Cultivating Compassion is a course to help understand, explore and cultivate compassion, in doing so to change our lives and bring about positive change in the world.
You are introduced to a complete picture of what compassion is. Themes covered:
- compassion from several perspectives – everyday, scientific and Buddhist
- to practice compassion we first have to come to know our mind and let it settle. We do this through the practice of meditation. In this way we address our habit of distraction (our way of not noticing suffering)
- the role of mind in our experience of happiness and suffering
- considering and appreciating our fundamental nature
- interconnected nature of our world
- the logic of compassion
- overcoming obstacles to compassion
Practice methods taught on the course:
- meditation: watching the breath
- cultivating love (for oneself and for others)
- cultivating compassion (for oneself and for others)
- tonglen (for oneself and others)
Tonglen (Tibetan: “giving and receiving”) is a simple practice which is extremely effective at getting straight to the heart of our predicament: our excessively self-centred attitude. It brings together meditation, love and compassion. As Sogyal Rinpoche, the founder of Rigpa, says in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: “of all the practices I know, the practice of tonglen …. is one of the most useful and powerful …. No other practice is as effective in destroying the self-grasping, self-cherishing and self-absorption of the ego, which is the root of all our suffering and the root of all hard-heartedness.”
Each class is a mixture of:
- instructor-led presentation and discussion
- video presentations
- interactive or contemplative activities, and
The course is given with the intention of being a shared journey of exploration and investigation, one in which you uncover your own wisdom. There is an expectation that students will commit to a regular, daily compassion practice, recognising that it is only through actually doing the practices that the benefits are achieved. You are recommended to have a notebook to record points, thoughts, discoveries, insights and questions that come up, during classes or practice.
No pre-requisites: open and suitable for all, you don't have to have completed an introductory meditation course to join.
While the course has been developed from the ancient tradition of Buddhist teachings and practice, there is no need or expectation that students undertaking this course would decide to follow the buddhist path. The techniques, skills and knowledge learnt can be used simply to enhance your own beliefs and perspectives - spiritual, religious or secular.
Dates and times
Number of sessions: Classes 1-8 on Tuesday evenings; classes 9-10 on Saturday, Nov 26
Dates and Times: Tuesdays, Sep 20 – Nov 15, 7.00pm – 9.00pm (with tea break)
Saturday, Nov 26, 10.00-12.00 and 13.00-15.00
No class: October 25
Rigpa Centre, 3rd Floor, 12 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2
(entrance via glass door to the left of ‘Joules’ shop)
Registration open from 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 20.