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Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living Course

20th September - 22nd November 2023 

In person

Wednesdays 10.30 am - 1pm

(no class 11th October)

with a half day of silent practice held on the morning of 

Wednesday 8th November

10.30 am - 1pm

Course Fee £270 (concessions available, please enquire.)

This course is suitable for people who have done an 8-week Mindfulness course, have maintained some form of regular practice and would like to explore and deepen Mindfulness and Heartfulness more. It offers practical ways of deepening mindfulness skills with compassion.

The course is designed to alleviate suffering, one’s own and that of others, and to enhance physical, psychological and social wellbeing by offering a science-based training in self-compassion, building on mindfulness skills. Many of us tend to overlook ourselves while trying to be compassionate. The focus in this course is to develop a kinder and warmer relationship with ourselves, to find a healthy balance between caring for others and caring for ourselves and to find ease with life’s inevitable pain and dis-ease.
More specific aims are:

  • Acknowledging pain and suffering as part of human life.
  • Understanding that our brain has evolved to help survive, and that the imperfect design is not our fault.
  • Gaining insight into the three basic emotion regulation and motivation systems.
  • Understanding how influences from outside and also from inside, such as the ‘inner critic’ can easily cause imbalances.
  • Learning practices in self-compassion, such as soothing breathing, kindness meditation, compassionate imagery, compassionately dealing with inner difficulties, and cultivating ways of support through the ‘inner helper’ and appreciating and ‘taking in the good’.
  • Cultivating a sense of common humanity.
  • Integrating what has been learned in daily life.

The course format was developed by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster and draws on the work of Paul Gilbert, Tara Brach, Christopher Germer, Rick Hanson and others. Many of the practices are based on traditional Buddhist meditation practices which focus on the cultivation of compassion.

The course runs over 8 weeks with a two and a half hour class each week, 10 am - 12.30 pm with a short break and includes an extra session of silent practice. In order to allow the themes and practices to settle more, there will be a two week space between sessions three and four and then a silent practice session between sessions six and seven.

In the group sessions you are introduced to the practices and exercises. We then explore our experiences and reflect on them and put them within the context of neuroscience and some basic psychological principles.

Going through the course can be challenging at times and it is important that you are willing and ready to explore difficulties and personal patterns at your own pace within the safety of the group. The process of beginning to notice our own struggles is the gateway to compassion, and self-compassion leads to extending compassion to others. By doing the practices we can build our resources which leads to greater appreciation of our life and the hardwiring of happiness.

You will receive a comprehensive workbook and a range of audio recordings in mp3 format. It is important to allow 45 – 60 minutes per day for the practice at home, in order to get the most benefit from doing the course and so that the practices can become embedded in your daily life.

The fee for the Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living group course is £ 270  (concessions available, please ask)

To apply call:

01622 670587

or email:

for ​further details

Student's responses to the Compassionate Living Group course:

The eight-week compassion course is an important progression in Mindfulness training. Anyone who is seeking to explore their practice in greater depth will benefit from taking part.

The course is intensive and requires participants to be brave in their personal journeys. Everyone is held within the circle of Barbara’s kind and trustworthy leadership and the strength of the group. I found the course a profound experience which has changed and enriched the way I relate to myself and others

June T. 

Having attended both the MBSR and the Compassion course with Barbara, I can categorically say that both have changed my life positively. The MBSR was instrumental in opening my eyes to the kindness and beauty which surrounds us every day, and the Compassion course helped me to realise that the same kindness and beauty resides within myself.

Lisa J.

The course provided knowledge and insight through experience, in the company of like-minded people, which enabled me to allow greater warmth and compassion for myself into my heart.

The teaching, gentle guided practice and excellent written resources, facilitated a much needed shift within me, a powerful and life enhancing experience. I would highly recommend this course, it's one of the most important I've ever completed.

Carrie L.

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