The Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) program was created by: Frits Koster and Erik van den Brink. They both live and work in the Netherlands; they are also co-authors of the books: “Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living” and “A Practical Guide to Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living. Living with Heart.” MBLC is a mental health training program directed at people who want to learn how to deal with pain, stress or suffering in a healthy way, in any form – physical, mental, emotional or relational. The program consists of 8 sessions of 2.5 hours each and an additional session in silence – “Mindfulness Day.”
Those already familiar with mindfulness practice who have done 8 weeks of mindfulness-based training (e.g. MBSR/MBCT/MBLC/Breathworks) can deepen the healing effects of mindfulness with this program. It offers the practice of cultivating compassion for self and others. MBCL can especially support people experiencing shame, self-criticism, guilt, social isolation, depression, anxiety, illness, chronic pain, post-traumatic experiences. It will also be helpful for people who want to deepen their own development, practice, get to know themselves better, live more mindfully, with greater kindness and compassion for themselves and others. The MBCL exercises help participants experience the key conditions for well-being: warmth, safety, acceptance and connection, both with themselves and others.
It is particularly suitable for people who find mindfulness practice beneficial, but have difficulty integrating it into their daily lives, and want to develop a kind and compassionate attitude toward themselves and others.
The training is based on a scientific understanding of the importance of compassion/self-compassion. The positive effects of most components have been separately demonstrated in studies among clinical and non-clinical populations. The concept of the MBCL program is inspired by the work of Paul Gilbert (“The Compassionate Mind,” Constable 200), Christopher Germer (“The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion,” Guilford 2009); Kristin Neff (“Self-Compassion,” Morrow 2011), Tara Brach (“Radical Acceptance,” Random House 2003) and Rick Hanson (“Buddha’s Brain,” New Harbinger 2009), among others.
COMPASSION WHAT IS IT
Compassion is the ability, to feel concern and care for the pain and suffering we experience, both our own and that of others. This is accompanied by a desire to provide relief, to alleviate that pain and suffering, and a desire to take responsibility for how we address it.
While pity is accompanied by fear and sentimentality, compassion requires courage and generosity. Compassion excludes no one, especially the person we have the most to deal with in our lives… namely ourselves. There are good reasons to start practicing compassion. If we overlook ourselves and our own needs all the time, it will be difficult for us to see the needs of others.
Many believe that compassion should be directed at others rather than ourselves. Practicing compassion is not selfish. Since we develop a healthier relationship with ourselves, our path opens up for more empathy and compassion for others. When we truly encounter our pain, we develop a sensitivity that will benefit ourselves and others. We learn to respond wisely and compassionately to suffering and those who experience it. Compassionate living is based on the realization of our common humanity and interconnectedness with all beings.
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Mindfulness Course is led by Anna Gubernat. Certified MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; 2015) and MBCL (Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living; 2019) teacher, MBCL supervisor since 2021. She has completed the full Insight, MBLC (Mindfulness Based Living Course) and CBLC (Compassion Based Living Course) certification training, all three certified by the Mindfulness Association (UK). From 2014 to 2019, she was the president of the Polish Mindfulness Society, while studying Psychology at SWPS University in Warsaw, she founded and led the Mindfulness Study Circle from 2013 to 2018. She initiated the expansion of the Circle’s activities to other SWPS University’s Faculty of Overseas Studies, and independent Study Circles were established in Wroclaw, Sopot and Poznan.