Mindful self compassion

The Effects of Self-Compassion on Gratitude & Prosocial Behavior

Research unanimously shows self-compassion contributes to adolescents’ psychological well-being, but to what extent does self-compassion influence other-oriented behaviors? What interpersonal benefits might self-compassion contribute to? In this study Yang et al. (2021) explores the effects of self-compassion on gratitude and prosocial behavior.


Can Self-compassion Promote Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior in Adolescents? (Yang et al., 2021)

In this study, Yang et al. (2021) examines the effects self-compassion has on other oriented behavior, specifically on gratitude and prosocial behavior. Over a period of three years, 1,026 Chinese adolescents were surveyed once a year to examine the relationship between self-compassion, gratitude, and prosocial behavior. 

Prosocial behavior refers to action undertaken to benefit other people, and gratitude, in this study, refers to the positive perception of having benefited from other people’s actions. The authors explain that both gratitude and prosocial behavior can help adolescents in building social relationships. 

The adolescents participating in this study were from five different middle schools in China. This group of adolescents were surveyed over three consecutive years, when they were in 7th grade, 8th grade and 9th grade. The results of this study showed that the more self-compassionate the adolescents were, the more prosocial and grateful they were. This study thus enriches our understanding of the adaptive functions of self-compassion for adolescents’ social development. 

The results from this study are in line with previous research that has examined the effects of self-compassion on other-oriented behavior such as compassion, perspective taking, empathetic concern toward others, altruism and intention to help (e.g., Neff and Pommier 2013; Yang et al. 2019).

Read the full article here.

Cultivate your self-compassion skills in one of our 10-week Live Online Mindful Self-Compassion (LOMSC) Courses. Find a list of all upcoming courses HERE.

Falling Asleep in the Arms of Gratitude

In my world, judgment and gratitude cannot, by their very nature, co-exist.

I cannot be grateful for my body and judge it at the same time. I cannot be grateful for my mind and simultaneously condemn it for being too busy.  I cannot be grateful for my eyesight and criticize my need for glasses. I cannot be grateful for being a woman and revile the hot flushes coursing through my body. I cannot be grateful for my friends and family and berate them for not getting in touch more often. I cannot be grateful for my work and complain I have too much to do.

I belabor the point because judgment, self-criticism, and self-condemnation once ruled my life. There was little space for inner peace, self-kindness and wholehearted gratitude. Now, with a self-compassionate lens, even in writing, there is warmth and understanding holding the contrast.  

I have enjoyed a gratitude writing practice for nearly twenty years. I remember in the early days I would collapse into bed after a challenging day with my young sons and drag my negativity bias (that would be raging with exhaustion) back to balance. I would scan my day for anything I could be grateful for, to drown out the noise of all the internal complaining and resentment that would have built up during the day.

Being a control freak of magnitude, having two little boys close in age who loved to bounce and explore, (read not sleep and make a mess) I found it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that no matter how hard I tried, I could not keep on top of things. Even getting the washing up done was nigh on impossible some days. I would berate myself and chastise my inability to keep my cool, when, for example, Oliver just wouldn’t eat his dinner after I’d taken a great deal of effort to prepare something nutritious (like a ‘good’ mum does). 

My gratitude practice was a life saver. I didn’t realize until I took the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course that I was offering myself a true gesture of self-kindness and self-compassion. I took myself out of judgment mode, gently into the moment and moved into my heart. I found things to be grateful for. I warmed myself up by remembering the sweet smile Oliver gave me as I made funny hair with the play dough.I remembered Dominic’s excitement as our elderly neighbor Ernie, invited him in to choose a choccy biscuit from his special tin. I breathed in a sigh of gratitude as I recalled the delight we all had feeding the squirrels in the park that day. The negativity and tension that had built up in my body – usually about my inability to be a good mum, (a perfect mum) would begin to dissolve as I returned to love through gratitude.

Fast forward a few decades and I still write a page of gratitudes before bed. I rebalance myself, come home to my heart and rest in the warmth of my appreciation for what is.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”  Marcus Tullius Cicero

When writing something on gratitude for the CMSC blog, I noticed the immediate pressure I began to impose on myself. Now, if I was writing to a friend, there’s no pressure, no self-inflicted burden to “get it right,” to meet expectations or, let’s be honest, try to exceed them! This is where the Mindful Self-Compassion course has taken my Gratitude Practice to a whole new level.

