Through the methods of Contemplative Psychology we:
- Develop confidence in our own intrinsic health as a precondition for recognising and cultivating this in others.
- Cultivate a clear and precise awareness of our momentary situation and the problems or disturbances that arise.
- Gain the clarity to let go of thoughts, and to experience things in a manner that transcends typical goal-oriented, diagnostic thinking.
- Develop the capacity to see relationships as a give-and-take process—from which we can emerge changed and enriched, and less exhausted and drained.
1. Recognition of Intrinsic Sanity
At the core of Karuna Training lies the notion of radiant, intrinsic health, which is characterised by openness, compassion and clarity. This is often concealed by neurosis or confusion, but is always present and can be accessed even when we are very ill, if we are willing to have the courage and openness to contact our experience directly. The starting point of this healing work is not the symptoms or conflicts we have, but rather in strengthening the healthy and creative energies we all possess.
2. Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation is a natural state of the human mind—at rest, open, alert. Undertaken as a steady practice, meditation allows the mind to relax and settle. It encourages our inherent qualities of stability, clarity and mental strength to emerge.
3. Compassion and Compassionate Exchange
Karuna Training holds that there is no fundamental duality between oneself and others. We are born with the capacity to be touched by our world. Through openness and receptivity to the physical, emotional and mental experiences, we can see our own openness. Through mindful awareness, acceptance and compassion for another we create a protected space. Here an authentic emotional exchange is possible. This Compassionate Exchange supports healing processes. Through non-conceptual and unconditional sharing of what is, intrinsic sanity is made palpable.
4. Maitri Space Awareness
Through meditation practice, and through working with our own emotions, we develop greater self-acceptance. The clarity that emerges allows us to experience the inner and outer world as spacious. This space sets the ground for us to work with the emotional energies that arise.
In Karuna Training, we use the practice of Maitri Space Awareness to examine these energies and learn to recognize their neurotic and sane manifestations in our life. Maitri Space Awareness practice was developed by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and is based on the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on the Five Buddha Families. In safe group settings we have the opportunity to cultivate greater transparency and friendliness towards our own emotional patterns.