Putting Compassion Into Action

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Putting Compassion Into Action: A Summary of

The Global Compassion Summit – July 7-9, 2015
By: Gonzalo Brito Pons, Lori Wong, and Emily Hine

Resource overview: The below information is a summary of the Global Compassion Summit which took place July 7-9, 2015 during The Shift Network’s annual Summer of Peace. This information is intended to help the reader take the next step towards contributing to a more compassionate world,  whether you want to take a mindfulness or compassion class, take specific compassionate actions or get involved with one of our compassion-oriented sponsors, we hope you’ll find what you’re looking for here. This resource page is divided into three segments:

  1. Compassion and Mindfulness Education Protocols
  2. Summary of Summit Speakers’ Compassionate Actions
  3. Summary of Summit Sponsor’s Mission and Ways to Get Involved



  1. Overview: Interest in meditation and mindfulness has increased enormously over the last 30 years and mindfulness-based interventions are now offered in healthcare and educational settings worldwide due to their efficacy on stress reduction, attention and affect regulation, and symptom relief.

More recently, a second wave of secular contemplative trainings that include mindfulness practice but focus on the cultivation of prosocial mental states and attitudes, such as loving kindness and compassion, are attracting interest from researchers, clinicians, and the public. The emergence of these programs reflect a shift in emphasis from meditation as a stress reduction tool to meditation as a way of cultivating relational wellbeing and social transformation through training in empathy and compassion for self and others.

We can see an interesting progression in terms of the contemplative practices that have been transmitted from east to west and from religious to secular language: Body to Mind to Relationships to Social awakening:  Yoga (healing the body) - Mindfulness (calming the mind’s reactivity and enhancing mindful presence in the midst of the “full catastrophe”) - Compassion (relational well being/social awakening beyond stress reduction, co-creating altruistic cultures).

  1. Mindfulness-only Programs:
  1. Popular Mindfulness Programs mentioned during the summit:
    • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR,Kabat-Zinn, UMass Med School.) Taught in hundreds of health care and educational centers worldwide.
    • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT; Williams, Teasdale, Segal). Integrates aspects of cognitive–behavioral therapy for depression into the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). MBCT teaches patients who are currently in remission from recurrent major depression to become more aware of, and to relate differently to, their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT; Marsha Linehan)
    • Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP; Alan Marlatt)
    • Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT, Jean Kristeller)
    • Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance (MBEB, Margaret Cullen)
    • Others.
  1. Some benefits of mindfulness-based programs:
    • Increase awareness of body, feelings, emotions and thoughts.
    • Decrease stress, not mainly by focusing on relaxation but by diminishing reactivity to stressful events.
    • Become familiar with the workings of the mind, developing meta-cognition (the capacity to become aware of one’s own mental processes). This, in turn, allows people to de-identify with the contents of the mind, developing a more equanimous relationship with thoughts and emotions.
    • Participants learn to observe habitual reactive patterns to stressful events and learn to mindfully respond to these events instead of simply reacting in auto-pilot.
    • Integration of mindful awareness in everyday life through informal practices.
  1. Mindfulness is already an important step in the cultivation of compassion. Why?
    • When we’re mindful we become more present and available to others.
    • Mindfulness activates and strengthens areas of the brain that are also active in empathy and compassion (e.g., prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, sensorio-motor cortex, etc.)
    • Both mindfulness and compassion training diminish mind-wandering (default mode network: self-centered rumination which makes us unhappy and makes us blind to one’s own and other people’s suffering.)
    • If we understand compassion as a complex response to suffering that begins with the awareness of one’s or another’s suffering, then the cultivation of awareness is a crucial prerequisite for empathizing and responding compassionately to oneself and others.
    • Diminished reactivity and not being overwhelmed by emotions and thoughts is the basis for compassionate courage. Lack of mindfulness and over-identification with thoughts and emotions sets the stage for empathic distress.
  1. Compassion-based Interventions:

Overview: In compassion trainings and interventions the main focus is not concentration on a particular object (as in concentrative practices) nor keeping a nonjudgmental awareness of present-moment experience (as in mindfulness), but on the cultivation of specific emotions and attitudes that ultimately lead to individual and collective well being, most prominently loving-kindness and compassion.  Loving-kindness consists of developing a state of unconditional kindness to all beings, and compassion meditation involves practices that foster a deep, genuine, and embodied empathic concern in the face of suffering, together with a committed intention to ease this suffering. 

