Spring 2019 Mindful Self-Compassion Course
This course consists of 9 sessions: 8 Sundays, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/28, 5/5, 5/18, 5/26, and 6/2 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm in North Asheville; plus a 5-hour silent mini-retreat on Saturday, 5/11, in a rural setting 30 minutes from downtown Asheville.
Cost for the entire course is $425, but if you register by 3/17 there is a $50 “Early-Bird” discount. Participants will receive a complementary copy of The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.
What is Mindful Self-Compassion?
Mindful Self-Compassion is an empirically-supported, 8-week training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are mindful awareness, a sense of common humanity, and self-kindness. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment so we can recognize and accept the nature of our experience with ease. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness so that we know we are not alone in any experience. Kindness opens our hearts to our own needs so we can support ourselves as we might support another person in need, or as we might wish to have another person support us. Together these qualities comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who did not receive enough affection and emotional support in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It is a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through harsh self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength with resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly with others, and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing; reduced anxiety, depression, and stress; maintenance of self care habits such as healthy diet and exercise; and satisfying personal relationships.
What to Expect from the Program
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is a workshop rather than a retreat. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
MSC is primarily a compassion training program rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although mindfulness contributes to the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.
It is said that "love reveals everything unlike itself." While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.
MSC includes 8 weekly sessions of 3 hours each, in addition to a 4-hour retreat in the fifth week. Prior to registration, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day throughout the program.
This program has demonstrated the ability to increase multiple measures of wellbeing, and these results were seen to persist after one year of follow-up. Extensive research on this program, and on the quality of self-compassion, has been generously made available to you in the form of full text academic articles through Kristin Neff's website. Click on the "PDF" link beside each article you would like to view.
Kristin Neff has also generously made many self-compassion meditations and exercises available for download free to the public on her website. You may also find free guided self-compassion meditations that resonate with you on Insight Timer, although you must be actively connected to the internet to listen to those meditations.
You may also reference my blog posts here.
No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC training. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program.
It is recommended, but not required, that participants read one or both of the following books before or during the program:
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristin Neff
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, by Christopher Germer
Both books are available in audio formats.
This program fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming a MSC teacher. For more information on MSC and MSC Teacher Training, please visit www.CenterForMSC.org.
Teacher: Holly Satvika
Holly Satvika is a family nurse practitioner, teacher, mother, and happy human being living in Asheville, North Carolina. She has been practicing meditation for nearly 3 decades, and she completed the MSC Teacher Training program in Ontario, Canada in 2018.
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