Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living


Apart from deepening the practice of mindfulness and practical guidelines and exercises for compassion training, the following topics are addressed:

  • The acknowledgement of pain and suffering as part of human life and insight into how our brains evolved to help us survive.
  • Understanding the three basic emotion regulation systems: the threat system, focussed on safety and self-protection; the drive system, focussed on acquiring satisfaction, resources and rewards; and the soothing system, focussed on ‘safeness’, contentment and social bonding.
  • How the three systems can get out of balance by influences from outside, but also from inside, for instance through harsh self-criticism and shaming.
  • Common humanity: sensing our shared human condition; and what we did not choose is not our fault.
  • How imagery can influence the emotion regulation systems and imagination exercises can help restore the balance by strengthening our soothing systems and help to cultivate an inner helper.
  • Exercises how to compassionately motivate ourselves, pay attention, sense, think, reason, speak and act.
  • Exercises that help us discover what contributes to happiness, joy and gratitude.
  • Becoming familiar with the Four Friends for Life (loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity) and discovering which of the four is the best helper in a given situation.


No mud, no lotus.

- Zen saying -