I now have the skill to “notice” what I call “Crusher” (my critical voice) bearing down on me. I now have the proficiency to catch myself at this old, habitual game.  Better still, I am blessed to have the ability to invite “Booster” (my compassionate voice) into my awareness. Do I still have the desire to create a praiseworthy piece of writing?  Yes, of course! However, I have the grace of self-compassion to hold my “need to prove” and thus soften around the edges of my tendency to strive.

“The root of joy is gratefulness.” David Steindl-Rast

Wow, how did I get to be so lucky? MSC has turned a rich and meaningful Gratitude Practice into a bountiful source of joy and appreciation for my life and myself. My far-reaching self-compassion lens offers me the opportunity to embody all three components of self-compassion: mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness.

Mindfulness – I not only bring awareness to my moment-to-moment experience (rather than just reflecting), I bring a friendly awareness. Gratitude suffuses my everyday living. There is a friendliness, an allowance for what is, and a spaciousness for whatever is showing up (ease or difficulty) that I can embrace with compassionate gratitude.

Common Humanity – Who knew I wasn’t alone?! Who knew?! I thought I was the only one feeling like a fraud, pretending I had my s**t together, while struggling to get through the day. I could not have imagined that the compassionate act of validating and acknowledging that others struggled just like me, could liberate me from my “soap opera” as James Baraz calls it. This in itself brings a wellspring of gratitude as I write. 

Self-Kindness – I consider myself a kind person. It’s my core value. However, I was only living a half-life, as I was not providing this kindness to the warm-hearted woman in the mirror. To be able to receive kindness from my own precious heart, well that is truly miraculous. Gratitude is one of the best and most valuable gifts I could ever give myself. And with self-compassion as my companion, I can genuinely receive it now too.  

Most importantly, I am grateful for the tough stuff. After years of practice, I am blessed to be able to access the “gift” in the “brown stuff.” As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “No mud, no lotus…”  

Watching Dominic as a little boy finally fall to sleep in the hospital bed after hours of screaming in pain was heartbreaking. His eczema was so severe he was being treated for burns. It was gratitude I reached for in the middle of the night, as I curled up on the window seat by his bed and began listing everything and everyone I could be grateful for in that moment. I fell asleep in the arms of gratitude. A mother’s worst nightmare, witnessing her child suffer immeasurable pain without being able to soothe him, was comforted by gratitude. 

I feel it is a gift indeed, not only for myself, but for my clients and my MSC students, that I can access the “gift”, the silver lining, of a situation with such ease. When teaching Mindful Stress Management in a high security prison, I would challenge the men to find the gift in their situation. They would always protest: “Er no Miss! There are no gifts being locked up behind bars in this dump!”  “Look again”, I would urge, and with practice and a willingness to open their hearts, sure enough, they would discover the gifts. Prison was often a refuge, a safer place than on the out. Prison meant they could receive the help they needed for their drug addiction.Prison meant guaranteed meals. Prison ensured they had access to education and resources they otherwise would not have. Suddenly prison was a gift, and they were grateful.

The silver linings are ever present, but it is often very hard to see them without the lens of self-compassion. The warmth, the open heartedness, the peace that blossoms when self-compassion is your guiding light is limitless.

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” Eileen Caddy

There is so much more I could say about gratitude, but I will close with this:  Gratitude is contagious. Gratitude feeds itself. The more we share, the more we have to share. Gratitude helps us open and embrace the present moment. It is the embodiment of loving, connected presence. And loving, connected presence is the quintessence of gratitude.

Let us celebrate our moments. Whether perceived as good or bad, each moment is an opportunity to be grateful. Gratitude is a wise and expansive teacher. Let gratitude guide your way.

P.S I’m so grateful for MSC!  To say it has changed my life is an understatement.  I’m grateful to CMSC for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.  I’m grateful for spell check (to soothe my perfectionist) and the incredible thesaurus that helps me find just the right word to express myself!  

I’m deeply grateful for all my teachers, especially my greatest teachers: my sons, physical pain, my father, and Crusher

Thank you for reading to the end! I am grateful for you.

