The Compassion Based Living Course (MBLC) is a weekly mindfulness course. It is an eight-week course consisting of eight classes, which are typically two hours long, and is a course that draws on insights and practices from neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and Mahayana Buddhism.
This secular course starts with building self-compassion into basic mindfulness practice. Through compassionate imagery and mindful self-compassion, we cultivate positive emotions as a way of building up an inner resource, from which we can approach the difficulties that are part and parcel of being alive. We then approach the self-critic: that persistent inner voice that is harsh and condemning, and always finding fault in what we do. What it would be like to cultivate an inner voice that is kind and supportive, and to live life from this place, rather than from a place of destructive self-criticism?
In the course of the journey we move from self-compassion towards compassion for others, exploring practices which help us find balance and perspective beyond our narrow preferences, generating love and friendliness to our inner and outer worlds, responding appropriately to pain and suffering while also appreciating the good things in our lives, integrating compassion into all that we do. As there is a strong
emphasis on the experiential nature of the course, there are home practice suggestions between the sessions that include regular compassion practice and daily life exercises.
The weekly themes are:
Session 1 – Why practice compassion? Because we suffer
Session 2 – The Compassionate Mess
Session 3 – It’s not our fault: an evolutionary perspective
Session 4 – Creating conditions of safeness
Session 5 – Befriending the self-critic
Session 6 – Finding the compassionate friend within
Session 7 – The Four Immeasurable Qualities
Session 8 – Widening the circle of compassion