Contemporary Compassion Programs:

  1. Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC): Developed by psychologists and meditation teachers Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. Combines mindfulness skills and self-compassion practices.  Neff and Germer proposed that “self-compassion involves being touched by one’s own suffering, generating the desire to alleviate one’s own suffering and treat oneself with understanding and concern”.  The cultivation of self-compassion depends, in this framework, on cultivating its three components: kindness towards oneself (the tendency to be caring and understanding with self), common humanity (seeing one’s failures and inadequacies as part of the shared human experience), and mindfulness (being aware of and present with of one’s experiences without over-identifying with them).

Structure: Eight 2-hour weekly meetings in which formal (sitting meditation) and informal self-compassion exercises are taught.  Each class combines experiential exercises and discussion periods, which are complemented with homework practices oriented to cultivating a self-compassionate attitude. Exercises include: soothing touch, affectionate breathing, giving and receiving compassion, self-compassion break.

Research outcomes: Previous correlational studies have found that greater self-compassion predicts lower levels of anxiety and depression (Neff, 2012), decreases cortisol and increases heart-rate variability (an indicator related to the ability to self-soothe when stressed, and that is associated with mental and physical wellbeing).  Self-compassion has been correlated with less rumination, perfectionism, and fear of failure. At the same time, self-compassionate people are more willing to acknowledge their negative emotions as valid and important and show less thought suppression. Self-compassionate individuals also have improved relationship functioning and report more empathetic concern, altruism, perspective taking, and forgiveness. In the first randomized control trial (RCT),  compared to controls, the MSC group showed significantly greater gains in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and life satisfaction, as well as decreases in depression, anxiety , stress, and avoidance (medium to large effects size in all variables, except from stress reduction, which showed small effect size).   All positive changes in the intervention group were maintained after 6 months and 1 year. 

Resources and training : www.self-compassion.org, http://www.centerformsc.org

  1. Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT): Based on a compassion model that integrates the insights of evolutionary psychology, neurobiology, and attachment theory, Paul Gilbert has developed a psychotherapeutic model and a group-based therapeutic approach for people with shame and self-criticism.  Over the course of the intervention, clients develop an internal compassionate relationship with themselves to replace the blaming, condemning, and self-critical one.  In this model the therapist is responsible to demonstrate these skills and attributes, which are gradually instilled in the client. CFT is not just a therapeutic model but a Focus on compassion that can be integrated into other models of therapy to activate and nourish people’s affiliative capacity and the ability to sooth and connect.

CFT involves training in compassionate skills such as: Compassionate attention, compassionate reasoning, compassionate sensation, compassionate feeling, compassionate behavior, and compassionate imagery.  Imagery is an important skill in this training. For instance, clients are invited to imagine their ideal of compassion, a human or nonhuman image that is envisioned as sentient and endowed with wisdom, strength, warmth and non judgment.  Sometimes clients are asked to imagine themselves sitting in front of this compassionate ideal and notice what they feel when they are receiving this compassionate presence. These Skills are cultivated through the quality of the therapeutic relationship and also through diverse techniques and exercises, including the therapeutic relationship, guided discovery, Socratic dialogues, inference chains, function analysis, behavioral experiments, exposure and toleration, mindfulness, guided imagery, expressive writing, and independent practice, etc. Check out this animated video to get a glimpse of how CFT  works.

Structure: The number of sessions is not fixed and this can be done one-on-one in the context of therapy and also in group Compassionate Mind Training.

Research outcomes: With people with high shame and self-criticism CFT had a significant effect on anxiety, depression, self-attacking, feelings of inferiority, submissive behavior, and shame.  There was also a significant increase in the participant's ability to be self-soothing and focus on feelings of warmth and reassurance for the self.  In another study applying CFT with people with schizophrenia, participants showed significant decrease in depression, anxiety, and paranoia.  Interestingly, it also had an effect on the hostile voices, making them less persecutory, less malevolent, and more reassuring.  In people with eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, EDNOS) CFT also had a positive impact.

