Mindfulness Based Compassion Training

Find Courses
A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.  A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

Christopher Germer 


Every human being has a capacity for compassion.

Compassion is a natural response in the face of realising that we are all in the same boat - living with uncertainty and impermanence. It is a universal human quality, inherently present in everyone, but, for many reasons, often not fully cultivated. Fortunately compassion can be developed and deepened through practice. 

MBCL is a training program developed by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster for those who wish to learn how to deal in a healthy way with pain, stress or suffering, in whatever form it presents – physical, mental, emotional or relational. Those already familiar with mindfulness practice can deepen the healing effects of mindfulness with the help of this program, which offers transformative practices in cultivating compassion for ourselves and others.

Research shows that motivating ourselves with kindness, rather than criticism, increases happiness and reduces anxiety and depression. Compassion training can help us more effectively manage difficult life experiences, stress and physical pain, instead of finding fault in ourselves when things go “wrong”.

This coures is based on the Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) generated by  Erik van den Brink and Fritz Koster.  If you got a lot out of the MSBR program and want to go further, this is the program for you.  Courses in different locations will be listed soon.

As part of our commitment to social equity we are delighted to give discounts to Health Care card holders and others in genuine financial difficulty. To keep the books balanced, we appreciate you paying the full fee if you can afford it!    

Compassion is the courage to descend into the reality of human experience. 

 Paul Gilbert




What does the course involve?

This is an experiential training in the same spirit as MBSR: you could think of it as MBSR II.

The group will engage in exploration of how to bring compassion to every aspect of our lives and our relationships.  It will involve:

  • an individual phone interview with your teacher
  • a 2.5 hour class once a week for eight weeks plus one full retreat day
  • a strengthening of your mindfulness practice
  • scientific basis of the rationale for compassion practice
  • compassion-based practices 
  • brief lectures and discussions
  • individual feedback and support
  • your commitment to daily homework practice using audio recordings




Why do I need to have practiced some mindfulness before I come to the MBCL course?

Having some basic mindfulness training gives us some stability of mind and provides some ground on which to work with the compassion practices.  When we begin actively practicing self compassion and extending this care towards others we can have a strong response - in the opposite direction! It may bring up self-criticism and dislike – especially if we have had not so much kindness in our early life, or if we have been practicing meanness  for a while.  Having some grounding in mindfulness practice helps us explore and work through these difficult but worthwhile experiences. 

The founders of MBCL (on which our course is based) have designed the course as a graduate program for people who have some initial mindfulness training.  They found that having completed an eight week practice-based mindfulness course (like MSBR, MBCT, MiCBT or Breathworks) helps a lot in engaging with the Compassionate Living program.   If you have had another introduction to mindfulness (through ACT, DBT or an app) this may also be fine, but these programs usually don't often offer an immersion in practice each day.  Check it out with the teacher of your course.


Can I do MBCL by Distance?

Yes you can.

The Distance Compassion course is an alive, personalised, responsive, real-time engagement between the teacher, the participants and the practice. There are no mute buttons or no pre-recorded sessions. There is a group feel to the class, even though it is usually conducted by Zoom or the phone in small groups (up to 4).

There is time and space for your own process to be shared and explored just like in the ordinary course. There is also time for live practice together and inquiry into practice.

You can also do the Distance Program one-on-one.



© Copyright Openground Mindfulness Training 2017

Website Design by Pretty Digital