Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is based on research by Kristin Neff, integrated with 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 inter-relatedness, 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, connected, presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.
What to expect
This retreat will be small and personal. In this way we intend to offer the value of a nourishing retreat experience, holding a safe and gentle space for your exploration of mindfulness and self-compassion.
The two teachers will guide a range of practices to enhance and deepen mindfulness, loving-kindness, self-compassion, joy and equanimity. You will remain mostly in silence so you can deeply explore and learn as much as possible from your own experience of these.
The first evening will be an orientation session. For the four remaining days, the practices in the mornings and afternoons will include alternate sitting or lying and movement practices.
In addition, there will be a silent early morning practice before breakfast. In the evenings the teachers will offer talks to help you relate experientially to the following day’s practices. There will also be the opportunity to share reflections in small groups to support your retreat experience.
How will this retreat help to deepen self-compassion?
The emphasis of the retreat will be on looking after ourselves, and on nourishing our compassion both through our practice, and through time for self-care outside of our online engagement.
Who is the retreat for?
The retreat is for those who want to develop or deepen their capacity to relate more kindly to themselves and their experience, through immersing themselves in continuity of practice in the retreat setting.
It would be helpful if you have already experienced a silent retreat of at least one day (or the half-day mindful self-compassion retreat), but if not, please apply, and we’ll discuss your application with you.
The retreat meets the requirement to have sat a five-day, silent, teacher-led retreat.
Requirements to attend:
This retreat is for those who have taken a mindfulness-based course such as MBSR/MBCT or equivalent as a minimum. You may also have completed a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course, either over eight weeks, or in an intensive format. It is equally suitable for those that have trained to teach MSC.
The first session will begin at 5pm on Monday 13th September. The retreat finishes after lunch on Saturday 18th September.
What to bring/wear:
Please bring any equipment you require for meditation practice. It’s advisable to wear loose fitting comfortable clothing. We will send more detailed info about how to prepare yourself for the online retreat in the joining letter.