Befriending Yourself: A Journey in Self-Compassion

Befriending Yourself: A Journey in Self-Compassion

5-week In-Person Program

January 16 - Feb 13

6:00 - 8:30pm

The Center for Mindfulness offers "You Choose" payment options for this course.

Range of Tuition Options: $325, $275, $225

For this program, you may determine your own tuition payment based on your financial means, with a minimum of $225. For those of you who can afford to, we invite you to make your payment at the higher level, which will help to allow those unable to pay more at this time to attend this program at a discounted rate.

Register Now
  • You will be re-directed to our online registration system where you will create a username and password
  • You will be sent an email to confirm your account - you must reply to this email to confirm
  • Return to the registration page and log in
  • This course is listed under Special Programs at the bottom of the list - 'Areas of Learning'

Directions to the CFM

A course for graduates of either the 8-week MBSR or MBCT course, or for those with an established mindfulness practice.

Self-compassion starts with a desire to stop hurting. And while we often extend kindness and care to others when they are hurting, why do we often not extend that same warmth and sense of befriending to ourselves? In this course, we will live inside this question through practice, exploring how to cultivate compassion for ourselves as the basis for genuinely caring for ourselves—not in order to “fix” who we are, but because living with self-compassion is an act of kindness, as well as a foundation for caring fully and wisely for, and about, others. By looking at the ways that we criticize ourselves, ignore or downplay our own suffering, and hold ourselves to standards that we would never hold others to, we will have the opportunity to pause, reflect, and befriend who we are right now. We will consider how the assumption that we should never feel inadequate, unworthy, and so on, actually perpetuates and strengthens a divide between ourselves and others, and that this divide often leads to our being overly critical, which feeds the loop of our own hurt. Through meditation, individual and group reflection, working in pairs and small groups, class discussions, journaling, and living with intentionality and awareness between classes, we will explore how to interrupt the cycle of self-denigration, self-inflation, and other destructive mindsets. With the cycle interrupted, we will take advantage of the space for clear seeing that arises—to be in wise, tender relationship to our own heart in ways that can inspire us to not take for granted this one precious life.

Course Objectives

  • Recognize the relationship between mindfulness and self-compassion
  • Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in a group of mindfulness practitioners and on your own between classes
  • Stop ignoring your own pain and suffering, and instead, hold what you feel in kindness
  • Appreciate the full experience of being human—what we perceive as pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral
  • Reflect and share about experiences of self-compassion
  • Experience community support and friendship in a safe environment as we explore self-compassion together
  • Challenge our habitual ways of being in relationship to self and others (try something different)
  • Hold inquiry as a valuable part of the process of cultivating self-compassion
  • Foster relationships with other mindfulness practitioners around self-compassion

Course Outcomes

  • Make the practice of self-compassion your own
  • Reduce the effect that challenging emotions have on your ability to experience self-compassion
  • Make kindness and care for yourself a priority
  • Carry the practices of self-compassion beyond the 5 weeks that we practice together

Rebecca Eldridge, MFAYour Instructor

Rebecca Eldridge has taught mindfulness to cancer survivors, people in chronic pain, medical and mental health professionals, the military, lay ministers, and monastics, and was featured giving meditation instruction in two online courses taught by Pema Chödrön: Making Friends with Yourself and How to Live with Compassion and Courage. Before joining the teaching faculty at the Center for Mindfulness, she offered the MBSR course in person and online in Coastal Virginia, and served as a hospice volunteer and co-founder of The Integrative Medicine Community of Coastal Virginia. Prior to her work in mindfulness, Rebecca taught literature and creative writing at Christopher Newport University and worked as an information developer in the tech field.

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