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CCT™ Teacher Training Program

Become a Certified Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT™) Teacher

We are in between CCT Teacher Training cohorts.
You can find details from our 2023 cohort below.

Imagine if compassion was a celebrated value, an organizing principle of society and a driving force for change.

Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D
Compassion Institute President and Co-Founder
Principal English Translator to the Dalai Lama
Principal Author of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), developed at Stanford University


We are very excited to announce the Compassion Cultivation Training™ Teacher Training (“CCT Teacher Training”) for the 2023 cohort.

As a global leader in compassion training and advocacy, we develop and deliver programs for individuals, institutions, and communities designed to promote personal and societal well-being.

Why CCT Teacher Training?

Recognizing the Urgency of Compassion Now

COVID-19 and many recent societal and environmental issues further highlighted our individual and collective suffering lately. We saw a 25% increase in anxiety and depression in the global population. 52% of K-12 educators reported increased stress and burnout. 38% of health professionals experienced PTSD. The expression of suffering continues. The entire world was already desperately in need of compassion and COVID-19 pushed us to the brink, testing our resilience.

So, what can we do?

If we, as individuals and together as a global society, can take the compassionate part of our nature seriously, we have a real chance of making a more humane world. This is what the CCT Teacher Training program is for.

Meet the CCT Teacher Training Team


TJ Zoksang phto square

Thupten Jinpa, PhD



Amanda Mahoney, MA

Lakiba Pittman, MA CCT Senior Teacher

Lakiba Pittman, MA

Maria Paulo Jimenez Palacio CCT Teacher Spanish Colleague

Maria Paula Jimenez

Philippe Goldin, Senior CCT Teacher

Philippe Goldin, PhD


Brandel France de Bravo

Burrell Poe

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Dan D’Agostino


Debora Gama Lima

GAM 2019

Greg Morris

Joshua Steinfeldt

The annual UCSF Neuro-Oncology Caregiver Retreat was held on May 18, 2019, as part of the UCSF Neuro-Oncology Gordon Murray Caregiver Program for the caregivers (including spouses, parents, and children) of UCSF Brain Tumor Center patients. This year's theme was 'Fostering Resilience Through Knowledge & Self-Compassion'. The event was held at the UCSF Parnassus campus at the UCSF Faculty Alumni House.

Mary Doane

Nanja Hansen

Sandra Sanabria, CCT Teacher Training Facilitator

Sandra Sanabria

Seona Gwon



Tori Sarris

Program Manager, Training

Miroo Kim, Certified CCT Teacher

Miroo Kim

Content Lead

Our Program

What is the CCT Teacher Training?

The CCT Teacher Training Program is a teaching certification program for individuals and organizations who are passionate about compassion education and aspire to teach CCT classes in their communities.

The training will include weekly sessions over the course of 9 months and will be conducted virtually on Zoom so that we may build a global community.

What is Special about the CCT Teacher Training?

CCT Teacher Training is the only training that covers everything about compassion extensively and intensively. CCT Teacher Training draws on insights and techniques from psychology, neuroscience, and contemplative practice.

Through the CCT Teacher Training, you will learn how to embody compassion in and outside the classroom and how to confidently & effectively teach to the audience you care about.

What Does the CCT Teacher Training Look Like?

The learning journey of the CCT Teacher Training involves three important components:

Through 33 weeks of Live Online Sessions with Compassion Institute CEO Thupten Jinpa, Founding Faculty and Senior CCT Teachers, trainees can learn the foundational knowledge of the CCT in various dimensions; from philosophy to science and application of compassion.

Trainees will learn how to facilitate and teach CCT classes via two weekend-long intensives focusing on content, facilitation skills, and practice. Trainees will receive insightful feedback from Founding Faculty, Senior CCT Teachers and Certified CCT Teachers (“Alumni Coaches”) to hone their skills and embodiment as a future teacher of CCT. After trainees complete the live sessions and practice sessions, trainees will conduct one practicum course under the guidance of an advisor to get certification. Trainees will have one year to complete their practicum after the training program ends and are expected to have taught their practicum by November 2024 in order to be considered for certification.

Throughout the program, trainees are supported and enriched by an inspiring community of peers, Compassion Institute staff, Founding Faculty and Senior Teachers, and alumni coaches. Every month, trainees will meet in their small groups called “Coaching Circle” to learn and practice together with alumni coaches. Additionally, there will be optional monthly Q&A sessions and exclusive guest speaker sessions in which we’ll invite renowned speakers for the topic of compassion.

Four Periods of Rigorous Learning Experience

The program is 33 weeks long, starting in mid April and ending in mid November in 2023. The rigorous learning experience is divided into four periods; in each period, trainees will learn different aspects of compassion and practice together.

Learn the fundamentals of the CCT and the embodiment of compassion as a teacher.