I wonder, what are you grateful for?


Learn more or register for an upcoming Live Online Mindful Self-Compassion (LOMSC) course. 

Research: Self-Compassion Applied to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Does self-compassion buffer against the adverse effects of racial discrimination and is it protective among sexual-and gender-minority adolescents across racial groups? These are questions researchers have set out to answer in the articles below.


Self-compassion appears to be a resource for people experiencing racial discrimination or any other form of injustice due to their race, gender identity or sexual orientation to draw on to support their own wellbeing. Tender self-compassion can provide resilience when dealing with the emotional trauma caused by discrimination and fierce self-compassion can provide the sense of empowerment needed to fight discrimination. It should always be remembered that discrimination happens at a systemic level, and that compassion must be harnessed at the individual and societal to enact change. 

Self-compassion and Social Connectedness Buffering Racial Discrimination on Depression Among Asian Americans.
By Liu et al. (2020)

This study examined the role of three elements of self-compassion as measured by the Self-Compassion Scale (self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness)  as resources that can buffer against the impact of racial discrimination on depression. The study also examined the role of social connectedness as a buffer. Previous studies have shown racial discrimination to have negative mental health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities in the US. The results of this study showed that when both self-kindness and social connectedness were present, they together buffered against the impact of racial discrimination on depression among Asian American college students. (Note that in prior research the primary link between self-compassion and depression has been found to be the reduced self-judgment, isolation and overidentification associated with this mindset, so this study was limited in its ability to assess the link between self-compassion, racial discrimination and depression.) Read the article here.

Is Self-compassion Protective Among Sexual-and Sender-minority Adolescents Across Racial Groups?
By Vigna, Poehlmann-Tynan, & Koenig, (2020)

This study examines the impact of self-compassion (as measured by a total score on the Self-Compassion Scale) on stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidality among sexual- and/or gender-minority youth. This group of youth often experience suicidality, depression, and anxiety that are two to three times greater than those of their sexual- and gender-majority peers. In prior research, the authors have shown that higher levels of self-compassion are linked to fewer adverse effects of victimization on mental health. In the current study the authors set out to examine if there were any differences in the effectiveness of self-compassion as a buffer across racial groups among sexual- and/or gender-minority youth. The study found that white youth reported higher rates of peer victimization and anxiety whereas black youth reported higher rates of bias-based bullying and structural discrimination. The study did, however, not find any difference in the effects of self-compassion as a buffer against victimization across racial groups. In the study, all identity groups experienced lower rates of mental health concerns when they reported higher levels of self-compassion. Read the article here.

Racial Discrimination, Self-compassion, and Mental Health: the Moderating Role of Self-judgment
By Browne et al. (2022)

This study attempted to examine whether the various elements of self-compassion as measured by the Self-Compassion Scale (self-kindness, mindfulness, common humanity, self-judgment, over-identification, and isolation) differentially buffered against, or exacerbated, negative mental health outcomes in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) college students experiencing racial discrimination. 100 college students from diverse ethnic backgrounds participated in this study. To measure mental health outcomes this study used The Brief Symptom Inventory, which consists of 18 self-reported items intended to screen for psychiatric disorders and psychological distress, consisting of three 6-item subscales: somatization, depression, and anxiety. The results showed that experience of discrimination with both somatic and anxiety symptoms was stronger for individuals who endorsed higher self-judgment. The study also showed that common humanity reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatic symptoms and that self-kindness reduced symptoms of depression and somatic symptoms. Read the article here.


Browne, R. K., Duarte, B. A., Miller, A. N., Schwartz, S. E., & LoPresti, J. (2022). Racial Discrimination, Self-compassion, and Mental Health: the Moderating Role of Self-judgment. Mindfulness, 13(8), 1994-2006.

Liu, S., Li, C. I., Wang, C., Wei, M., & Ko, S. (2020). Self-compassion and social connectedness buffering racial discrimination on depression among Asian Americans. Mindfulness, 11(3), 672-682.

Vigna, A. J., Poehlmann-Tynan, J., & Koenig, B. W. (2020). Is self-compassion protective among sexual-and gender-minority adolescents across racial groups?. Mindfulness, 11(3), 800-815.


