Compassion Cultivation

CEA compassion courses are based on the Compassion Cultivation Training course designed at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2008 and taught by experienced compassion educators. Backed by extensive research on compassion and emotional intelligence, compassion cultivation courses are a transformational learning experience, offered both online and in-person. Courses are designed for interaction and community connection.

Studies suggest compassion cultivation can result in more compassion for self and others, less stress, and increased flexibility, adaptability and caring behaviors.

Why cultivate compassion?

Compassion is the awareness of suffering coupled with a desire to relieve that suffering. Compassion is often confused with empathy but is actually quite different. Empathy is feeling or experiencing another person’s suffering as if it were your own. Compassion supports a balanced and sustainable response to suffering that allows you to be present for others from a place of centeredness and resilience.

Challenges are an inevitable part of life – in cultivating compassion, we deepen the connection to our inner strength to meet these challenges in a grounded and caring way.

Many people who work in healthcare, social justice, or other service professions are extremely empathetic and may even become emotionally burned out. Compassion can prevent empathy fatigue allowing for longevity in a career of leadership or public service, and the power to achieve your most aspirational goals.

About Compassion Cultivation  

You will gain practical tools and techniques to improve awareness, increase connection to others and decrease the distress you may feel in difficult situations. Classes consist of:


Weekly live online interactive class sessions focused on a stepwise exploration of compassion.

  • Gain awareness of habits of the mind to promote insight and awareness
  • Experience compassion for oneself to boost confidence
  • Accept kindness for oneself to feel more peace and joy 
  • Embrace a shared common humanity to make service work sustainable
  • Practice active compassion to become more efficient at healing divisions
  • Integrate compassion into daily life for greater productivity and wellbeing


A structured sequence of guided meditations will increase your awareness and make it easier to cultivate compassion and emotional balance.

Real world application

Informal exercises to practice as you go about your daily routine will build your resilience and make compassion a part of everyday life.

Research suggests compassion cultivation can lead to:


  • Happiness
  • Calm
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Self-acceptance
  • Compassion for self and others
  • Stronger relationships
  • Job satisfaction
  • Life purpose


  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Emotion suppression
  • Self-criticism
  • Loneliness
  • Interpersonal distress
  • Burnout
  • Mind wandering

A compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress people feel in difficult situations and become a profound personal resource in times of stress.

Compassion Cultivation is for everyone:

  • Community Leaders
  • Educators
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Parents
  • Caregivers
  • Therapists
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • C-Suite Executives
  • College students
  • And you!

Please explore our upcoming events and programs

What compassion course graduates say about the program

“I would say if you are thinking about doing it – just do it and do it for yourself. It is one of the most transformational things I have done. It was amazing how quickly the classes became a highlight of my week in spite of them being quite late on a Friday evening.”

Rebecca Stevens

“I would say that CCT is life-changing and uplifting.” I feel more able to help people to accept a situation when they feel that life is treating them unfairly. I also support the appreciation of the smaller things in life.”

Janet Hayes

“I loved the class time in its entirety and how the two hours were put together, with a mixture of plenary input and sharing, small groups and formal practice.”

Rebecca Stevens

“I’ve definitely noticed a shift in how I interact or receive input in my daily life. It feels silly to say this but I feel more mature. I can still be reactive/impulsive, but the moment of mentally stepping back and watching myself comes sooner…I also react differently to the vision of suffering around me. I feel a concern and an urge to help instead of an urge to flee or a surge of anxiety.

I am also more attentive to signs that the person in front of me might be suffering. To use an image, I feel like my backbone is stronger. I have a better trust in myself and in my strength, I know that I can “take it” if I am faced with someone’s suffering. Because of that, I feel I can make myself more useful in stressful situations.”

Mathilde Lenoir

“I’ll stop before responding (in most cases), I think of how I feel before reacting. Those are great gifts to find in 8 short weeks!”


“I cannot say enough about what a great experience this was for me. If you want to up your personal vibe and learn some amazing things (there are great physiological benefits from this course!), sign up.”

Chelsea C.

“This course was literally life changing for me. I can’t say enough about it to enough people in my circles. Just thank you!”

Erin R.

“I learned that I do have a bit of compassion. I enjoyed the group and different personalities. I’m more tolerant, I listen mindfully and listen before judging.”

George Roskop

“This is the first such class I’ve taken and the first longer-term commitment to a formal, spiritual practice for many years. I discovered a much deeper level of concentration and pleasure from the guided meditations than from previous techniques I used regularly for many years. I have felt compassion for a long time but never quantified it. Having the guidance is very helpful.”

Steve Ross

“I found the CCT course to be life shifting, both personally and professionally. The homework and in-class exercises, combined with guided meditations, provided a solid and meaningful foundation for personal, professional, psychological, and spiritual development and expansion. The wisdom, knowledge, kindness, and compassion with which Dr. Waibel facilitated every class was palpable—and encouraged me to incorporate this firsthand learning into my day-to-day life experiences. In our complex world, awareness and practice of compassion is a gift of collective fortune.”

Lori N.

These organizations and more have hosted compassion training

  • OSU-Cascades
  • University of Arizona
  • Humm Kombucha
  • Kialoa Paddles
  • Stanford University
  • Veterans Association of the US
  • NYU Langone Hospital 
  • Oregon State University Cascades
  • Antioch College
  • Sharp Healthcare
  • Tibet House
  • UC San Diego 
  • UCSD – Center for Mindfulness
  • Brown University Center for Mindfulness 
  • Center for Mind and Brain – UC Davis
  • Danish Center for Mindfulness at Aarhus University
  • Cancer support community San Francisco
  • NYU Silver School of Continuing Education
  • Palo Alto Police Department
  • Virginia State University
  • Menlo College
  • Lews & Clark College
  • Bend Spine & Pain Specialists
  • Harvard Law
  • University of Arkansas
  • Tucson Community Meditation Center
  • New York Council Medical Society
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