Aims of the programme

  1. Learn mindfulness-awareness in the context of working with oneself and how it applies to working with others
  2. Learn when and how to offer mindfulness as a healing discipline
  3. Explore compassion in terms of developing confidence in basic sanity
  4. Work with emotions in terms of confusion and sanity
  5. Learn the skilful means of Body, Speech and Mind, both in application to personal process and in offering this to others
  6. Introduction to Maitri Space Awareness practice as an exploration of elemental energies, emotional energies and as a gateway to understanding how confusion transforms into wisdom
  7. Participate as members of a therapeutic community

Overview of modules

Karuna Training Phase 1—Personal Process
Module 1: Confidence in Basic Sanity | 3 days
Module 2: Ego from the Perspective of Contemplative Psychology | weekend
Module 3: Working with Emotions | weekend
Module 4: Exploration of Energy in Contemplative Psychology | 6 days
Plus local continuity groups
100 hours total training

Karuna Training Phase 2—Working Skilfully with Others  
Module 5: Development of Compassionate Presence | weekend
Module 6:  Exploration of Energy in Communication | 1 full day on weekends and 5 week evening class
Module 7: Therapeutic Process | weekend
Plus local continuity groups
66 hours total training

Karuna Training Phase 3—Karuna Project with Supervision
Module 8: Exploration of Energy in Working with others | 6 days
Module 9: Supervision | 1 day
Module 10: Karuna Project | 5 hours of working in compassionate exchange with another person
Module 11: Graduation/Certification | 4 days
Plus local continuity groups
102 hours total training

Teaching and Study Themes

  • Basic Sanity as a birthright
  • The Three Marks of Existence
  • Impermanence and interconnectedness
  • Recognizing ego as referential security
  • Trusting confusion as path
  • Learning what emotions are and how to work with emotions
  • The Six Realms as temporary displays of confusion
  • Understanding burn out
  • Whatever is in the room—that’s your mind
  • Exploring outer, inner and secret container
  • The Five Buddha Families
  • The power of the heart, Absolute and Relative Bodhicitta
  • Exchanging self with others as experience of mutual recovery
  • Maitri as path to deepening trust in emotions
  • Compassionate Exchange in 4 steps: Engagement, Discriminating, Mutual Agreement & Transition
  • Celebration
  • Commitment to offer ourselves as vehicles of intrinsic sanity

Skilful Means

  • Shamatha Meditation
  • Mindfulness as a 4 step process
  • Body Speech Mind groups
  • Compassionate Exchange
  • Process groups – learning to speak the microscopic truth
  • Founding of local groups
  • Forming the community through experiential exercises and rituals
  • Skandha exercises
  • Meetings with a Karuna Meditation Instruction
  • Realm Explorations
  • Exercises distinguishing  Klesha from wisdom
  • Journaling  and creative process and activities
  • Maitri Space Awareness practice
  • Giving feedback to cultivate brilliant sanity in others
  • Bodhichitta Exercises—e.g. the Four Immeasurables
  • The Four Bones in Space
  • Tonglen Practice
  • Practicum and presentations
Please find a more detailed overview of the curriculum here.