course information

Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living: A Three-day Non-Residential Foundation Course

When: 1 Feb 2019 – 3 Feb 2019
Where: The Beeches, Bournville, Birmingham
Tutors: Erik van den Brink, Bridgette O’Neill

What is Compassion?

Compassion is the capacity to be sensitive to the suffering of ourselves and others and the willingness to relieve and prevent it (Paul Gilbert, 2014). It is a capacity inherent in all of us which for many reasons does not always come to flourish. Fortunately, it can be trained, developed and deepened through practice.  Compassion is characterised by kindness and receptivity as well as courage and responsibility. Many believe compassion should be directed towards others rather than ourselves, but self-compassion is not a selfish activity. Research increasingly shows that self-compassion is – like mindfulness – key to mental health and goes hand in hand with greater openness and empathy towards others.

What is Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL)?

MBCL is a mindfulness-based programme that supports the development and training of (self-) compassion to enhance physical, emotional and relational health and well-being. It is grounded in science and integrates the work of Paul Gilbert (Compassion Focused Therapy), Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer (Mindful Self-Compassion) as well as elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology.

The MBCL programme is suitable as an advanced course after having followed a mindfulness-based training (MBSR, MBCT, or equivalent). It is similarly structured and consists of eight weekly sessions of 2.5 hours, offering explicit exercises to nurture compassion with oneself and others. The training can be particularly supportive for clients suffering from shame, self-criticism, social isolation, depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic pain or illness. It was originally developed for mental health settings, but the scope of its application extends much further. It can be helpful to anyone – care-seeker or caregiver – who wishes to deepen mindfulness with heartfulness.


What does this MBCL Foundation Course offer?

In this three-day workshop, participants will experience key features of the MBCL curriculum, including the main themes as well as the major exercises.

Themes include: the evolutionary perspective and multi-layered brain; the three basic emotion regulation systems and the value of training our soothing system; expanding the stress theory with the psychological equivalents of fight, flight, freeze and their antidotes (e.g. self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness of suffering); tending and befriending; cultivating a compassionate mind and an inner helper rather than an inner bully; overidentifying and disidentifying; and the Four Friends for Life (loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity).

Exercises include: soothing breathing rhythm; compassionate imagery (safe place, compassionate companion, embodying compassion); dealing compassionately with resistance, desire and maladaptive patterns; loving kindness towards ourselves and others; compassionate breathing; a compassionate bodyscan; walking and moving with kindness; compassionate letter writing; practising sympathetic joy, gratitude, forgiveness and equanimity; and informal practices in daily life.

During the workshop, relevant scientific insights underpinning compassion training will be interwoven in the teaching.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will have experienced the main exercises of the MBCL programme as a first step to understand their meaning for their personal and professional lives.
  • Participants will have a basic understanding of the content, the main themes and scientific background of the MBCL programme.
  • Participants will have a basis to further cultivate and deepen (self-) compassion practice for personal and professional benefit and continue with MBCL Teacher Training seminars, if they wish so.

Who is the retreat for?

This foundational compassion training is for those who have completed an eight-week mindfulness-based course (MBSR, MBCT or equivalent) and are interested in exploring compassion practices. It is particularly intended for those who have a professional interest in the applications of (self) compassion.


Requirements to attend:

  • Participants are expected to be familiar with basic mindfulness practice, by having followed an eight-week mindfulness training (MBSR, MBCT or equivalent).
  • Participants are expected to have a professional interest in the applications of (self-) compassion.
  • Participants are expected to be responsible for themselves and willing to deepen their self-inquiry by engaging in experiential exercises, share experiences and engage in mindful dialogue with the teacher and each other; all in an unforced way.
  • The workshop is not suitable for participants without mindfulness meditation experience.

About the teachers:

Erik van den Brink

Bridgette O’Neill


Timings:

This training is not residential.

The schedule is:

Friday and Saturday from 9am – 5.30pm

Sunday from 9am – 1pm


Location:

The Beeches, Bournville, Birmingham.

Built in the early 1900s by the Cadbury family, The Beeches is a beautiful, historic property, surrounded by five acres of landscaped grounds.


What to bring and wear:

Some mats and cushions will be available, but these will be limited in number so please bring any equipment you require for meditation practice if possible.

It’s advisable to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.


Our full rates have no hidden extras and include deposit and teaching. 

  • Full rate is £320.00

The Application and Payment Process:

Our application and payment process involves the following steps:

  1. We receive your application form and assess it to ensure that this retreat is suitable for you. We endeavour to make assessments within a week, but if the retreat leader is on annual leave or on retreat, then this can take a little bit longer.
  2. Upon offering you a place, we will then invoice you.
  3. Your place is fully confirmed once we receive your full retreat payment.
  4. We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.

Payment and Cancellation Policy:

Please read our Terms and Conditions for information regarding payments and cancellations.


For more information:

Please email us at retreats@mindfulness-network.org.


Ready to apply?

Click here to apply now for this course.