Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week program developed at Stanford University by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers. CCT is designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and for others.
CCT integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. It includes instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and in-class interaction, to help you strengthen the qualities of compassion, empathy, and mindfulness.
People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program. No previous meditation experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of the training.
Compassion Cultivation Training involves
- A weekly 2-hour class that includes teaching, discussion, meditation, and experiential exercises in pairs or small groups.
- Guided daily meditation at home.
Compassion training extends beyond helping one feel more empathy and concern for others. It includes the development of the strength to be present with suffering, the courage to take compassionate action, and resilience to prevent compassion fatigue. These qualities support a wide range of goals – from improving personal and work relationships to making a positive difference in the world. Compassion training can also support one’s own health, happiness, and well-being. Preliminary research suggests that the CCT course and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhance connection with others.