Project Partner: Center for Mindful Inquiry

A nine-session course based on the ground-breaking work of Chris Germer and Kristen Neff

Mindful Self Compassion

Center for Mindful Inquiry

“What you do for yourself – any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honest and clear seeing toward yourself –will affect how you experience the world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world.”
– Pema Chödrön

Register NowMindful Self-Compassion (MSC) 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 self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.

 After participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Practice self-compassion in daily life
  • Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new
  • Manage caregiver fatigue
  • Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation

What To Expect

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 is 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 2 and a half hours each, in addition to a 4-hour retreat.  Prior to registering, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day throughout the program.


No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program.

This program fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming a MSC teacher.

Cost:  $650 per person,
Teams of 4 or more registering together, AUNE alumni and faculty, $600 per person
2 graduate credits are available for an additional $350

Wednesday Evenings, July 8 — August 26, 2015: 5:30 pm– 8:00 pm AND Saturday, August 1, 2015, 9:00 am — 1:00 pm

About the Instructor

Claire Stanley, Ph.D., has been teaching mindfulness practices and philosophy to professionals since 1998 at universities, colleges and Buddhist meditation and study centers throughout the NewYork and New England area. She is passionate about the work of Mindful Self-Compassion and its transformative power for individuals, systems and organizations. Her training in mindfulness and compassion meditation began in 1986 and has continued recently in Mindful Self-Compassion with Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff.

About the Center for Mindful Inquiry

The Center for Mindful Inquiry (CMI) was founded by Claire Stanley, PhD and Jack Millett, MAT in 2007.  The Center  is dedicated to teaching the practices and principles of mindfulness to professionals.  At CMI, course participants learn how to connect with, see and understand themselves, situations, and the people in their lives with greater clarity, wisdom, and compassion.  By learning to apply mindfulness and to respond skillfully in the moment, professionals can bring benefit to themselves, to the particular situation and to all involved.

CMI offers online and face-to-face courses, consultancies, workshops for professionals who are both new to and experienced in mindfulness practices. The basis of the work is a non-sectarian approach to insight (vipassana) meditation and Buddhist philosophy, out of which all mindfulness practices grow.  All courses taught at CMI integrate study, meditation, and reflection in community as vehicles for developing wise and compassionate action in the world.


Learn more about our Mindfulness for Educators Certificate Program