Resources and training: Compassionate Mind Foundation which offers a wide range of free resources , including downloadable manuals with key theoretical and practical aspects of CFT. www.compassionatemind.co.uk

  1. Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT). It was developed by the Tibetan Lama Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, director of the Emory-Tibet partnership at Emory University.  This program is similar to Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) in that it is based on traditional Buddhist methods to cultivate compassion, is delivered in a secular language and in a group format, includes standard focused attention practices at the beginning of the program, and follows a progression of compassion practices from easier to more challenging.  This program includes meditation practices adapted from mind/heart training techniques (lojong) largely derived from the writings of Indian Buddhist masters Shantideva (8th century) and Atisha (11th century).  The core of these practices is to transform egocentric thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns that are harmful for self and others into thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are beneficial.

Structure. The program is structured in 8 weeks that include the following weekly steps: Developing Attention and Stability of Mind; Cultivating Insight into the Nature of Mental Experience; Cultivating Self-Compassion; Developing Equanimity; Developing Appreciation and Gratitude for Others; Developing Affection and Empathy; Realizing Wishing and Aspirational Compassion; and Realizing Active Compassion for Others.

Research Outcomes: CBCT Compassion meditation may reduce subjective and physiological responses to psychosocial stress: lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate, lower perceived stress  (Pace et al., 2009, 2010). More recently, another study suggests that CBCT may increase amygdala response (sensitivity to suffering) and at the same time decrease depression. CBCT is also being researched in specific populations, including elementary school children; youth in the foster care system; stress and trauma for war victims in Kosovo; and suicide attempters in a hospital in Atlanta. 

Resources and Training: https://tibet.emory.edu/

  1. Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT). Thupten Jinpa, a former lama and Tibetan scholar, developed the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) in collaboration with psychologists at Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).  This program, like Emory’s  CBCT, is based in Tibetan Buddhist lojong teachings aimed at transforming the practitioners’ view from a self-centered to an altruistic one. Compassion is understood in CCT as a multidimensional process whose main components are awareness of the suffering of others (cognitive aspect); sympathetic concern related to being moved by suffering (affective aspect); a wish to see the suffering relieved (intentional aspect); and a responsiveness or readiness to help relieve that suffering (motivational aspect).  Consequently, the cultivation of compassion in CCT involves a multidimensional approach that uses a variety of didactic and experiential components to gradually incline the participants’ minds toward compassion.  The Compassion Cultivation Training program has been taught throughout North America, Europe and in countries such as Australia, Colombia, Spain, Chile, Mexico and Botswana. To date, CCARE has trained over 100 CCT Teachers.

The CCT structure involves six steps spread throughout 8-9 weeks:

Step 1: Settling the mind and learning to focus it. 

Step 2: Loving-kindness and compassion for a loved one.

Step 3: Loving-kindness and compassion for oneself.

Step 4: Embracing shared common humanity and appreciating the deep interconnectedness of self and others.

Step 5: Compassion toward others, including all beings.

Step 6: Active compassion practice, which involves imagining taking away others’ pain and sorrow, and offering to them one’s own peace and happiness. 

Finally, in week 8, the course presents an integrated practice.

Research outcomes: CCT facilitates the development of positive affect and decrease negative affect, such as anxiety and mood symptoms; decrease fears of compassion; decrease rumination; and enhance the probability to act compassionately towards others.

A Randomized controlled Trial in Chile showed that CCT participants decreased in depression, anxiety, increase in life satisfaction mindfulness, self compassion, empathic concern compassion, identification with all humanity. Anonymous reports by family members showed that 62% of CCT takers were perceived as being more empathic, better at listening, more available, and less reactive toward difficult others.

Resources and Training: http://ccare.stanford.edu/. Look for the CCT Directory to find out if there is a certified teacher in your area. Another great resource is Thupten Jinpa’s recent Book: “A Fearless Heart.” CCARE also offers events with invited speakers, which are often recorded and available for later viewing.

