Thupten Jinpa, PhD

Senior Author of the Compassion Cultivation Training Course and Instructor’s Manual, and CCARE Advisory Board Member

Thupten Jinpa has been a principal English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1985. He is a Visiting Research Scholar at Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, where he has played an instrumental role in the development of the Compassion Cultivation Training program. He has translated and edited more than a dozen books by the Dalai Lama, including the New York Times bestseller “Ethics for the New Millennium” (Riverhead, 1999), “Transforming the Mind” (Thorsons, 2000 ), and “Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality” (Morgan Road Books, 2005). Jinpa’s own works include “Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy” and “Mind Training: The Great Collection.” Jinpa received his early education and training as a monk and received the Geshe Lharam degree from Ganden Monastic University in south India. Jinpa holds B.A. Honors in Philosophy and a PhD in Religious Studies, both from Cambridge University, UK, where he also worked as a research fellow in Eastern Religion. Since 1999 Jinpa has been the president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics and editor-in-chief of the Institute’s “The Library of Tibetan Classics” series. Jinpa is an adjunct professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Religious Studies and is a senior contemplative advisor to the Mind and Life Institute, dedicated to fostering creative dialogue between the Buddhist tradition and modern science.

Certified Senior Teachers

Margaret Cullen, MFT

Margaret Cullen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher, having trained extensively with Jon Kabat-Zinn. She has also trained with Zindel Segal in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and in MB Eat with Jean Kristeller. For sixteen years she has been teaching and pioneering mindfulness programs in a variety of settings including cancer support, HIV support, physician groups, executive groups, teachers, and Kaiser Permanente patients. She collaborated on teaching and writing curricula for several research programs at UCSF, including “Cultivating Emotional Balance,” designed for teachers and “Craving and Lifestyle Management with Meditation,” for overweight women. In 2008 she launched a mindfulness-based emotional balance program (SMART) for teachers and school administrators in Denver, Boulder, Ann Arbor, and Vancouver, B.C. She has collaborated on the revision of mindfulness curricula for Kaiser Permanente in northern California and for the Center for Compassion at Stanford, and has spoken publicly on these and related topics, including forgiveness and conflict resolution. She has also been a facilitator of support groups for cancer patients and their loved ones for 20 years at The Wellness Community. A meditation practitioner for 30 years, she is a frequent contributor to “Inquiring Mind.”

Monica Hanson

Monica specializes in introducing and adapting meditation with specific populations. As an instructor for the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Monica piloted the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program with military veterans in the Palo Alto VA Healthcare System, and currently teaches CCT in the Be Well program for undergraduate and graduate students at Stanford University and in public classes offered through the Stanford School of Medicine. In addition, she has taught meditation with corporate and healthcare professionals, teachers, families, and people experiencing chronic pain and stress. Her background includes training in mindfulness, nonviolent communication, and therapeutic yoga at Duke University’s Integrative Medicine Center.

Kelly McGonigal, PhD

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a health psychologist at Stanford University and a leading expert on the mind-body relationship. She co-authored the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) course and taught the first CCT class in 2010. In addition to teaching for CCARE, she teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program. Her popular public courses through Stanford’s Continuing Studies program — including “The Science of Willpower” and “The Science of a Calmed Mind” — demonstrate the applications of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.
She received her PhD in psychology from Stanford University, with a concentration in humanistic medicine. She was awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Fellowship for her work on how different strategies for handling difficult emotions influence physical health and close relationships. Her scientific research has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. She is the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal of mind-body research, healthcare policy, and clinical practice, and an ad hoc reviewer for medical journals such as Pain and the Journal of Aging and Health.

Erika Rosenberg, PhD

Erika specializes in integrating traditional Buddhist practices with key concepts and techniques from Western psychology to help people navigate the challenges of daily life and work. Erika has drawn on her 20 years of meditation practice to help craft the CCT course. Her primary background is in Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma lineage), and she has been influenced profoundly by Vipassana teachings.
Erika received her PhD in psychology from the University of California, San Francisco (1994) and her BS in neuroscience from San Jose State University (1986). Her scientific research has examined how our feelings are revealed in our facial expressions, how social factors influence emotional signals, and how anger affects cardiovascular health. Her work is published in a wide range of psychological journals and books, and she speaks at national conferences on the topics of emotions and facial expressions. Erika currently collaborates with other scientists on numerous projects in psychology, medicine, and computer science. She served on the faculties of the University of Delaware and the College of William and Mary, currently conducts research at the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California – Davis, teaches at the Nyingma Institute of Tibetan Studies in Berkeley, and offers workshops worldwide.

Leah Weiss, PhD, LCSW

Leah is a contemplative educator whose research focuses on the application of meditation in secular contexts. She has taught in a variety of settings, including Harvard-affiliated hospitals, the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2008, Leah co-founded the Foundation for Active Compassion, a nonprofit organization that provides meditation practices of compassion and wisdom to people involved in social service and social change work. Leah has an appointment as a Lecturer in Stanford’s Religious Studies department and teaches courses in Stanford’s Continuing Studies department. Leah received her BA from Stanford University, her MA in clinical social work from Boston College, and her PhD in theology and education from Boston College.