Welcome to Compassion Camp

Welcome to Compassion Camp!  Building up your compassion muscles takes training, supportive community and fun.  I have learned through my own Compassion Training and gratitude practice that you can rediscover joy, beauty, and interconnectedness with the world.  Good news – science backs my experience up!

I want to help provide you with the tools and framework to learn about compassion for self and others, avoid compassion fatigue and add connection back into your life.  Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT) is that framework created by the wonderful minds at The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford Medical School

I will be offering the next 8 week Cultivating Compassion Training class starting October 23rd on Mondays at 6:30pm.  Location is at Canopy City 14 Tyler St, Somerville, MA 02143  Sign up here!

For more information about the class go here!.

We are also on Meetup!

Interested in attending or need more information, contact me.

Panel 1

What is Compassion Camp?

Compassion Cultivation Training

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week program designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and for others. CCT integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. The program was developed at Stanford University by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers.

Compassion

Compassion has a stigma of being something that is weak or allows people to take advantage of us.  Compassion fatigue is often felt when we feel hopeless or overwhelmed with events and situations that there is nothing that we can do about.   Why would we want to learn more about something that is hard, painful and exhausting?

According to the Dalai Lama, compassion is one of the integral — if not the most important — components of fostering stronger friendships and relationships and establishing happier lives for ourselves and those around us.  With cultivation of compassion, we can feel more connected and fulfilled in our lives and relationships.

Cultivation

Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more concern and empathy for others. It can help you develop the strength to be with suffering, the courage to take compassionate action, and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.  Humans have a natural capacity for compassion.  However, everyday stress, social pressures, and life experiences can suppress it. The good news is that we can train ourselves to nurture others while developing our compassionate instinct. This process requires patience, proper tools, and a supportive environment.

Training

Each of us can choose to nurture and grow the compassionate instinct, like a plant that is carefully cultivated from a seed.  The process of cultivating compassion involves training our own minds, developing specific skills in how we relate to others, and ourselves and intentionally choosing compassionate thoughts and actions. In CCT, the training process includes:

  • Daily meditation practices to develop loving kindness, empathy, and compassion
  • A two-hour weekly class that includes lecture, discussion, and in-class partner and small-group listening and communication exercises
  • Real-world “homework” assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and actions

In this program, you will learn . . .

  • Increase kindness and compassion for yourself and others
  • Develop profound levels of serenity, resilience, and creativity
  • Calm your mind and direct thoughts more positively
  • Sharpen your ability to focus and pay attention
  • Access a variety of self-care skills and techniques

Why

Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more empathy and concern for others. It develops the strength to be with suffering, the courage to take compassionate action, and the resilience to prevent compassion fatigue. These qualities support a wide range of goals, from improving personal relationships to making a positive difference in the world.

Compassion cultivation can also support one’s own health, happiness, and well-being. Preliminary research suggests that CCT and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhance connection with others.

Who

CCT is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and for others. This includes parents, caregivers, educators, healthcare professionals, therapists, executives, public servants, and people in a wide range of professions and life contexts. No previous meditation experience is required.

Panel 2

Who am I?

 

My name is Renée Bochman and found my way to meditation through Pema Chodron and heartbreak over 20 years ago.  I am very blessed to have two grown boys and a successful professional career.  I have always been motivated and working to find a better way to engage with the world and those around me.

Over the year I have developed into what I consider a Western secular Buddhist practice with a multi-lineage training.  I started my journey with studying with Shambhala through their Way of Shambhala Path.  Looking for a more secular and multi lineage view, I became a student at the Interdependence Project (IDP) and then completed the IDP’s Meditation Teacher Training in 2012 as well as joining the IDP board until 2017.  I became very interested in the impact of compassion both for self and others and took Stanford University’s Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT) course and then I graduated from Compassion Teacher Training in June 2013 and am a Stanford Certified CCT teacher.

I sat on retreat with different teachers to hear different voices and views to my understanding such as: Pema Chodron, Sharon Salzberg, Robina CourtinThich Nhat Hanh and Llama Tsultrim and Kristen Neff.  I participated in two Buddhist Geeks conferences in Boulder and had the opportunity to attend the Mind and Life Conference sitting with the Dalai Lama in 2014.

When I began meditating, I discovered that all of my thoughts, emotions, ideas, and perspectives were subjective and not objective views of the world. The clinging to this perspective caused me difficulty as well as kept me separate from those around me. When I started practicing compassion I begin to feel the world differently and realized that everyone, just like me, struggled and wanted to be happy. This view helped me feel connected and give meaning to my life. I want to share these practices in case it can provide anyone a glimmer of a path towards peace and happiness.

Poetry for me has always been a way to open my heart. Just like me, these poets, with more elegance with words, share their pain, disappointment, love, hope and trying to understand the world. I developed a practice to find new poems and poets based on words that I could feel when I read. I hope you can enjoy them too.

I would love to share with you more about this training or any questions you might have.