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AcademicsExtended CampusWELCOME: Mindful Compassion Training


Mindful Compassion Training

Live Online Class Sessions: Tuesdays 4:30-6:30 pm MT // February 20 – April 9, 2024

Live Online Half-Day Retreat: Saturday 9:30am-1:00pm MT // April 6th, 2024

Tuesdays // February 20 – April 9, 2024 // Live Online

“Compassion reveals to us that helping others versus helping ourselves need not be a tradeoff – through compassion, we can do both.”

– Jordan Quaglia, PhD, WELCOME Instructor

Program Overview

In this 8-week, 15-hour course, you will learn how to intentionally cultivate self-compassion and compassion for others as a means of enhancing well-being, improving resilience, and bolstering one’s capacity to benefit others. Guided by a team of expert Naropa University instructors, you will explore an integrative approach to mindful compassion training that blends cutting-edge research from neuroscience and psychology with practices and teachings from ancient wisdom traditions.

Utilizing experiential exercises, informative readings, and compassionate “fieldwork” activities, you’ll uncover how intentional, mindful compassion creates sustainable change–including through neuroplasticity–transforming the mind and brain’s response to empathy fatigue, emotional dysregulation and social challenges. You’ll also learn how the benefits of this training extend and ripple far beyond the practitioner, increasing collective well-being in tandem with your own.

Join us for WELCOME and discover the power of compassion, as well as unique and pragmatic ways to foster mindfulness and lovingkindness for yourself, loved ones, and even the difficult people in your life.

This course is designed for those interested in learning to intentionally cultivate mindful compassion using a scientific and contemplative lens. While particularly intended to support those who have little to no formal compassion training, anyone with a desire to explore personal and societal transformation through skillful compassion is encouraged to enroll in WELCOME.

The title WELCOME is an acronym, with each letter outlining a specific aspect of mindful-compassion that will be explored in this course:

W – Welcoming Compassion and Compassion Training

E – Embodiment: Mindfulness and Basic Goodness

L – Lovingkindness

C – Compassion: Lovingkindness for a Dear One

O – Open: Lovingkindness for Strangers

M – Maintain: Lovingkindness for a Difficult person

E – Engage: Compassion in Everyday Life

Find more details in the Program Format and Schedule section below.

Contemplative practice refers to a broad range of mindfulness approaches–including meditation, yoga, personal contemplation, and more–that can help you process difficult emotions, expand your embodied experience, and discover your most authentic self.

Click “Contemplative Education @ Naropa” in the sidebar to learn more.

What Will I Learn?

Participants will learn...

  • How compassion training empowers us to take charge of our own neuroplasticity, and use the mind to change ingrained patterns and behaviors to those more consistent with our highest values.

  • Self-guided mindfulness and embodiment practices designed to improve emotional regulation, reduce empathy fatigue, bolster capacity for altruism, and shift conventional understandings of active compassion.

  • Why cultivating lovingkindness for the difficult people in our lives is vital to an enduring and holistic compassion practice.

  • Practical methods for integrating mindful compassion into your personal, social, and professional life.

Program Format and Schedule

The title WELCOME is an acronym, with each letter outlining a specific aspect of mindful-compassion that will be explored in this course. Each class session has been carefully crafted to highlight a unique facet of mindful compassion, provide the scientific underpinnings of that facet, and offer contemplative practices for participants to engage what they have learned.

This 8-week course is offered from February 20 – April 9, 2024. Class sessions are held via Zoom every Tuesday from 4:30-6:30pm Mountain Time, with the exception of March 26th for Spring Break. In addition to weekly class sessions, there is a half-day Zoom retreat on Saturday April 6, 2024 from 9:30am-1:00pm Mountain Time.

  • What is compassion? Why have compassion, why be kind?

  • Science: Understanding neuroplasticity

  • Practice: Welcoming exercise

February 20, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

  • Embodiment in compassion training & Mindfulness of the body

  • Science: Embodiment and basic goodness

  • Practice: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

February 27, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

  • Lovingkindness and self-compassion

  • Science: Facing our Fears of Compassion

  • Practice: Introduction to Loving-kindness practice for self

March 5, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

  • Listening, feeling, responding

  • Science: Empathy versus Compassion

  • Practice: Lovingkindness practice for a dear one

March 12, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

  • Interdependence

  • Science: Relevance of Compassion for Society’s Loneliness Epidemic

  • “Like me” Exercise

  • Practice: Lovingkindness for neutral person(s)

March 19, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

  • Why have compassion for difficult people?

  • Science: Is compassion always nice?

  • Practice: Lovingkindness for a difficult person practice

April 2, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

  • Sitting and walking meditation

  • Lovingkindness practices

  • Embodiment practices

  • Lovingkindness practice for all beings

(Saturday) April 6, 2024 9:30am-1:00pm MT

  • Compassion in everyday life

  • Science: Growing more resourceful

  • Practice: Lovingkindness for all beings

April 9, 2024 4:30-6:30pm MT

Pricing and Registration

Program Pricing:

Standard Price: $200

Senior Price: $180

Seniors: Please email extendedcampus@naropa.edu to request a discount code.

Naropa students, staff, faculty, and alumnx:

This iteration of WELCOME: Mindful Compassion Training, is designed for members of the public, and is not credit bearing. If you wish to audit, receive academic credit, or utilize Employee Tuition Benefits for this program, please contact the Registrar’s Office and inquire about registering for REL-190 in Spring 2024. If you have further questions, or would still like to register for this Extended Campus program, email extendedcampus@naropa.edu.

Meet Your Instructors

Charlotte Z. Rotterdam is a contemplative educator, Buddhist teacher, and meditation instructor. She is the Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa University and an Instructor in Naropa’s Core College, World Wisdom Department, and Graduate School of Psychology. She co-developed and teaches Naropa’s Mindful Compassion Training, a secular program to cultivate compassion in personal, professional and societal contexts. She is the Lead Teacher of the Mother Lineage (Magyu Lopön) at Tara Mandala Retreat Center. Charlotte received a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. The mother of two boys, she has published essays on the intersection of spiritual practice and daily life in Lion’s Roar, Buddhadharma, Mandala and Fearless Nest, an anthology.

Erika Berland is a dancer, performer, Certified Practitioner of Body-Mind Centering(R), Registered Movement Therapist and Licensed Massage Therapist. She was a founding faculty member of the MFA: Contemporary Performance program at Naropa University (2004-2020) where she developed and taught a two-year curriculum integrating movement, somatics and meditation. She has presented her workshop, “The Physical Art of Sitting”, based on her book of the same title published in 2017, throughout the US along with workshops internationally in movement and Body-Mind Centering®. She has been a member of the teaching team for the Mindfulness Compassion Initiative since the program’s launch in 2017.

Carla Burns, MDiv, is an Instructor in Naropa’s Core College, and Graduate School of Psychology, with an emphasis on the exploration of loving-kindness through the wisdom of the body, emotions, and the elements. She is particularly passionate about the ways in which contemplative practice communities can come to understand multiple ways of being and knowing, and how we embody and utilize space as a means to personal, collective and cosmic liberation. In addition, she is certified Mindfulness Instructor at Naropa University, co-developed Naropa’s Embodied Mindfulness in Teaching Training program and is the Program Manager for the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education.

Jordan Quaglia, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of the Cognitive and Affective Science Laboratory, and Research Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa University. His research, supported by funding from Mind and Life Institute and John Templeton Foundation, has been featured in leading scientific journals and books, and relies on a range of tools, from neuroscientific measures to virtual reality, to study topics such as mindfulness and compassion.

For more about Jordan: www.JordanQuaglia.com

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.