Cultivation a Multicultural Lens in the Compassion Classroom​
8-Week Course on DEIB in the Classroom

Mondays October 31st – December 19th, 2022, 9 AM – 11 AM PT

This is a Live Online Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) course for mindfulness and compassion teachers. Come develop your anti-oppressive lens, learn ways to help co-create a more welcoming and inclusive experience for your participants, and advance more skillful responses when cross-cultural issues, challenges, microaggressions, and communication ruptures arise in teaching mindfulness and compassion.

Led by CMSC Director of DEIB and certified MSC Teacher Sydney Spears and Tracy Ochester, Coordinator of Midwest Alliance of Mindfulness and Certified MBCT Teacher, with guest presenters Mel Wraight, Michael Yellow Bird, Kristin Neff, Chris Germer, and Mushim Patricia Ikeda. Optional 15-20 minute post-session discussion and/or Q&A after each class.

Research: Self-Compassion As An Antidote To Shame

Self-compassion is uniquely helpful for dealing with shame, perhaps the most difficult of human emotions. A formal definition of shame is “a complex combination of emotions, physiological responses and imagery associated with the real or imagined rupture of relational ties.” (Hahn, 2000)

Below you will find summaries of research articles highlighting the beneficial effects of self-compassion in soothing the felt-sense of shame. Some of the topics the articles examine are: the effects of self-compassion on stigma related shame, the role of self-compassion in supporting suicidal individuals and how the early childhood caregiving environment contributes to a felt sense of shame or self-compassion in young adults. 

The Effects of Self-Compassion on External Shame, Depression and Anxiety (Callow, Moffitt & Neumann, 2021)

In this study the researchers examine the effects of external shame on depression and anxiety. The researchers differentiate between internal and external shame and explain that internal shame is a self-focused emotion created by a global evaluation of oneself as being inherently flawed, inferior, worthless, or incompetent, external shame is associated with an outward attentional focus and occurs when individuals imagine or anticipate negative judgement and evaluation from others. External shame has been described as a form of stigma awareness and reflects a heightened sensitivity to outward sources of criticism or rejection. The results of this study found that self-compassion reduces the anxiety and depression related to external shame. Read the research.

Self-Compassion, Mindfulness and Shame (Sedighimornani, Rimes, & Verplanken, 2019)

In this study the authors examined the relationship between mindfulness, self-compassion, and shame. The results of this study showed that both mindfulness and self-compassion predicted lower levels of shame. In further investigating which components of mindfulness most strongly predicted lower levels of shame, the authors found that it was the component of non-judgment. The authors highlight that these findings show the negative self-evaluative nature of shame and they argue that individuals struggling with shame may greatly benefit from interventions that foster a non-judgmental attitude toward their own feelings and thoughts. Read the research.

Shame, Self-Compassion and Suicide Prevention (Zhang, Carr, Garcia-Williams, 2018)

In this study the researchers examined African Americans who sought service from a public hospital following a suicide attempt. The authors examined both the effects of self-compassion and contingent self-worth on shame and depressive symptoms. They define contingent self-worth as a sense of self-value dependent on other (mostly external) factors. The results of this study showed that only self-compassion, not contingent self-worth predict lower levels of shame and depressive symptoms. The authors highlight the value of incorporating self-compassion training into interventions for suicidal African Americans. They argue that the interventions could reduce the impact of shame on depressive symptoms and ultimately their suicidal behavior. Read the research.

The Impact of the Early Caregiving Environment on Self-Compassion (Dragan, Kamptner & Riggs, 2021)

This study focused on young adults, ages 18-28 and examined the impact of the early caregiving environment on the development of self-compassion. The results of this study shows that the quality of the early caregiving environment is related to young adults’ ability to regulate emotions and to the amount of shame they experience. This in turn is linked to their capacity for self-compassion. The authors underline that these findings are consistent with other studies that emphasize the important role of early attachment-based caregiving for the development of emotion regulation, positive self image, empathy, and psychological well-being. Read the research.

