A Taste of Compassion

The “Golden Rule” is found in just about all faith traditions and in our secular ethics as well. It might be stated in a bunch of different ways, but it all gets down to this: treat others as you would like to be treated. For me, this sentiment has a caveat. There are too many of us who don’t believe we deserve to be treated well or who aren’t very forgiving of ourselves. Compassion for others begins with compassion for ourselves.
This is what I appreciate so much about Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) – it teaches actual skills and practices for loving ourselves before moving on to the skills and practices for loving others as we love ourselves. 
There’s a lot of talk lately about compassion. It seems to be one of the new “buzz words”. There’s a reason for this.  As human beings we seem to be losing the ability for empathy and compassion.  There are many compassion classes “out there” now. What I like about CIT is that it is skill based, focused, and reminds us that what we have in common is much greater than what makes us different from each other. 
I first learned of CIT on the Charter for Compassion website (https://charterforcompassion.org/) and I was immediately drawn to the method and goals of the course.  I’ve been taught by my faith tradition that I should be a compassionate person but my teachers had never taught the skills to BECOME a compassionate person to myself, my family, friends, strangers, and even to those I might see as enemies.

We’ll spend our day apart on March 12 taking a taste of CIT, focusing on self compassion skills.  I am excited to share this with you and to be part of what I consider the way to a vastly better world.
A small sample of feedback from some who have taken the full CIT course:

The layering of psychology, neuroscience and contemplation allowed a blending of what might be called the 'spiritual with the secular' or vice versa. I found this extraordinarily useful. It meant that material could be used as an entry point for anyone and everyone regardless of their beliefs or culture. This blending removes the barriers so often erected by belief and economic status - stripping our shared humanity to the bare essentials; the need to remove suffering and discover happiness. Two words compassion and reciprocity.
 --Online participant

I truly loved recognizing the subtle and deeper levels of ways that are important and necessary to change my behavior regarding compassionate thinking and action in my life - A peeling of the onion for deeper personal learning took place for me. This is so valuable and offers me this beautiful opportunity to "see" my core more clearly and to operate from there more often. It's like a light revealed what I knew was there but I didn't have the light before to show it to me it in all its beauty and capacity.  What a lovely gift for me and all humanity. 
 --Online student

Honestly, when I told my wife that I was participating in compassion training she said, "you? but you already have empathy and compassion." It is easy to see ourselves as being compassionate especially as teachers. CIT has taught me mindfulness and process. It has reminded me of self-compassion and the role of seeing every person's perspective. It is easy to empathize with my "in group," but I must practice empathy with everyone.
 --High School Teacher

Judie Bryant, MDiv, Ordained United Church of Christ pastor and certified facilitator of Compassionate Integrity Training is leading a Day Apart Retreat A Taste of Compassion on Thursday, March 12, from 9:30 to 3:30.  To read more about Judie's retreat or to register, click here.


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Judie Bryant

Judie Bryant is a Certified Facilitator of Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT).   She firmly believes that compassion as well as integrity are values and skills that are deeply needed if we are to enhance our own and other’s well being.  An ...