MSC Community for Deepening Practice

“Self-compassion takes its own time.  It can’t be rushed. The CDP program is a unique opportunity to let self-compassion live and breathe in your life until it resonates in every cell of your body.  Tina, David, and Aimee embody the practice themselves and they have a special ability to weave together a supportive community as they attend to each individual’s self-compassion journey.  I can’t recommend the CDP program highly enough and personally look forward to seeing you there.”

– Chris Germer –

During the foundational Mindful Self-Compassion training, many participants experience the extraordinary nourishing and healing quality of self-compassion for the first time. With sustained commitment, practice, and dedication, a deep level of embodiment and integration can begin to take root in the practitioner’s daily life.

For this reason, we created the Community for Deepening Practice (CDP).

Because this is a graduates’ course, CDP is a deepening and elaboration of MSC. Participants re-commit to integrating and embodying self-compassion into daily life through regular, long-term practice in community with others. This more slowly paced, spiral learning approach allows participants to savor the practices anew as a way to consciously embody, expand, and deepen their learning.

What makes the CDP different than the foundational MSC course?

  1. CDP is designed for people who have already graduated from the foundational MSC course.

  2. There is ample time for integration and marinating in the MSC material: Because we spend an entire month on each MSC session, (versus 3 hours in the foundational 8-week class) there is more time and spaciousness in which understanding, insight, and embodiment can take root.

  3. Long-term connection with others: The CDP is a long-term community with both synchronous and asynchronous gathering and learning opportunities. During our weekly live online classes, we meet in both large and small breakout groups, increasing opportunities for deep sharing. There is renewed accountability and the potential for deep, trusting connection in a group that travels together for 8 months. Some participants also choose to create smaller partner practice dyads or triads for shared practice, encouragement, and accountability outside of class hours. To nurture this reciprocal community environment, we request consistent, ongoing participation. If you cannot in good faith commit to consistent, ongoing participation for the duration of the course, please apply when you are able to do so. 

  4. Together, participants will explore the material through a variety of lenses to support deeper understanding and embodiment. You will receive elaborative didactic materials, periodic guest talks by senior MSC teachers, and frequent invitations into fuller practice through unique creative explorations (journaling, photography, drawing, and more.).

  5. 24 x 7 access to your community of classmates: There is an important, added element of connection and exploration possible in the CDP discussion boards, where participants can strengthen practice and understanding together through journaling, deep inquiry of class topics, and sharing daily experiences. As with most elements of the course, this is completely optional, as not everyone prefers to share in this way.

  6. Encouragement for ongoing practice: Because formal practice strengthens foundations for self-compassion, participants are strongly encouraged to practice near-daily, both formally and informally. We put in place various structures to support people in this journey, whether beginners or established practitioners.

  7. You’ll set specific intentions for your time in the course, and as a group, we formally revisit them every couple of months to ensure that you’re  in alignment with your chosen intentions.



Course structure:

  • We’ll begin the CDP by clarifying intentions and exploring our individual challenges to bringing practice into the world. This sets the stage for our shared journey together. We will receive periodic guest teachings by senior teaching faculty as well as other experts in specific topic areas. Past guest teachers have included Chris Germer, Steve Hickman, Christine Braehler, Michelle Becker, Kristy Arbon, and others.
  • The CDP will meet online together once a week in both small- and large-group configurations. Each meeting will include a combination of opening meditation, a group check-in, practice and discussion about the week’s topic(s)/practice(s), and a closing circle. Participants sometimes choose to meet each other at other times as well to practice together informally.
  • We will provide an accessible, password-protected, online home in which participants can come together to connect via the discussion board, share resources, network, and discuss any topics which arise during the course.
  • Each CDP participant will receive access to our Community’s shared directory and discussion forums. True to all MSC practices, participants are invited to check in deeply with themselves and to take part (participate) in as much or as little as they wish.
  • Also available is the MSC Circle of Practice, a weekly online meditation group. The Circle of Practice is a free, drop-in, flexible, ongoing experience that is available to both CDP participants and the wider MSC graduate community as a whole.
  • Following graduation from the CDP, participants will merge into the CDP Graduate Community, in which they receive access to free monthly practice sessions, plus a variety of book study groups and deepening classes on specific topics through a self-compassion lens. The continuation of the community past graduation is a unique aspect of this ongoing and co-creative experience.