  1. Additional programs and resources for further education:
  • Max Plank Institute; Tania Singer Lab in Lepzig. They have done pioneering multidisciplinary work in  empathy and compassion. Singer compiled a wonderful free interactive book: “Compassion: Bridging Practice and science” 
  • GRACE model of Compassion by Joan Halifax: A model of compassion specially designed for people who work serving others. Check out this article on the GRACE process by Roshi Joan Halifax
  • Richard Davidson is another pioneer in mindfulness and compassion research. Check out their publications and free resources at The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a set of tools developed by Marshall Rosenberg for conflict resolution. It’s also called Compassionate Listening programs in some places. These trainings are very practical and useful. Thom Bond of NYC NVC offers an online Compassion Course focusing on using NVC for compassion in communication. The course offers weekly messages, online conference calls as well as an online community. http://compassioncourse.org/  Visit www.cnvc.org for +info.
  • For a Christian-based compassion training, see the  Center for Engaged Compassion at the Claremont School of Theology. This Certificate in Engaged Compassion is a twelve-week course of skill-based instruction on compassionate living within families, work, ministry, and the world. It includes weekly spiritual practices designed for use in daily life, weekly one-to-one spiritual guidance. It’s open to laypersons and community leaders. 
  • Promising children’s compassion education programs are currently under development. For example, check out Compassion It compassion programs for young children, middle schoolers, and teens. Also, the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds has a kindness curriculum for pre-schoolers which has been researched (kids show more altruistic behavior after training compared to controls).
  • The Fetzer Institute has a great website. They also have a pack of conversation cards - on love, forgiveness, compassion - that groups can use to start conversations on these topics.
  • Central Connecticut State University has a Campus of Compassion website which offers a page of resources including a list of books, videos and universities for further study.
  • For people in the health care professions, check out the Altruism in Medicine Institute, founded by Barry Kerzin.
  • Finally, The Empathy Library and The Center for Greater Good Science have wonderful free educational resources, including these Compassion Stories.

Becoming a mindfulness and/or compassion teacher: The following programs are available if you’d like to become a certified teacher of mindfulness and compassion programs. Each teacher training program has its own requirements. In general, they all involve a long term commitment of study and practice before teaching.




Overview: Context/high-level observations about the conference in general.

Overall observation of all of the speakers is that we need to embody the change we wish to see – that compassion is essential to the survival of the human race and the planet – making compassion viral is the message that seemed to be overarching. Also, every act we do towards compassion, no matter how small, is consequential and important. We have an effect on others, even when we cultivate compassion individually.

  1. Speaker Advice for Taking Compassionate Actions; Summarized by Speaker Order:

Dr. James Doty/CCARE:  Each of us has the ability to positively affect one person every day. Therefore, as an act of compassion, be kind to at least one person every day. He also makes use of a personal daily acronym that helps him stay centered as a human being and act in an intentional way.

Dacher Keltner: Spoke on the evolution of compassion and how there is a biological effect when we are compassionate with one another. Therefore, the most simple way to increase compassion are to breathe more, touch more, and Breathe more, and look into people’s eyes more often and for longer periods. He said that these are all old systems that help us feel compassion. 

He also said that here in the United States, we have an ambivalent attitude about suffering. We need to learn how to embrace suffering, dive in & in learning how to be with suffering, we can make things better. This can lead to more emotional freedom and inner peace.

Roshi Joan Halifax said, “We must disrupt our complacency!” Below is her list of compassionate actions:

  • Simple acts of kindness
  • Educate and protect the lives of children
  • Sit with the dying
  • Protect the earth
  • Feed the homeless
  • Volunteer in prisons
  • Be a refuge for refugees
  • Be meat-free
  • Be content - don’t over consume
  • Look to women for leadership
  • Address racism
  • End war - be a peacemaker
  • Practice GRACE: gather/ground use mindfulness, remember intention, attune/empathize, consider benefit to all, engage/enact - see Huffington post article on G.R.A.C.E.

