare you for at-home practice, facilitate discussions, lead group exercises, and give suggestions for ways to reinforce your learning outside of the classroom.