Time commitment

In order to enjoy the program to the fullest, it is suggested that the minimum time commitment is 3 hours per week. It breaks down as follows:

  • 2 hours per week for our online group meeting
  • 1 hour to go over the week’s readings, materials, and practice(s)
  • Strongly recommended: We invite up to 20 minutes/day of formal or informal meditation practice.
  • Optional: Participants may use the online discussion forums and Zoom video conferencing software as often as they wish to connect outside of class hours
  • Optional: There will be a variety of supportive readings and enrichment resources available throughout the course to further engage learning and nurture an embodying of practice. 

Class size:

We are intentionally limiting the size of the CDP in order to engender an environment which supports trust, safety, and connection among participants and teachers. The maximum number of participants is 25 (with 2 teachers), and we’ll meet in both large- and small-group configurations throughout the 8-month period.


In order to allow participation by the greatest number of people possible, the course fee of $1,675 USD can be paid either monthly over NINE months or in full at the beginning of the course. A $250 deposit is required with each application. This reserves a participant’s spot during application review. Upon acceptance, the deposit will be deducted from the total cost of the course. (Convert to your local currency.)

There will be some financial support available for those who are unable to pay the full course fee. Please visit the financial support page to learn more.

For those who are considering joining us for the CDP journey:

  • While this is a committed process, we also understand that there may need to be occasional absences due to extenuating life circumstances (work commitments, family illness). However, if you cannot in good faith commit to consistent, ongoing participation for the duration of the course, please apply when you are able to do so. 
  • “Completion” of the course means that you’ve attended 75% or more of the weekly online meetings. We do track attendance. If you have four or more absences in a row and you have not communicated your intentions for continued participation, we will assume you have withdrawn, and you forfeit your spot in the course. Your access to the private online community will be removed. Please note you are still responsible for the full course fee, even if you choose to withdraw early.
  • Please note that this is open to ALL MSC GRADS, whether or not they teach MSC.
  • THIS IS NOT A DROP-IN GROUP. For drop-in practice, please visit our Circles of Practice page, where there are six opportunities each week to practice in community with others.

Thank you for your interest and taking the time to read this.  We are so privileged and excited to be offering this innovative opportunity to come together and deepen our self-compassion practice in a supportive community.


Apply for the course or Ask a question.

Upcoming MSC Community for Deepening Practice Courses

CDP COHORT 24: Community for Deepening Practice – Live online 8-month experience

April 6 - November 16, 2023

Thursdays 8:00am - 10:00am America/Los_Angeles
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CDP COHORT 25: Community for Deepening Practice – Live online 8-month experience

August 14, 2023 - April 1, 2024

Mondays 8:00am - 10:00am America/Los_Angeles
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CDP COHORT 26: Community for Deepening Practice – Live online 8-month experience

October 9, 2023 - May 27, 2024

Mondays 4:00pm - 6:00pm America/Los_Angeles
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“My self-compassion practice now reaches beyond the cushion. Awareness is so very present as is the ability to choose a compassionate response during all my waking hours. Integration is the word that comes to mind. Self-compassion feels a core part of me as a human. Before it was a place – outside myself – that I could step into if the situation permitted. Now, I experience self-compassion as a part of my true self that I can simply remember and relax back into wherever, whenever.”

2019 CDP Graduate


“I treasured this time as an essential home base — a place to reconnect with my true self, with a loving community, and with the safety of wise guidance. This time reinforced the concept of common humanity which is a struggle for me personally. I was surrounded by teachers and role models — not of perfection, but of imperfectly continuing to show up with intention, openness, curiosity, wonder, struggles, impatience, confusion, and tenderness. These times were infinitely rich and so precious to me.

2019 CDP Graduate