Congressman Tim Ryan said that the mindfulness (and compassion) movements take collective effort. He urged everyone listening to get involved and get connected to this movement. He suggested we start where we are in our home, business or school. Then, get in touch with his office and organize at a grassroots level so that together, we can implement these proven programs, save lives and reduce healthcare costs. Finally, he had a message for meditators and yoga practitioners everywhere who want to be ‘one with everything.’ His sentiment? Vote! Not voting is not being one with the world; not voting is being separate. Even if you find politics messy, you must vote. You have to engage.  His website: www.timryan.house.gov

Kelly McGonigal: Kelly spoke about how choosing compassion even in times of stress can create more emotional resilience. But sometimes, we have to start small. Some of her advice;

  • Fake it until you make it. Take small steps to prime the pump in the opposite direction of how we are feeling. Even if we don’t think it’s working, try taking small compassionate actions & eventually, the tides turn.
  • Getting out into public spaces and out of isolation is an important step in reconnecting with common humanity. If you are in moments of depression or grief, recognizing that “just like me” these other people I see have experienced depression, grief, stress or despair. I am not alone.
  • Practice small acts of kindness. Seeing ourselves as being helpful in the eyes of others can help us in times of stress, loneliness or sadness.
  • Choose media wisely. It matters what we “feed” ourselves and it’s important to feed ourselves with narratives that are uplifting. We will prime ourselves for more compassionate responses if we choose uplifting narratives about compassion in action and resilience rather than watching things that are distressing. Choose your news, books, entertainment, groups etc. with that in mind.

Thupten Jinpa emphasized two things for us to do as individuals in our day to day lives:

  • Conscious attention - We can pay attention to how or in what ways compassion fits into my life and my values. When compassion is present, we can pay attention and nurture it. If it is a value that I want to embody, I need to pay attention to opportunities for compassion to be included in my daily actions.
  • Conscious intention - We can consciously make compassion part of our intention in how we live our lives.  If we start each day with an intention to be compassionate, this begins to influence how we live our lives. We can bring to mind our intention to be compassionate in difficult moments and that intention can help shape our response.

These two things will help us exercise our compassion muscle!

Kristin Neff said that life is filled with buckets of joy & buckets of sorrow and she encouraged us to embrace it all as part of the human experience. Other ideas:

  • In her talk, she walked us through a self-compassion break - this is a way for us to really work with what’s difficult that we encounter and a great way to transform our criticizing and judging to a more compassionate way to be with not only ourselves, but those in our world, too.
  • Her website: http://self-compassion.org/ has many free resources: Take the self-compassion survey. This is a scale to measure how self-compassionate you are currently. Get your score & calculate how you might increase your compassion for self.
  • Download the free self-compassion exercises & guided meditation or review the research articles to understand the science behind this work.

Barbara Fredrickson: Suggested that we recognize and embrace micro-moments of love. This is a very critical piece to living compassionately. It’s as critical to our health as eating enough fruits and vegetables every day. Some things we can do to increase our positive emotions and connection includes: Practice micromoments of shared connection; keep use of technology limited; increase eye-contact and connection with others; journal reflections on our moments of connection at the end of the day; pace ourselves i.e. slow down. Emotions are embodied states and we must slow down to experience them. She suggested that we not rush past compassion, in either the giving or receiving of it as both sides of compassion have profound benefits. She left us with many free resources including:

Nipun Mehta reiterated how essential it is to go out and do that small act of kindness and that no act is too small - we must not trivialize even the smallest thing we do. Make kindness something you do everyday - perhaps take on the 21-day Kindness challenge. He said to do these acts as plan A, not as plan B (make it your priority).

How can I serve? was Nipun’s biggest message… everyone you meet, ask yourself, how can I serve?

Check out these great resources:

Matthieu Ricard suggested that we get involved in community projects, serve others and moderate our endless appetite for consumption and things we don’t really need. Consider voluntary simplicity and contentment with what we have. See Mattieu’s website: http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/

Darshita Gillies spoke about compassion in business and her advice included:

