“The radiant, elegant cosmos that we can observe is actually our own consciousness and not something separate from us on the outside.” (Thich Nhat Hanh). We are always connected. From…
Answering the Fundamental Question of Mindful Self-Compassion
It’s a simple question, really. But one that often brings on a state of perplexed astonishment when someone asks us.
CMSC Welcomes Natalie Bell as Associate Executive Director for Programs at CMSC
Natalie Bell, CMSC’s Associate Executive Director (AED) for Programs, believes that “MSC directly answers the need for caring and kindness that we each have.” We welcome her!
Self-compassion for young people, now more than ever
As people in Generation Z step into the sphere of adulting, many face enormous burdens of work/school pressure, self-doubt, loneliness, and despair. Embracing Your Life was designed to help people 18-30 to learn to befriend themselves and find stability, strength, and kindness in a very uncertain world. Please share widely about this rare opportunity for young adults to gather in a non-judgmental environment and be welcomed exactly as they are.
CMSC Welcomes Aly Waibel as Associate Executive Director for Professional Training and Operations
We at CMSC are thrilled to have Aly on board! Her amazing work at the Compassion Institute prepared her well for her role here, and having a fresh perspective from outside the CMSC organization will be invaluable.
Fierce self-compassion and protection from harm
Self-compassion is aimed at alleviating suffering, and to do so, sometimes we need to protect ourselves — to speak up, say no, draw boundaries, or to stand up to injustice. This essay is an excerpt from Kristin Neff’s forthcoming book, Fierce Self-Compassion.
Loving kindness even in times of difficulty: A guided practice
When we feel safely connected to others we begin to feel content and safe. This loving-kindness practice can help bring you out of your threat defense system and into your care system, where you are resourced rather than reactive.
United Kingdom (UK) MSC Teachers Community
It feels timely during this time of the pandemic to raise awareness that we have a rich and growing community of MSC teachers in the UK. We are a community…
Planting Seeds of Compassion in Israel
In my home country of Israel, as we watched the COVID virus touch so many families and friends, a group of women friends and I created a new compassion program to help our community cultivate inner peace. We called it “Planting Seeds of Compassion” and offered it as a bilingual program taught in Hebrew and Arabic for Jews and Arabs in Israel.
Australasia MSC Teacher 2021 Lunar New Year Meet & Greet
More than 120 MSC Teachers in Asia and Oceania gathered together to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Ox with Chris and Kristin. Our first CMSC Lunar New Year Meet and Greet was organized to facilitate communication and network building among MSC Teachers in the Australasia Region. It holds 13 countries and regions including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
When You Need More Than Gentle: Yang Self-Compassion as the Powerful Side of Kindness
When we first take a Mindful Self-Compassion course, important aspects of our inner life can be illuminated. For psychotherapist and author Jessie Everts, her first course revealed for her the importance of both tender self-compassion and is lesser-understood twin, fierce self-compassion. In this essay, Jessie shares five ways of integrating both aspects for a robust and integrated practice that sets us up to protect, provide for, and motivate ourselves toward our greatest good.
Fierce, Tender, Whole: Taking Action for Ourselves and the World
Women are being called by the pressing issues of the day—sexual harassment, pay inequality, rampant prejudice, health disparities, political division, our dying planet—to claim our power and take action. I believe that by developing and integrating fierce and tender self-compassion, we will be better equipped to realize our true selves and make needed changes to the world around us.
The Body as Friend, Companion, and Guide: Restoring Connection Through Self-Compassion
When your body does not behave, look, or feel the way you want it to, you may feel that wish to pull away, blame, and shame it. It is exactly in these challenging moments that self-compassion is there to remind you that your precious body never meant to cause you any harm or distress. Rather, it is, and always has been, just trying to guide you along this journey of life.
Transformations Through Mindful Self-Compassion in Eldoret
Sometimes, there are atrocities that are so horrific that we can’t help but be moved to compassionate action. Such was the case in 2018 when over 300 women and children were caught in the political crossfire between warring factions in the secluded mountainous region of Chepkurkur on Mount Elgon in Kenya. With the encouragement of Lilian Muthui, a Kenya-based psychologist and counselor, a team of us set out to provide carefully adapted Mindful Self-Compassion training for the women, teens, and children of the war-torn community. Here is my story.
Being Your Own Cheerleader
In my profession, I have a bird’s-eye view of the intense daily life struggles experienced by many teens who are overwhelmed by academic standards, social pressures, and familial stresses. This is a story about a courageous young woman, Malavika, and her journey out of despair and into self-compassion.