Learn the basics of CCT facilitation and practice in the Coaching Circle.

Expand the knowledge of compassion through science and enhance clarity about compassion. Explore how to consider various dimensions of diversity in CCT and learn how to adapt the teaching to different contexts.

Practice CCT facilitation in the larger cohort.

CCT™ Teacher Training Course Dates

Training Periods Weeks Session Names & Dates (all times listed in Pacific Time)

Welcome Orientation,
Wednesday April 12, 7:00 - 9:00 am PT


Module 1a: Building Compassion from the Inside Out Live Session with Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D.,
Thursday, April 20, 8:00 - 9:00 am PT

Module 1b: Settling the Mind,
Friday, April 28th 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PT

Module 2: CCT Fundamentals,
Tuesdays, May 2nd - June 20th, 9:00 - 11:00 am PT

Facilitation Practice 1

Module 3: Group Facilitation 1,
Thursdays, June 29th and July 6th, 9:00 -11:00 am PT


Practice Teaching Light in Coaching Circle,
Saturday & Sunday, July 15th & 16th, local time

Expansion & Adaptation

Module 4: Compassion in Society & Organization,
Tuesdays, July 18th - August 8th, 8:00 - 10:00 am PT


Program Break,
August 9th - August 29th


Module 5: Science of Compassion,
Wednesdays, August 30th - October 4th, 8:00 - 10:00 am PT


Module 6: Conceptual Clarity,
Exact Date & Time To Be Announced

Facilitation Practice 2

Module 7: Group Facilitation 2,
Tuesdays, October 24th & October 31st, 9:00 - 11:00 am PT


Practice Teaching Intensive,
Saturdays & Sundays, November 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th, 7:00 am - 11:00 am PT


Cohort Closing,
Wednesday, November 22nd, 8:00 am - 9:30 am PT

Practicum Period
Trainees have one year to complete their practicum after the program ends, until November 30, 2024

Who is this Program for?

The CCT Teacher Training is for anyone with strong desire and intention to advocate for and increase compassion in their organizations and community.

We welcome applicants of varied backgrounds, perspectives, and goals, who are deeply committed to bringing compassion training to the organizations and communities they belong to. Our teacher training program is a key part of our organization and we seek applicants who will add diversity and unique perspectives to our community. We strongly encourage individuals from traditionally underrepresented communities to apply.

Although there are no formal educational requirements, you’ll need to meet the following prerequisites to apply for the program:


– Previously completed the 8-week CCT course (or sign up for the 8-week CCT course before the teacher training begins).

– Committed to maintaining a daily meditation practice.

– Prior training or certification in a similar contemplative education program (e.g. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self Compassion, Search Inside Yourself, etc.) can be helpful as you learn to teach CCT, although it is not required to apply.

CCT Certified Teacher Community

Since the inaugural teacher training in 2012, over 300 teachers have been trained and certified from 27 countries. Teachers come from various professions and cultural backgrounds.

Click here to see our directory of Certified CCT teachers. And click here to see our map of where CCT Teachers live.

Applications for the 2023 Cohort have closed.

2023 Program

Application Dates

January 9, 2023

Applications open.

$75 application fee will be applied to tuition for all accepted trainees.


February 21, 2023

Applications close


March 13, 2023

Cohort acceptance notices sent

Program Dates

Academic Courses

April 12 – November 20 2023



December 23, 2023 – November 2024


$6900 USD. Practicum fee included.

Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. was trained as a monk at the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University, South India, where he received the Geshe Lharam degree. Jinpa also holds a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both from Cambridge University.

Jinpa has been the principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama since 1985, and has translated and collaborated on numerous books by the Dalai Lama including the New York Times Bestsellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness, as well as Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World. His own publications include A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives and translations of major Tibetan works featured in The Library of Tibetan Classics series. Jinpa is the principal author of Compassion Cultivation Training™ (CCT©) developed while at Stanford University in 2009. In 2021, Jinpa’s online self-paced course, Building Compassion from the Inside Out, was launched to the general public.

A frequent speaker at various international conferences on mindfulness, compassion, and contemplative practice, Jinpa serves as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal and is the founder and president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics. He has been a core member of the Mind and Life Institute and its Chairman of the Board since January 2012.

Amanda D. Mahoney, MA is the Leader of Wellness and Culture at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialist in Loveland, Colorado. In addition, Amanda is a senior educator at the Compassion Institute and a wellness coach for companies throughout the country. Her areas of expertise are self-care and wellness, resiliency in the workplace, burnout prevention and creating a sustainable work culture. The cornerstones of Amanda’s work emphasize a compassionate mindset and a solution focused approach to understanding the events that unfold in life and how these events can impact our health and wellbeing. As a helping professional (psychotherapist) who has experienced empathy fatigue during her career, resiliency and wellbeing in the workplace have become a passion and focus of Amanda’s work. In particular, working with helping professionals and institutions to create resiliency in fields where exposure to the suffering of others is an inherent part of a professional experience. Amanda received her BA from Boston College and her MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University.

