A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and become a profound personal resource in times of stress.
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8-week educational program designed to help you improve your resilience and feel more connected to others—ultimately providing an overall sense of well-being.
The CCT course, developed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University, combines traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. Preliminary research suggests that CCT and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Through instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and in-class interaction, you can strengthen the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness. Classes meet weekly for 2 hours and daily guided meditation home practice is assigned.
Learn how to train your mind to intentionally choose compassionate thoughts and actions and develop skills that help you relate to others—and yourself.
Who We Encourage to Attend
Compassion Cultivation Training is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and others, such as:
- Parents and caregivers
- Healthcare professionals and therapists
- Executives and managers
- Public service leaders and employees
- Individuals seeking to increase awareness 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 training extends beyond helping one feel more empathy and concern for others, including the development of:
- The strength to be present with suffering
- The courage to take compassionate action
- The 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.
Course graduates are invited to a free monthly drop-in session at Stanford University for group discussions and updates on the latest compassion research.
Frequently Asked Questions About CCT
What People Are Saying
“The practice of cultivating compassion has infused peacefulness into my hectic life, and I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to teach it to others. Knowing the psychological and physical benefits we gain from compassion fuels my fire to spread the message.”
“During the 8-week CCT course and CCARE teacher training program, I have learned new ways to recognize and access the presence of compassion both within myself and externally. These new discoveries have given rise to a fundamental change in perspective. In addition, it’s a gift being able to wish myself the same unconditional friendliness that I happily offer others.”
Robert Cusick, long-time meditator
“Compassion – it’s not what I thought … literally! The training was a wonderful opportunity to join a group of people who chose to come together with a focused interest in compassion. [The training] helped to anchor the spirit of compassion at the forefront of my daily practice. It helped clarify the distinctions between compassion, empathy, and sympathy and awakened a way of seeing compassion as a strength and a wise way of being in the world.”
“I signed up for the 8-week Compassion Training because I vigil with dying hospital patients and wanted to know more about strengthening compassion and preventing burnout in the healthcare setting. I truly found the course life-altering: It taught me how to better nurture my soul and extend patience and kindness to others – and it gave me a renewed sense of purpose and meaning.”
Pamela Goyan Kittler
“Compassion is so needed in our complex world today. We must harness our leaders everywhere to lead more compassionately into the flux, uncertainty, and change of all organizations. The CCT 8-week course gave me new skills and a way of being in my daily work that is beyond mindfulness.”