Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT)
SCT (formerly known as "Innate Compassion Training") is a contemplative method designed to empower people in all areas of care and service: parents, educators, healthcare givers, clinical psychologists and therapists, social workers, police officers, hospice volunteers, those who work for social change, those who work to protect the natural world, and so on. These practices are designed to help all people who care for others within their family, work and community life realize a power of unconditional care from within that is deeply healing and sustaining, that makes them more fully present to themselves and others, and that empowers a strong, active compassion for persons that is not subject to empathy fatigue and burnout.
SCT’s Three Modes of Compassion and Care
SCT highlights our need to experience ourselves as objects of care and compassion in order to extend care and compassion widely to others; our need to be seen in our unconditional worth and human potential in order to see the same in others; and our need to become present to our own feelings with kindness in order to become reliably present to others with kindness. For those purposes, SCT meditations cultivate three interrelated modes of care as a basis for compassionate action. These three modes are: (1) receiving care, (2) extending care to others, and (3) deep self-care.
Support for those who Serve
In our helping roles, we are expected constantly to extend care to others, to be fully present to them, to see them in their deep worth, dignity, and potential, and to help them find their hidden strengths. But how can this way of being with others become more fully accessible to and more sustainable for us? Specific methods to become so sustainably present to self and others are generally not taught in professional schools. SCT’s three modes of care help us access an unconditional power of care from within that is healing and sustaining for us, and that can help us become more fully present to ourselves and others in their dignity and potential.
To avoid empathic distress, compassion fatigue and burnout, we need to find a sense of inner safety and deep replenishment from which to be more sustainably present to others. For this, we need ways to become more fully present to our own feelings with kindness and compassion, from which to become more present to others in the same way, to be a more healing presence for them. SCT offers specific training to help us learn to be more fully present to our experience.
Many of us want to know how more effectively to challenge harmful behaviors of those we serve, and to confront oppressive social structures that hold back those we serve, without getting ensnared in dysfunctional forms of frustration and anger that cause us to lose touch with the essential humanity of everyone involved. SCT helps us connect to the deep dignity and potential of all, from which to challenge all, on behalf of all.
We offer SCT training through online courses as well as in-person workshops and retreats around the country. We also offer a Teacher Training program for those wishing to take the work deeper in their lives and service work. See below for more information.
Learn SCT at home on your own or with a community of friends and colleagues. We offer three levels of courses designed to help you systematically deepen and sustain your compassion practice.
Building and strengthening community is key to the sustainability of this work. Connect with a practice community near you.