Taking the Self Out of Self-Righteousness
Most of us understand the importance of doing good and standing up for what is just, but how might we discern being “upright” from being self-righteous? A dedicated mindfulness practice can help.
What is possible when we surrender?
When we feel like giving up, there is something heroic and necessary in simply standing and finding our feet, steadying our hearts and minds the way we would do this for another, and beginning to put one foot in front of the other on a renewed life journey of redemption, forgiveness and release of the ill-fated wish for something else. Writing this article was my first step on that journey. What will be yours?
Preliminary Research on the Role of Self-Compassion During the COVID Pandemic
Findings from recent studies in Hong Kong, Spain, Israel, Iran, and Austria illustrate the range of ways, during the tumultuous conditions of the COVID pandemic, that self-compassion can guide us to take actions that promote our healing and interconnected wellbeing.
MSC in Vietnam: “Saving the World” by Letting Go
Letting go gave me just enough space to realize that love and wisdom, which were the essence of what we were teaching, were a circular flow, rather than unidirectional from me to the participants. That this essence was already the nature of all beings, and my role was to give space to this unfolding, rather than “saving the world.”
Renew Your Self-Compassion for the New Year with Two Free Mini-Retreats
As we turn our minds and hearts toward 2021, the transition is an ideal time to focus on restoration and renewal for ourselves, the collective, and our earth. All are welcome to join Chris Germer, Steve Hickman, and other MSC teachers for inspiration, nourishment, and guidance during these two free mini-retreats.
Study of 80 Veterans Shows that MSC is a Valuable Addition to Medical Pain Management Strategies
In a recent study by Dr. Greg Serpa and colleagues, it appears that teaching Veterans to meet their emotional and physical suffering with kindness had an impact on their medication use. “Our treatment system has medicalized pain management and then blamed and marginalized those who suffer for seeking the very thing our system has trained them to see as their best path for relief. Humans have used compassion to alleviate suffering for millennia. Isn’t it time to support those who are suffering with compassion training?”
Steadying Ourselves with Daily G.L.A.D.S. Practice
“Existence will rush to fill us and overwhelm us if we don’t meet the outer world with an inner life.” -Mark Nepo In a world struggling under the burden of…
New brain imaging study shows self-compassion training alters neural responses to chronic pain
A new brain imaging study shows that self-compassion training alters neural responses to chronic pain.
MSC and Being with Ageing Parents
Compassion is relational. And perhaps the most complicated of these relations at times are within our family. Families are the very foundation of this human experience, and so many threads of the tapestry of our life may well be family relations. Bearing the complexity of this in mind, I humbly offer my story of the caring relation-shipping that I had with the four elders in my life: my parents and my husband’s parents. And if you are in the time of your life where you are caring for an elderly parent/s, my wish for you is to include yourself in your caring. Know that the caring goes on long after they die and that loving relation-shipping is eternal.
Building Inner Strength for Hard Times: Self-Compassion for Young Adults
In the new Embracing Your Life course, young adults learn ways of meeting emotional challenges unique to this age group. Adapted from the empirically supported Mindful Self-Compassion program, Embracing Your Life offers tools to become more resilient to anger, sadness, anxiety, and more. Needed now more than ever.
New Research Demonstrates Benefits of Self-Compassion on Physical Health
According to recent research that synthesized findings from 94 studies and 29,588 individuals, our physical wellness can be supported by an inner resource that is already available within us and can be accessed at a moment’s notice: self-compassion.
Healing into Compassionate Parenting
Show of Hands: Who is a Stellar Parent during this time of a global pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice, and increasingly toxic and violent political fissure…
How does self-compassion protect depressed adolescents? Quieting the self may be the key.
Excessive focus on one’s own negative aspects can have harmful effects, such as depression. It is especially so for adolescents, because they are more vulnerable to peers’ negative appraisals. We…
The Near and Far Enemies of Fierce Compassion
Practitioners of compassion inevitably ask, “What specific actions should I take?” to address injustice in their lives. Cultivating the qualities of mindfulness, common humanity and kindness is a good foundation for compassionate action, and when we add a measure of wisdom, we can surely change the world for the better.
Self-Compassion and Waking Up to Racial Injustice
By participating in and benefitting from an unjust system, we perpetuate racism. We need to have self-compassion to see our role in racism clearly, holding this uncomfortable truth with love and acceptance, so we can wake up and commit to do things differently.