Training Curriculum

Learning Objectives

  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 skillful means of Body, Speech and Mind group, both in application to  personal process, as well as to be able to offer BSM groups 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

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

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

Karuna Training Phase 3—Karuna Project with Supervision
Seminar 8: Exploration of Energy in Working with others | 6 days
Seminar 9: Supervision | 1 day
Seminar 10: Karuna Project | 5 hours of working in compassionate exchange with another person
Seminar 11: Graduation/Certification | 3 day weekend
Plus regional continuity groups
94 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

Skillful 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 regional 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