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Archived CEI

How to Build Resilience in a Polarized World

Practical tools for reducing stress and finding balance


"The course deepened my inner peace which helps me to let go of expectations of others."

~ Course participant

About the course



About me



About my interests



Start Date: 28 June 2021

Duration: 4 weeks

Facilitator: Maureen Cooper

Cost: $30.00

A Certificate will be available for all those who complete the course

Registration: Now Closed.

Take this 4 week instructor-lead course at your convenice according to your schedule, Each of the 4 week lessons become available on Mondays beginning june 28th. The course materials will be available for an additional 6 months as a self-directed course. There will be two optional Zoom ‘meet & greets’ to discuss the course material and your journey with the course.

Additional (optional) Live Zoom Sessions:

July 1, 2021 9.00 a.m. PDT
July 22, 2021 9.00 a.m. PDT
Look up your local date and time
Zoom sessions will be 2 hours long and are optional


Course description

How do you feel when watching the news? The daily round of protest, accusation, dispute and suffering can be exhausting. It can sometimes seem as if the whole world is in turmoil and people have forgotten the importance of dialogue and resolution.

The world seems sharply polarized along lines of race, gender, equality, prosperity, climate change and many more.  The Corona crisis—and now the vaccine rollout—has only served to intensify the divisions between countries, communities and individuals.

This is profoundly worrying and stressful. We can be left feeling powerless and bereft of solutions. We worry that it’s all too much to cope with.

This online course offers a way through.

By investigating the sources of polarization directly, and uncovering the stress that comes from it, we can already begin to get things in perspective. Furthermore, we will see that we do have a powerful tool at our disposal. Human beings have a tremendous resource of natural resilience. We just need to be able to access it and learn to actively work with it, in order to make it part of our lives.

The course has a wealth of tools to help bring this about. Using video, reflection, meditations and the fruit of current scientific research we can put together a potent toolkit to reduce stress and find balance. This will enable us to build our resilience in the face of whatever challenges we face.


Course Method of Delivery

The content is uploaded to the class once a week and you can access it anytime, any day at your convenience. There will prompts for discussion with each activity. Students can post comments and engage on the discussion board which will be accessible and active for the whole month. As your instructor, Maureen will be on hand to answer questions and engage in the conversations.

The two scheduled Zoom sessions are optional.

ZOOM 1: to meet each other in the group and explore some common ground.

ZOOM 2: to discuss some of the key points from the course and support participants to see how to continue what they have started once the course ends.


Course Outline

How the Course Works

Lesson 1: the challenges of polarization

  • The polarization we are dealing with
    Identifying the ways in which polarization affects our lives
  • How polarization can lead to stress
    Exploring how stress works in our bodies and why polarization has such a stressful impact
  • How the mind processes stress
    Unpacking how all this affects our mood and general wellbeing
  • Some things we can do about stress
    Introducing the first range of tools to work with this


Lesson 2: challenges to building resilience

  • How does polarization come to our attention?
    The role of media, opinion and experience
  • How the stress of polarization can impact your life
    Increase of fear and a sense of helplessness, exploring inner and outer polarization
  • How do we go about facing challenges?
    Exploring how we react


Lesson 3: antidotes to the stress of polarization

  • Not losing heart
    How to stay open, rather than closing down and becoming defensive
  • Remembering that everything can change in an instant
    Recognising how impermanent and changeable situations are
  • Prioritising empathy
    Understanding the importance of empathy, what blocks it and what helps to open it up
  • Trying to let things be as they are
    Working to accept when we cannot change


Lesson 4: Taking action from a place of resilience 

  • Taking responsibility for everything that you do
    We may feel powerless but actually everything we do does matter
  • Recognising that we are all connected
    Uncovering the deeper connections 
  • Trying to stay cool
    Exercises to develop equanimity and balance
  • Wishing everyone happiness and wellbeing
    The power of loving kindness
  • Seeing other peoples’ suffering
    Recognising that even people we don’t like also struggle
  • Going for joy
    Understanding the power of joy – of seeing the cup as half full
  • Taking this forward into your life
    Some tips for keeping this all going after the course has finished.


Course Instructor

Maureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to helping people accomplish sustainable well-being as part of their personal journey, with their relationships and in the work environment. We can bring this about by developing awareness through integrating meditation and compassion as part of our response to everyday situations.

Drawing on more than twenty-five years of experience as a professional educator, senior manager in a non-profit organization, an entrepreneur and as an experienced practitioner of Buddhist meditation, she leads workshops and training programs in the UK and Europe.

Maureen was born in London, UK but love took her to the Netherlands, where she lives with her partner in Amsterdam.

Her latest book, The Stress Workbook is a ground-breaking effort that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s fast-paced world. 

We’ll be including exercises from the workbook during the course. 

These will be uploaded to the course, so it’s not necessary to purchase the workbook.



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