Lakiba was certified by Stanford’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE) in 2014, to teach Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) workshops. Working with the Compassion Institute, Lakiba develops and delivers public workshops, including culturally relevant specialized workshops for a range of clients. In addition to Stanford’s CCARE program, Lakiba has trained with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, Mindful Schools, Mission Be, The Greater Good of U.C. Berkeley, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics & Transformative Values @ MIT, Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) and Stanford’s Designing Your Life for Women (DYL). Lakiba is a Senior Adjunct Professor at Menlo College and Notre Dame de Namur University. She holds a B.A. in Creative Arts, an M.A. in Organizational Development and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Consciousness, Spirituality & Integrated Health.

Maria Paula is a Senior Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT™) Instructor. She served as a Faculty member of the Spanish version of the CCT™ Teacher Training offered in Spain through Nirakara Institute. Simultaneously she is the Administrator of the Live Online Mindful Self-Compassion program offered by the Center for Mindful Self Compassion. She is also a lecturer, organizational consultant and advisor to groups and individuals on topics related to well-being/ whole-being, change, contemplative practices, mindfulness, and compassion.

María Paula studied Psychology at Los Andes University, with a minor in business. She is an expert in Corporate Social Responsibility from Sergio Arboleda University and in Integrative Therapies from the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad del Rosario. In addition, she completed an Integrative Medicine Training with the International Sintergética Association.

She has offered trainings, talks, and conferences to different audiences in Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Spain, and the United States.

Philippe Goldin, PhD is a Professor at UC Davis and leads the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. His team is currently engaged in (a) basic research on the brain networks that differentiate different types of emotion regulation strategies; (b) clinical research on the neural bases of psychopathology; and (c) clinical intervention research examining the brain and behavioral mechanisms of therapeutic change during Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Compassion Cultivation Training in adults with anxiety, depression and chronic pain disorders.

Brandel holds a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. As a public health professional, she has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist. She divides her time between Mexico and Washington, D.C. where she volunteers for the nonprofit, Insight on the Inside, which shares meditation practices to inspire and empower the incarcerated, returning citizens, people transitioning from homelessness, and all affected by poverty, aging, and illness. Brandel studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified CCT teacher.

Burrell has been actively involved in with the community since he was 10 years old and today he brings experience as a U.S. Army Veteran and a peace activist. On behalf of Compassion It and the Institute for Nonviolence, Burrell works with former gang members who are reintegrating into the social fabric and becoming change agents in the community. Burrell brings experience as a community organizer and workshop facilitator to Compassion Cultivation Training. Burrell is also a Nonviolence Trainer for the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago. Burrell is on the Emerging Leaders Board of Mikva Challenge and is the Director of Compassion It Chicago.”

I’ve been teaching CCT since my certification in 2019. I’ve taught a wide variety of people of every age, in every walk of life, and from all across North America. Having worked as an academic librarian at the University of Toronto for 33 years, I feel particularly drawn to teaching young people, believing that the ability to cultivate compassion will be invaluable in helping them face the challenges of the future. I first began meditating over 20 years ago and have taught a broad range of practices in a number of different settings.

Dr. Debora Gama Lima is a retired general surgeon, a certified Mediator in the Justice Courts, and an Executive Coach. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the field of medicine and law to the compassion experience. Dr. Gama Lima is a certified executive coach with Neuroleadership Institute and has guided numerous physicians, executives, and lawyers. She helps her clients cultivate their inner resources and learn to emanate peace and serenity in even the most stressful environments.

Greg Morris (they/them) is a student and practitioner of bhakti yoga and Advaita Vedanta, as well as a student and devotee of the Tao Te Ching and the four gospels of the New Testament. A lifelong peace advocate and bridge-builder with childhood grounding in Unitarianism, Greg offers their spiritual practice as the foundation of their work as a management consultant specializing in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In addition, they are the recipient and beneficiary of several healing modalities, most notably Rosen Method (Marion Rosen, Robert Harry Rovin), Transformational Bodywork (Stephen Allario, Fred Mitouer), Holistic Sexuality (Marina Romero), Interpersonal Dynamics (David Bradford), and psychotherapy. Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is a secular program developed by Stanford University’s Department of Neurosurgery under the guidance of Geshe Thupten Jinpa.