From Early Childhood Abuse to Adult Depression: The Role of Self-Compassion and Shame (Ross, Kaminski, Herrington, 2919)

In this article the authors investigate the extent to which early childhood emotional abuse hinders the natural development of self-compassion. Emotional abuse is a form of maltreatment that most strongly predicts adult depressive symptoms. Theories suggest that some depressive symptoms stem from survivors having learned to treat themselves the way they were treated by their perpetrators. The study confirms that emotional abuse and emotional neglect in early childhood can undermine the formation of self-compassion. This study also showed that individuals with low self-compassion more often experienced shame and depressive symptoms. The authors suggest that self-compassion interventions are particularly effective for survivors of emotional maltreatment. Read the research.

To learn more about self-compassion as an antidote to shame, join Chris Germer’s upcoming 2-session workshop Tuesdays, September 13 and 20, 2022 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Pacific Time! Register here.



Callow, T. J., Moffitt, R. L., & Neumann, D. L. (2021). External shame and its association with depression and anxiety: The moderating role of self-compassion. Australian Psychologist, 56(1), 70-80.

Dragan, N., Kamptner, L., & Riggs, M. (2021). The Impact of the Early Caregiving Environment on Self-Compassion: the Mediating Effects of Emotion Regulation and Shame. Mindfulness, 12(7), 1708-1718.

Hahn, W. K. (2000). Shame: Countertransference identifications in individual psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 37(1), 10.

Ross, N. D., Kaminski, P. L., & Herrington, R. (2019). From childhood emotional maltreatment to depressive symptoms in adulthood: The roles of self-compassion and shame. Child Abuse & Neglect, 92, 32-42.

Sedighimornani, N., Rimes, K. A., & Verplanken, B. (2019). Exploring the relationships between mindfulness, self-compassion, and shame. Sage Open, 9(3), 2158244019866294.

Zhang, H., Carr, E. R., Garcia-Williams, A. G., Siegelman, A. E., Berke, D., Niles-Carnes, L. V., … & Kaslow, N. J. (2018). Shame and depressive symptoms: Self-compassion and contingent self-worth as mediators?. Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings, 25(4), 408-419.

Acknowledging Our Many Names: My Experience of Bearing Witness in Auschwitz

“Beyond right and wrong, there is a place. Here we can meet each other.”

This November morning in 2017 was colder than I had expected it to be. It was our group’s first walk through the streets of Auschwitz 1. We were participants in a “Bearing Witness Retreat” with Roshi Bernie Glassman, who had been creating and leading these unique and meaningful retreats that take place in (former) places of war, hate, suppression and expulsion since 1994.  We were not yet aware, but it also became his last Bearing Witness Retreat in Auschwitz…

Feeling the soles of my feet touching the cobblestones, my fists clenched deep in my pockets, I stayed a little behind our group to avoid speaking. I wondered what self-compassion tools I could use to calm myself as my heart was racing and my mind tried to comprehend the cruelty that once was present here. I brought my awareness to feeling the rhythm of my breath, consciously placing one foot in front of the other, accompanying every step with my breath. For comfort and support I found myself resting one hand on my heart and once in a while also bringing my other hand to the heart for additional support and protection. 

From this first silent immersion on the streets and around the buildings of Auschwitz 1, we continued to the desolate landscape of the ruins of Birkenau, which presented such an unexpected vast space. Being asked to avoid drinking and eating was surprising and became more and more unpleasant with each step. Beech and oak trees surrounded us and created a soft forest floor covered with autumn leaves. It stood in such contrast to the emptiness and grayness of this land in early winter. My mind wandered to how our children would love to play tag or hide and seek under the trees on the soft, mossy forest floor. I reflected on how often we are unaware of the history of the ground we place our steps on, unaware of the  injustices that might have taken place there. Our daily meetings in Council Practice became a pillar of relief for all of us. There we could voice feelings of anger, resentment, shame, confusion, numbness, grief and sadness, and listen to others share similar feelings. In these meetings I experienced a deep sense of common humanity, as we all experienced extremes and contradictions so close together. 

With each day that passed, less rational answers were available. The boundaries between “victim” and “perpetrator” started to dissolve; they didn’t seem to fit the size of the cloth anymore. Something new, unexpected, and intangible started emerging; the felt-sense of not knowing. It felt confusing and uncomfortable at first, but as my inner container grew it started feeling like the most natural way of being with each other and with oneself. At the closing circle on a meadow Roshi Glassman, sitting in a wheelchair, asked us what we had learned after a week of Bearing Witness practice. Our voices, one after the other, named the darkness of the human experience—the shadow, the horror, the incomprehensible… Roshi Glassman simply replied, “This is not what I meant for you to take away from this experience. Instead, I hope you experienced the preciousness of life.”

