Training Curriculum

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn mindfulness-awareness meditation in the context of working with oneself and how it applies to working with others
  2. Participate in a supportive in person and online learning community that meets in seminars and small groups over a two-year period
  3. Study selected readings in contemplative psychology
  4. Learn and facilitate the method of Body, Speech and Mind group
  5. Learn several compassion-based methods for application to relationships and work with others
  6. Learn to work with emotions in terms of confusion and sanity
  7. Experience Maitri Space Awareness practice in retreat as an exploration of elemental and emotional energies, and how confusion can be transformed into wisdom
  8. Receive continuing education (CEUs) units
  9. Receive certification in Contemplative Psychology

Karuna Training Phase 1—Personal Process

Seminar 1: Confidence in Basic Sanity | 3 days & 1 evening
Seminar 2: Ego from the Perspective of Contemplative Psychology | weekend
Seminar 3: Working with Emotions | weekend
Seminar 4: Exploration of Energy in Contemplative Psychology | Residential retreat: 7 days, 6 nights
Phase includes 12 hours of regional continuity groups
122 hours total training

Karuna Training Phase 2—Compassionate Exchange – Working Skillfully with Others

Seminar 5: Development of Compassionate Presence | weekend
Seminar 6:  Deepening Week 2: Exploration of Energy in Communication | Urban retreat: 7 days, 6 nights
Seminar 7: Compassionate Presence 2 | weekend
Phase includes 12 hours of regional continuity groups
96 hours total training

Karuna Training Phase 3—Engaged Compassion Project with Mentoring

Seminar 8: Mentoring | 1 day
Seminar 9: Deepening Week 3: Exploration of Energy in Working with others | Residential retreat: 7 days, 6 nights
Karuna Project Practicum | 5 hours of working in compassionate exchange with another person, 4 hours individual mentoring
Seminar 10: Graduation/Certification | 3 days & 1 evening
Phase includes 12 hours of regional continuity groups
91 hours total training

309 Total Training hours for all phases

Teaching and Study Themes

  • Basic Sanity and Intrinsic Health
  • The three marks of existence
  • Maitri and Loving Kindness
  • Impermanence and interconnectedness
  • Recognizing ego and habitual patterns of security
  • Learning what emotions are and how to work with emotions
  • Understanding the six realms as temporary displays of confusion
  • Understanding burnout
  • Understanding container, creating safe spaces
  • The Five Buddha Families as a means for understanding the wisdom of emotions
  • The power of the heart, Absolute and Relative Bodhicitta
  • Exchanging self with others as experience of mutual recovery
  • Compassionate Exchange and methods of listening deeply from the heart
  • The Four Bones in Space

Skillful Methods

  • Shamatha Vipashyana Meditation
  • Equanimity Practice
  • Mindfulness as a 4 step practice
  • Body Speech Mind groups
  • Forming a community, monthly regional continuity groups
  • Compassionate Exchange
  • Process groups – learning to speak the microscopic truth
  • Meetings with a Karuna Mentor
  • Experiential exercises, journaling and creative processes and activities
  • Movement and body awareness
  • Maitri Space Awareness practice in retreat
  • How to give/receive feedback to shine the jewel in others
  • Tonglen and Bodhichitta Exercises
  • The Four Bones: Engagement, Discriminating, Mutual Agreement & Transition
  • Application of learning through a personal practicum with peer and mentor support
  • Presentations of practicum and Karuna learning in final weekend
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