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A message from Thupten Jinpa

Thupten Jinpa, PhD | June 16, 2017

During my recent visit to the Stanford area connected with the work of Compassion Institute, I took the opportunity to attend the June alumni class, led by Monica Hanson on the campus, of those who have taken the 8-week CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training) course. As I listened to what the alumni shared—what CCT has brought into their lives, how it has helped them bring their best into the world, and also how the monthly alumni class offers them a sense of being part of a community—I felt deeply moved and inspired.


As I shared with the alumni class, I actually view the message of compassion to be a simple one: It is to live our life and relate to the people and events in our lives from the place of our better self. We all know the impulse for compassion and kindness is a natural part of who we are. It is not something we have to learn anew, like learning to play a musical instrument. Where a program like CCT can help is to provide us a discipline and a framework that enable us to make compassion an active force. This way we do not leave it simply at the mercy of a situation, something to be triggered, but it becomes a primary standpoint from which we view and relate to everything in our life. Cultivating ourselves in this way there is then the real potential for compassion to become a powerful key that unlocks all the important doors, of happiness, service, purpose, and even good health.


Seeing the enthusiasm and appreciation of the Stanford area CCT alumni class reinforced my belief that making CCT more widely disseminated, through classes offered by certified instructors, should be an important priority for the Compassion Institute. In this connection I am so moved to know that over two hundred candidates have applied for the forthcoming CCT Teacher Training program, beginning in October 2017. The quality of the applications, representing 22 countries and a wide variety of ethnic, gender, and professional backgrounds, speaks to both the universality and the urgency of the need to making compassion a more active force in our today’s increasingly troubled world.


While only fifty-five spaces are available for the forthcoming teacher training, the Institute is already preparing to offer a second round of teacher training sometime in 2018. I feel that it is crucially important for the Compassion Institute and its founding faculties, including myself, to ensure that our existing certified instructors’ needs are also served through strengthening the existing community, sharing best practices and latest scientific findings, and opening doors to offer CCT classes in different sectors within their locality. In brief, I feel deeply inspired and energized by the enthusiasm and conviction our CCT community is showing to the mission of Compassion Institute and its mission to promote compassion education in the world.


Thupten Jinpa

Chairman, Compassion Institute