Compassion Cultivation Training

Fall 2020 Professional Development classes will be held virtually with real-time teacher delivery and interaction.

Online registration is open for the fall 2020 semester.
In person and phone registration is not available at this time.

Program Instructor

Dr. Andy Wallace

Compassion Cultivation Training is an 8-week course designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others. The course, developed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University, combines traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. The training includes:


Guided daily meditation, visualization, and breathing practices to be done at home to develop loving-kindness, empathy, and compassion.


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A weekly 2-hour class that include lecture, discussion, meditation, and in-class listening and communication exercises with partners and small groups.


Real-world homework to help you practice compassionate thought and action

Alumni Group

Course graduates are invited to a free monthly drop-in session at Stanford University for group discussions and updates on the latest compassion research.

Who We Encourage to Attend

Compassion Cultivation Training is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and for others.

This includes:

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Educators
  • Healthcare professionals and therapists
  • Executives and managers
  • Public service leaders and employees
  • Individuals seeking to increase awareness and mindfulness

People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program. No previous meditation experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of the training.

Why Enroll?

Compassion training extends beyond helping one feel more empathy and concern for others.

It includes the development of:

  • The strength to be present with suffering
  • The courage to take compassionate action
  • The resilience to prevent compassion fatigue

These qualities support a wide range of goals – from improving personal and work relationships to making a positive difference in the world.

Compassion training can also support one’s own health, happiness, and wellbeing. Preliminary research suggests that the CCT course and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhance connection with others.

Registration Fall 2020


Dr. Andy Wallace is professor and chair of the philosophy department at Sonoma State University, where he has been teaching since 1998. Dr. Wallace’s area of expertise is moral philosophy, moral psychology, social psychology, Buddhism and Mindfulness-Based Interventions, such as, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion Cultivation. Dr. Wallace has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Frankfurt, and Boston College. Dr. Wallace has been studying mindfulness meditation and compassion cultivation at Spirit Rock since 2000 with Donald Rothberg and others.

Dr. Wallace developed and implemented an interdisciplinary course on the science and cultivation of compassion at Sonoma State University, The Heart of Wisdom. Students learn about the science and philosophy of compassion along with practices for enhancing their own abilities for love, kindness and compassion. Dr. Wallace has been teaching The Heart of Wisdom for seven years.

In 2018, Dr. Wallace completed the certification program for teaching compassion cultivation training (CCT) from the Compassion Institute, in collaboration with the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.  Currently, Dr. Wallace is completing a certification program in mindfulness facilitation through the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA.  Dr. Wallace teaches drop-in mindfulness meditation drop-in classes through the School of Extended Education. Dr. Wallace has taught classes on the cultivation of compassion and mindfulness to grades 1-5 at the Spring Hill School in Petaluma, California. Dr. Wallace also works privately with persons who are interested in becoming more mindful and compassionate.


Program cost: $375.