CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) consists of a structured and progressive series of contemplative exercises. Practitioners begin by stabilizing attention and developing present-moment awareness (Modules I and II) and then use analytical practices to increase well-being and unbiased compassion toward others. (Modules III – VI).
Module I: Developing Attentional Stability and Clarity
This initial practice trains attentional stability in order to improve mental stability and clarity; typically this is done by placing and retaining focus on the unfolding sensations of the breath and by learning to notice and release distractions as they arise.
Module II: Cultivating Insight into the Nature of Mental Experience
Still rooted in the present moment, the focus shifts to how mental experiences unfold from moment to moment, neither pushing away such experiences or becoming overly involved in them. This practice improves calmness of mind and provides insight into habitual mental patterns.
Module III: Self-compassion
Using insights from Module II, this self-care practice examines the basic nature of distress and dissatisfaction and cultivates more realistic and positive approaches to difficult life circumstances. When done with kindness, these practices strengthen the determination to replace unhelpful attititudes with constructive ones, leading to realistic optimism and greater self-determination.
Module IV: Cultivating Impartiality
As humans are innately social creatures, relationships are central to well-being. This practice examines habitual ways of thinking about others. Seeing that all people, despite apparent differences, shares a fundamental desire to seek well-being and to avoid distress and dissatisfaction, this practice leads to a greater capacity to see others as similar to one's self on the most basic level, opening the door to a more inclusive compassion.
Module V: Appreciation and Affection for Others
By examining how all things that are beneficial depend upon others, this module cultivates an appreciation for this basic kindness, intended or unintended. considering the drawbacks of an unrealistic attitude of independence and isolation, the practitioner reflects on the daily and long-term gifts of the broader society, and a deepening affection is cultivated for others.
Module VI: Empathy and Engaged Compassion
With the perspectives of seeing each person as equally deserving of happiness and as having great value in their own right, practitioners focus on the difficulties and distress experienced by so many, which naturally invokes an empathic response. When supported by the inner strength developed in earlier modules, this empathy leads to the strong wish to see others free of difficulties and distress and to orient one's core motivation toward the alleviation of the suffering of others.
This course is open to any adult interested in deepening their understanding of the psychology of compassion and the methods for cultivating it. CBCT® training has been found to be beneficial by educators, social workers, medical and mental health professionals, chaplains, and others wishing to build resiliency, improve relationships, enhance interpersonal skills, and/or simply cultivate this universal human value.
Appropriate for beginners as well as more experienced contemplative practitioners, no previous meditation experience is necessary. Successful completion of a Foundation Course taught by Dr. Lobsang Tenzin Negi or a CBCT® Senior Teacher is a prerequisite for the CBCT® Teacher Certification Program.