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.