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Welcoming the CCT™ Teacher Training 2023-24 Cohort
Welcoming the CCT™ Teacher Training 2023-24 Cohort
On the morning of April 12, 2023, we were excited to welcome the new Teacher Training cohort 2023-2024, and kick off their 7-month journey for the Compassion Cultivation Training© (“CCT”).
This global group consists of 54 amazing humans across the globe, with rich experiences and diverse identities. They are from 21 countries—including Azerbaijan, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Netherlands, Taiwan and Vietnam—areas where we previously didn’t have the presence of certified CCT™ Teachers. We’re overjoyed to have a course with a high representation from the LGBTQIA+ community and with greater gender diversity compared to the previous cohorts.
These new CCT™ Teacher Training participants come with a wide range of experiences. A majority of them are educators, nonprofit workers, and healthcare professionals. But we also have a professional airline pilot, a musician, some tech workers, a marketing professional, and ordained practitioners.
These individuals from around the world were carefully selected from around 100 applications we received based on the criteria of multiple dimensions of diversity, learning capacities for the program, and the strong intention of applicants to offer the CCT™.
On the surface, they’re different from each other in many ways, but one clear trait they share is the fierce curiosity for compassion and the strong intention to bring compassion to the people in their workplaces, organizations, and communities through CCT™.
The Journey That Strengthens My Belief in Compassion
Working with Compassion Institute as the content lead for CCT™ Teacher Training since August 2022, this day has been a long time coming for me. It was so rewarding to see the project finally culminate in the form of 54 incredible individuals who are deeply committed to sharing the wisdom of compassion with people and communities they care about. It’s just beginning for them now as they are in this program for the next 7 months, but it felt surreal and heartwarming to welcome them to this journey that I first attempted to partake in 6 years ago.
In 2017, I applied for the CCT™ Teacher Training for the first time and got rejected. The reason for rejection was unclear to me at the time but only later I could guess it was because I just wasn’t ready.
Having been working in the tech industry for nearly 13 years, I was in a “solver” mindset all the time. If I see an issue, I solve it right away. I even joked that my all time favorite Excel spreadsheet function was “Solver” (it’s quite awesome in fact). All jokes aside, I was approaching compassion as the solution for any problems I was seeing in my personal life and professional world. I wanted to get this compassion thing “right” pronto and apply it to fixing all the troubles around me right away. This mindset shows I was not quite ready for this training.
A year of questioning my true intention with compassion ensued. I realized that it might be difficult to “solve” problems but I still felt that my genuine curiosity about compassion was stronger than ever. I started thinking, “How awesome would it be if I could teach this at my workplace (Facebook back then)?” I applied for the Teacher Training again in 2018 and was overjoyed to receive an acceptance letter. From that point onward is the story of my journey of compassion, as shared in this post.
Now I know that compassion cannot always fix problems but it’s definitely the right response to the suffering we experience around them. Some problems disappear or change to become different problems. Some problems remain the same. Looking around now in the world, there are so many ecological, societal, political, economic, and technological problems. I don’t have to even seek them; they are right in front of me as I open my eyes and this will always be the case. There are no moments without problems.
However, I don’t have to feel stressed out or threatened by problems that arise. As I recognize someone experiencing problems, I can feel how I am relating to them. If I notice I feel stressed out by the pain others may feel in the problem, I could just give myself a little bit of a break with a simple breath. Then when I empathize with the pain of others, I might feel the strong urge to help them out. I think about what will truly serve them in that moment, and I can take action accordingly. Would this solve the problem? Maybe but not necessarily. But is this the right response for myself and for others in trouble? Absolutely.
Together In Community
As I look back on my own experience as a CCT™ Teacher, I feel so humbled by the wisdom that has surfaced in my life as a result of this journey. I couldn’t have done this just by myself either. Every time I felt doubts, it was the entire CCT™ community who gave me the strength to renew my intention, and that became the source of energy to continue to practice and offer the CCT™.
Thousands of hands were on deck to create this community: Dr. Thupten Jinpa who was the principal author of CCT™, Dr. James Doty and others at CCARE at Stanford, who were instrumental in offering CCT™ to a broad audience, the Founding Faculty members—Margaret Cullen, Monica Hanson, Kelly McGonigal, Dr. Erika Rosenberg, and Dr. Leah Weiss— who started the CCT™ Teacher Training program a decade ago. Additionally, the Facilitators and Alumni Coaches who will guide the new cohort throughout the Teacher Training, and 300+ Certified CCT™ Teachers in the world, who have been diligently sharing the wisdom of compassion with their audience.
It’s such an honor to witness the 2023-2024 cohort of 54 inspiring CCT™ teachers-to-be as they join this community that has been built and supported thanks to the strong intention and endless efforts by so many people since 2009. I am also deeply grateful to each of the individuals in this cohort for partaking in renewing and supporting this community as well. I am deeply committed to supporting them in the best way I can throughout their journey. Although there certainly will be some unexpected problems that we’ll need to “solve,” I feel certain that we will be able to respond to them compassionately together. After all, the entire training itself is the practice of compassion.
Welcome the new CCT™ Teacher Training Cohort 2023-2024!