Joshua Steinfeldt holds a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a student of Dr. Martin Seligman, and Dr. Angela Duckworth. For the past 4.5 years Joshua has overseen the coach community at BetterUp, which includes 3,000 coaches in over 70 countries. BetterUp is the largest digital coaching and mental health startup in the world.. Passionate about supporting people in thriving by leveraging practices informed by ancient wisdom and modern science, Joshua calls upon his training as a compassion and mindfulness teacher, his education in positive psychology, and his work as a professional coach over the past 15 years. His podcast, The Courageous Life, which features world-renowned thought leaders is a deep and authentic conversation about what matters most in life work and love. To learn more visit:

Mary Doane is Supervising Instructor of Education Programs at Zen Caregiving Project in San Francisco, where she develops course content and trains and mentors instructors. She served for ten years as a volunteer hospice caregiver. Mary has completed Buddhist Chaplaincy training at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and Being With Dying training for clinicians at Upaya Institute and Zen Center. Earlier, she studied socially engaged Buddhist practice with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

Mary trained at Stanford University to teach CCT and has dual Instructor certification from the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford and from Compassion Institute (CI). She teaches throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nanja moved back to Copenhagen, Denmark, 6 years ago, after working at Stanford University as a therapist. Nanja completed her Ph.D. at Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine, Danish Center for Mindfulness, where she investigated the effect of CCT for informal caregivers of people with a mental illness and also investigated the mediators of CCT. She continues to work at Aarhus University as a psychologist and researcher, investigating the effects of compassion training within different populations. Nanja teaches courses, workshop, and training on compassion for professionals in Denmark.

Sandra is a Buddhist practitioner in the Theravada tradition. She is a Dharma mentor and a certified Compassion Cultivation Training teacher teaching in English and Spanish with the Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California; she teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area and online in Colombia. Sandra is a graduate of the Applied Compassion Training program from Stanford University (CCARE) and a certified mindfulness teacher with the Mexican Mindfulness Institute (IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Professional Level) and the Mindfulness Without Borders program. Sandra works in the Biotech industry and co-leads a secular mindfulness grassroots group at her workplace. Sandra profoundly believes that cultivating compassion and kindness is essential for achieving profound and lasting well-being within ourselves, our relationships, and the world.

Seona works as a teacher, producer, writer, translator in South Korea, and occasionally in California. She is an International Dharma Instructor, certified by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Also, Seona is a certified teacher of CCT and Mindful Self Compassion (MSC), teaching in both Korean and English. For 15 years, Seona was an Instructor at Joongang Sangha University, the primary buddhist university in Korea for monks and nuns, also taught in the graduate school of Dongguk University’s Buddhist Department, and at the International School of Buddhist Studies (ISBS). As a producer, she brought the Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh to South Korea in 2003, and Zen teacher Norman Fischer in 2017. In 2018 she founded the “Empathy and Compassion Institute.”

Seona has a Phd in Buddhist Studies. She has been a practitioner of Korean Zen (Seon) since childhood. Her central path is developing and deepening her own compassion and then manifesting it in life and action in the larger world.

Tori Higa-Sarris (she/her/hers) manages training programs and public facing offerings for Compassion Institute including CCT Teacher Training, Building Compassion from the Inside Out, and Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) offerings taught by certified teachers across the world.

Tori graduated from University of Puget Sound and began her career as an AmeriCorps member, working to improve financial insecurity in the Seattle area. She has spent her career working in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, launching innovative pilot programs that support the growth of her community and working to reduce racial disparities.

Tori continues to work toward being anti-racist, pursuing non-optical allyship, and educating herself on issues of cultural appropriation & systemic racism in her community. She is excited to continue exploring ideas of mindfulness, compassion, and anti-racism as part of the Compassion Institute team.

Since joining Compassion Institute in 2020, Tori has had the privilege to work across teams and interact with CI’s work on multiple levels. She is now honored to support the growth of compassion across the globe through her work with the public facing programming. In her current role, she gets to interact with people across the world who have the common goal of increasing compassion in their communities.

In her free time, Tori can be found outside- hiking, running, camping, and backpacking with her family in Central Oregon.

Miroo Kim is a changemaker for systemic wellbeing inside corporations and organizations. In her 18+ years of career, she loved bringing meaningful impact on the lives of people with technologies, working at Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. Ironically, working on the latest technologies of our time, she realized that the best technology was already inside us – our awareness. She feels passionate about cultivating human minds individually and systemically. She hopes to empower others to feel whole as human and help them imagine and achieve big dreams together in organizations, enabled by systemic wellbeing.

She has led various roles at Apple, Microsoft, and Meta for 18 years. Some of her works includes launching new iPhones, Windows Phone, and in underserved parts of the world. One of her most recent projects was to lead and grow the Mindfulness Community, an employee club at Meta, offering mindfulness programs to cultivate a mindful and compassionate community at the workplace. She is a certified instructor for the Search Inside Yourself, Compassion Cultivation Training and yoga. She loves playing with her first grader and enjoys having Dharma conversations with her partner. She also loves going for a long walk or run in her neighborhood in SF with a good podcast.