Living the mission: radiating compassion

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Opportunities are abounding to share what I learned from the Compassion Institute’s teacher training program in the curriculum for Compassion Cultivation Training, (CCT), created at Stanford University by Thupten Jinpa, PhD, and the five wonderful women who serve as the founding faculty: Drs. Margaret Cullen, Monica Hansen, Kelly McGonigal, Erika Rosenberg, and Leah Weiss.
 
Here are some hints of the opportunities: Meeting this week with law school professors from the Tulane and Loyola law schools about teaching CCT for law students next semester; Sharing “Cultivating Self-Compassion” with staff at Ochsner Hospital for Spiritual Care Week, then with their Chaplain Residents next week; Planning details for a Spring “Compassion Now!” workshop and then a national conference with the Vanderbilt University Divinity School.
 
In the midst of living this mission, I also know there is danger in saying “yes” to so many opportunities that we end up talking of things we are not living.
 
From the earliest beginnings of the Quaker movement among Christians in the 1600s, the founder George Fox went around England challenging Anglican priests for being “nothing but a notionist, and not in possession of what [they] talked of.” For people of faith everywhere, including Quakers like me, there is a danger in becoming so busy in our doing that we end up only sharing “notions,” rather than practicing the Presence in direct experience first, from which we are then radiating compassion.
 
In contrast to becoming so busy we are empty within, and then speaking “notions” out of that emptiness, Fox called for another way of life where “…your growth in the Seed [Inner Teacher] is in the silence, where ye may find a feeding of the bread of life…and there is innocence and simplicity of heart and spirit is lived in and the life is fed on.”
 
May we each heed the call to live the life first, today, now, and only then speak what we experience. Or better yet, may we even radiate compassion without many words. May you and I so live.
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About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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