This is a difficult time. It doesn’t matter who you are. Suffering is present in so many forms right now. Home quarantine as a result of COVID-19 may bring on loneliness if you’re alone or may be overwhelming if you’re with family. Or you might be a front-line worker who can’t self-quarantine, which can bring on fear and worry. Clearly, the thorny political climate can cause anxiety or depression regardless of your personal views.
According to a May 2020 National Opinion Research Center survey of 2,000 respondents, adults are more unhappy and lonely than they’ve been in half a century. This survey was completed even before the events that led to the current state of civil unrest in the US. Only 14% of American adults said they’re very happy, down from 31% in 2018; half said they felt lonely, almost twice as many as reported loneliness two years ago. If you, too, are experiencing increased suffering, do you become frustrated by it or impatient with yourself? If so, what would it be like to offer yourself kindness instead? Are you able to access compassion for yourself?
Like The 3 Doors Academy, on which it was modeled, the Compassion Project is grounded in ancient Tibetan Bön Buddhist teachings, reframed to address the pressures of life today. The power of the program–and the way we realize personal growth—is in connecting with the openness that allows our natural compassion to arise.
Specifically, this unique program uses practices of body, speech, and mind to support personal transformation and the emergence of positive qualities in relation to self, family and community. Through personal reflection and meditation, participants develop skills to renew energy, reduce stress, and respond to others from a place of compassion. The focus on these practices and the 9-month length of the program, including multiple large and small group sessions, guided recordings for practice and a full day retreat, support the gradual unfolding of this powerful experience. Finally there is a strong focus on group interaction in the form of personal sharing that supports a sense of sharing this path of discovery with like-hearted individuals.
Given the amount of time many of us are now required to spend online, either because we are working from home or the result of so many organizations moving their meetings, appointments, and courses online, one may be deterred by the thought of another online program. Rest assured, however, that The Compassion Project is not just another online program. The warmth and grace of these Senior Teachers and their amazing ability to hold a steady presence and safe space fosters a true community experience. Many previous participants have commented on the comfort level they experienced as well as their ability to feel connected to fellow participants in the online space.
Angie, a mindfulness meditation teacher, reflects on her Compassion Project experience: “Over time, I was able to more easily recognize the positive qualities in me. Learning that I already have everything I need within me helped reduce the constant fear I realized I had been living with for so long. I was also really surprised how I was able to be comfortable and even feel a connection with others through my computer.”
The next 3 Doors Online Compassion Project will begin in September 2020 and run through May 2021 and will be facilitated by Senior Teachers Gabriel Rocco and Marcy Vaughn. Initially the course was offered to people in the helping professions, but its appeal quickly spread. Now participants include anyone who wants to expand their capacity for caring for self and others.
Learn more and register