  • The future of business is to make the future it's business. Make ethical, compassionate decisions based on future-orientation vs. “now”. What is good for now, might deplete earth’s resources in the future (as one example) - keeping sustainability in mind - what is good for all of us in the long term?
  • Consider highlighting compassion as the fourth bottom line alongside people, planet and profit. It already exists in companies; let’s bring it to the forefront to recognize what’s working and what can be strengthened. 
  • Leaders can develop and access compassionate values to influence how the company is managed and to empower employees to develop these same qualities. Be a game-changer in being more compassionate and caring about the impact of the products or services of your company.
  • At an individual level, we can support those leaders who embody compassion in their actions - support companies that embody compassion in their products and how they do business
  • Look into the Charter for Compassion - if you live in a community (260+) that is supporting the Charter for Compassion - look into getting involved in making a compassionate community.
  • Consider reading the book Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia and/or look for conscious capitalism chapter near you: http://www.consciouscapitalism.org
  • Also look ingo the Business Alliance for the Future: http://ba4f.org/

Allan Boesek said that we each have to make a contribution toward compassionate justice in our own communities. Compassion begins with me - with each of us. We can each extend forgiveness and compassion at a personal level with a perspective of a greater whole. For example, one might forgive to heal not only ourselves, but for the community to also heal.

Compassion is linked to justice and peace - making this world a safe place for the most vulnerable - a welcoming place for our children. Compassion is a better way to being human together. What you do to build compassionate justice and common humanity, should be done as an expression of Ubuntu. It’s like planting a seed - resulting in a tree that provides shade for all coming generations. How can we devise ways to live together in a way that everyone can bloom to their potential? Creating communities where there is a sense of belonging.

Karen Armstrong: We must actively look at our harmful addictions that separate us from others - our addictions to our pet hatreds, how we are dependent on our opinions and judgments. She advised that we learn to wean off of our addictions that separate us in order to live a more compassionate life. She said it starts with looking at our own worlds and exploring what we can do all day & every day to create a happier, more compassionate place. Whether it’s at home, at the office, in our schools or communities, we can all influence where we are.

She also specifically focused on expanding our worldview and having concern for everyone, our global brothers and sisters of all races, religions and orientations. We are not separate from one another. Consider supporting or starting a compassionate community in your area through the Charter for Compassion.

A final note about compassion for the sake of preserving the planet.
An overall message or theme that was common among all of our speakers is that compassion is essential for all of us to survive. Nearly every speakers conveyed that compassion starts with each of us, in the actions we choose to take on a daily basis.  We must commit to making compassion viral because it is so important to our planetary survival. We can do this by ‘being compassion’ - actualizing and modeling it for others, and in doing so, we influence others to also develop and cultivate compassion in their lives, too.

Most of our speakers suggested that we can each open up to our own capacities for compassion - to nourish, develop, actualize our natural compassion - it’s not something we don’t have, but just needs to be watered and nurtured to its full potential. We can train our attention, develop supporting qualities: pro-social behavior, moral character, kindness, contentment, and gratitude, so that compassion can flower in each of us. If we live compassion, then we start caring about each other and ultimately, we start caring about our world and making sure there is a world for our future generations. 

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. — The Dalai Lama 




The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Stanford University:

Mission: Promoting compassion and altruism through rigorous scientific research, outreach, and education: CCARE offers:

  • Excellent research in the fields of compassion and altruism
  • A full offering of free educational resources
  • Free videos ranging from the science of compassion to regular Conversations on Compassion with Dr. Jim Doty hosting esteemed guest speakers including Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, Jeff Weiner from LinkedIn, The 17th Karmapa and many more.
  • Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) courses offered at Stanford
  • A Directory of CCT certified teachers around the world: http://ccare.stanford.edu/education/cct-directory
  • http://ccare.stanford.edu

The Charter for Compassion holds a vision of a world where everyone is committed to living by a principle of compassion. Helpful ways to get involved with the charter:

Go to the http://charterforcompassion.org. Read the Charter for Compassion, add your signature & spread the word via social media.

Visit the Take Action page: Join the Compassion book club to study the 12 steps to a compassionate life book.

Visit the Compassionate Communities page & explore whether your community is already a compassionate city. If so, join their efforts. If not, you can download the checklist that will teach you how to set up a compassionate city. This can also be applied if you want to create a compassionate community, school, church, mosque, synagogue etc.

Make a donation - it takes the kindness of donations to keep the Charter afloat, so if you have capacity, please make a donation.

UNIFY: Their mission is support the movement of Global Unification by catalyzing and supporting Global Synchronized Events.