Bearing Witness in These Times  

I began the retreat, asking, “Where is the good?” I left the retreat learning that finding the good requires a conscious effort of seeing clearly and trying to understand deeply. Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk of almost 96 years and a pioneer in interreligious dialogue, has sometimes described the incomprehensible that we humans are capable of doing to each other and that is embedded in the collective field as “something not yet good.” When we bear witness to Auschwitz, we become all the elements of Auschwitz—the good, the “not-yet good,” the known, the unknown. Then, with this awareness what we choose is no longer an act of will, but an act of letting go. When we are able to let go of the concept of who we think we are, we can enter into the space of not knowing. And not knowing is a place where change can begin.

Having grown up in Germany as “a grandchild of war,” I feel that our generation is called to look more deeply at and collectively start healing the trauma caused by war(s). Now, with  the war between Russia and Ukraine and other almost-forgotten zones of ongoing conflict where human beings are living their lives just like us who are reading this article, hopefully, we may wake up more and more to the preciousness of life that Roshi Bernie Glassman had referred to.

Practicing inner peace as a core value and a collective task and practicing self-compassion is not just for ourselves but for future generations who will once more have to live with the visible and hidden traces of war trauma. Learning to listen deeply and bear witness to ourselves, to each other, and to our planet Earth seems to be more important now than ever before, enacting what we yearn for—trust in life.

When we learn to hold the experience of both the victim and the perpetrator in our inner space, we may become more fully alive as human beings. Only then can we become “all the voices of the universe” – of those who suffer, those who cause suffering, and those who stand idly by. Because we are all those people as Thich Nhat Hanh expressed in his poem, “Please Call Me by My True Names.”

Please Call Me by My True Names – Thich Nhat Hanh

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow —
even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

If you would like to learn more about bringing self-compassion into your life or go deeper with your self-compassion practice, explore our different programs, workshops, courses and events at https://centerformsc.org/all-cmsc-offerings

“May all beings be safe. May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all beings be free of suffering. May all beings live with ease.”

MSC Japan Website is Now Live

Hello, Everyone!
We are delighted to introduce MSC Japan and our new website! (https://www.mscjapan.org/)
MSC in Japan is still in its beginning stages. Japan has had a long history and strong tradition of Buddhism, which promotes the virtue of compassion. However, the emphasis is on having compassion for others rather than for ourselves. For example, the lack of self-compassion is reflected in high suicide rates in Japan.
Self-Compassion is becoming popular as part of the mindfulness boom in Japan but there is still a lack of information and knowledge about Self-Compassion and how it can be cultivated. To address this situation nine MSC teachers came together to start MSC Japan (MSCJ), a community intent to share information about MSC programs in Japanese.
Who Are We?
In 2015 a few Japanese MSC teachers began introducing the work of mindfulness and self-compassion to the Japanese community. In November of 2018 Chris Germer led a five-day MSC Intensive in the ancient capital of Kyoto. By January of 2020 there were ten Japanese MSC teachers, a year later the number continues to grow. Our members consist of professionals from diverse fields including clinical psychology, business, social work and academia.
Our Website
Our website launched in the beginning of June 2021. This new website reflects our development and growth as a community. We continue the process of dialog, of exploring our voice as MSC teachers, of finding our place as a group and community. The result of our deliberations is reflected in the definition of who we are on the website:
MSC Japan is a community of voluntary MSC teachers collaborating to introduce Mindfulness and Self-Compassion to the Japanese community through personal and group practices, to contribute to the development of a compassionate society.
We are grateful to Kristin Neff and Chris Germer for providing their personal video message for our website. Their message emphasizes the efficacy of mindfulness and self-compassion, motivating us to bring authentic MSC practice into our daily life.
The journey of MSC Japan has just begun and we do not know where the road will lead us. We know that we want to be “slow learners”, confirming our compassionate presence and gratitude to worldwide MSC family members for their past and future support.