Biggest upcoming event: There is a Deepak Chopra meditation about compassion taking place on Saturday, July 11th at 9am Pacific Time. Join Deepak Chopra, and more than 500,000 people from nearly every country in the world, as they come together with one common intention – Compassion. Access it here: https://chopracentermeditation.com/globalmeditation

Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Resources to help increase compassion, kindness, happiness etc:

From the Greater Good Science Center, you can take the Science of Happiness Course which starts again September 8th.  http://greatergood.berkeley.edu & search for the Science of Happiness course or visit: https://www.edx.org/course/science-happiness-uc-berkeleyx-gg101x-1

Visit Greater Good in Action which offers science-based practices for living a meaningful life. Topics covered include: Awe, Compassion, Connection, Empathy, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Happiness, Kindness, Mindfulness, Optimism, Resilience to Stress, Self-compassion.

UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness: is a multi-faceted program of clinical care, professional training, education, research and outreach intended to further the practice and integration of mindfulness into all aspects of society.

UCSD Center for Mindfulness offers a broad range of mindfulness-based programs for personal or professional development including:

http://mindfulness.ucsd.edu. They also have an extensive array of teacher training programs and our growing a Mindfulness Based Professional Training Institute: http://mbpti.org/

Project Happiness has a mission is to empower people of all ages with social and emotional skills to promote resilience and well-being so all can thrive. Project Happiness teaches the skills for greater compassion, wellbeing, happiness and prosocial behavior in 50 states and over 90 countries globally. More here: projecthappiness.org. Discover daily inspiration at facebook.com/projecthappiness

Center for Mindful Self Compassion: provides information about MSC, an 8-week program designed to cultivate self-compassion skills for daily life. This website is also associated with Kristin Neff and the co-founder of Mindful Self-Compassion, Chris Germer. The MSC website has excellent free resources, such as meditations and research results. You can find a training or learn how to become a teacher of self-compassion at www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/.

Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. Our mission is to inspire, activate, celebrate, and share compassionate action. The Compassion Games are designed to make our communities safer, kinder, more just and better places to live. Visit the website http://compassiongames.org/and click on the tab that says “Join In”. Here you can join The Annual Global Compassion Games which begin on September 11, a U.S. National Day of Service and go through September 21, the International Day of Peace. These eleven days are known as the 11 Days of Global Unity.

COMPASSION IT is a nonprofit organization and global social movement. They made compassion a verb, and they want everyone to 'compassion it' every day. The organization provides compassion education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds around the world and inspires people to act with compassion.

The organization sells a unique black & white COMPASSION IT wristband to inspire compassionate actions. Over 60,000 wristbands are inspiring compassionate actions and thereby changing lives on six continents, 48 countries and all 50 states.

The wristbands are a great fundraising tool, and during the Summer of Peace, COMPASSION IT is selling wristbands as a fundraiser for the Charter for Compassion. When you purchase a pair of wristbands at http://compassionit.com/  and use the code SummerOfPeace15, you'll receive a 20% discount, and half of your purchase ($4) will go toward the Charter for Compassion. A big thanks to Sara Schairer (Founder), for this fundraising gift of compassion.

The Shift Network: The Shift Network empowers a global movement of people who are creating an evolutionary shift of consciousness that in turn leads to a more enlightened society, one built on principles of peace, sustainability, health, and prosperity.

A huge bow of gratitude to The Shift Network for producing this free event as part of their commitment to accelerating the shift towards more peace and compassion in the world. The Shift Network offers many fantastic educational programs designed to increase consciousness and connection on the planet. If you feel inspired, check out their current online educational offerings and consider taking a course either now or in the future: http://theshiftnetwork.com/

Finally, read the July 5th edition of the Shift Networks Catalyst - all devoted to compassion.


The Global Compassion Summit is part of the The Shift Network’s larger Summer of Peace. All sessions are recorded and will be available for free as part of the World Peace Library, the largest, free online peace library in the world!


When we come to die, we can say that the world is perhaps a bit of a better and more compassionate place because we have lived in it. Then that life will have been worth living. Keep that goal in mind.  What will be YOUR legacy? Let that be your spur to action!

— Karen Armstrong, Founder of the Charter for Compassion


Thank you for participating in the Global Compassion Summit!

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