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Archived CEI

Where and How the Compassion Movement Gathers

Where and How the Compassion Movement Gathers: Creating Sacred Space in Local Communities

Platform and Facilitator: Four one-hour live (now recorded) webinars (on Ruzuku and Zoom) led by Teresa Cowan Jones

Start Date: August 26, 2019; now extended by popular demand!

Duration: 4 weeks

Zoom Calls: Recorded live calls are now available within the course

Investment: $25.00 US

Registration: --

Refund Policy: 100% up to the first day of the course. 50% refund after the first session. No refunds after the first week. 

Questions? Contact Course Instructor, Teresa Cowan Jones.


Class Description

Gathering regularly to connect deeply with others in your local community is critical to create the inner fuel needed for social action and compassion work. This course offers profound yet simple, small and large group models of coming together to generate both inner resources and trust – the spiritual and social capital -- necessary for collaboration and collective leadership. The word sacred indicates that which we hold dear in terms of human meaning and values, and is the linguistic bridge needed to reunite us as humanity – and to our humanity – so that we can feel empowered by our unity in diversity.  Take away a step-by-step practical guide of contemplative activism full of models and practices, in secular language, that help us more deeply connect with ourselves and each other. Join us in drawing upon secular, humanistic and wisdom traditions to nurture the human heart and build a social architecture for compassionate cities. 


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

This course is relevant to two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.


Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.



  • Create a simple large-group structure for local gatherings that build community
  • Build a simple small-group structure for community engagement that can be used live or online
  • Access tools of transformation applicable to individuals, cities, businesses, nonprofits, governments, civic organizations, and faith communities
  • Understand the meta-skills necessary for 21st century community through an overview of the “Eight C” Change Theory
  • Set a foundation for a collaborative, distributive leadership model in your community
  • Learn a blueprint for the compassion movement including it’s purpose, vision, mission, conceptual framework, key practice, infrastructure, meta-strategies, primary resources and tactics
  • Be inspired to help harness local energy for sustainable change and build a common language to help people come together across all traditional divides


Materials You Will Receive

  • Four live one-hour classes (and recordings of classes) led by Teresa Cowan Jones
  • Downloadable, user-friendly Sacred Space Program Manual which functions as a guide to the class, provides weekly reflective exercises to enrich understanding and suggests action steps, and offers resources to create a Sacred Space in your community, including:
  • Being listed in and having access to the Sacred Space Network Listing for ongoing learning from other communities
  • Small Group Model and Support Materials
  • Large Group Model and Support Materials
  • Marketing Materials
  • Policies and Procedures Documents
  • Completion Certificate that grants access to the Sacred Space Network Listing


Who is this class for?

Individuals and groups interested in building compassion in community; compassionate city groups who want to offer another way of deepening trust and social cohesion; persons desiring to start any size group to cultivate compassion; people who want to offer inclusive, safe space for connecting with others; those looking for a way to organize and sustain local compassion work; those interested in exploring or normalizing contemplative practice; innovators who want to be part of the compassion movement; those passionate to act locally in simple to profound ways; those ready to offer the humblest of their gifts in simple ways to make our local communities more compassionate places to live; movement builders; curious people of any or no wisdom tradition; seekers of wisdom who may be wary of religion; lovers of the best of our religions; people who are no longer interested in the false dichotomy of sacred/secular.


Teaching Methods

  • Reading the downloadable Sacred Space Program Manual
  • Four 1-hour presentations by facilitator on Zoom 
  • Action-learning between webinars
  • Offline class discussion 
  • Follow-Up coaching when course concludes (fee based) 
  • Explication of the Sacred Space model viewed at
  • Humor and a relaxed, supportive learning environment (let’s make this fun and easy!)


About the Facilitator

Teresa Cowan Jones is an executive and personal coach, instructor at the Center for Integrative Medicine, faculty and spiritual director of the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction, an ordained progressive minister, and founder of the Breakthrough Leadership Institute, a transformational leadership and community development initiative. As such, she directs its program, Sacred Space, a secular and interfaith community that builds skills of compassion through contemplative practices to fuel social justice, now in its fifth year.

A fellow in the Public Voices Fellowship and Harvard University's Spiritual Innovator Cohort, she is also author of over one hundred tools for effectiveness. Teresa holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of Divinity with highest honors from Vanderbilt University (1996). A professionally trained coach, she has served as coach and faculty of the Center for Progressive Leadership, a national nonpartisan leadership organization developing high-potential political leaders who can affect policy-making.

Teresa is a certified facilitator in Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) and is founding and lead coach for CIT at the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at LIFE University in Atlanta, Georgia. She also developed and taught university courses in sociology and has twenty years of professional experience in leadership development in both the public and private sectors. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and can be reached at



“I am very impressed with the quality of programs that Sacred Space Tucson presents…I hope that others will utilize the model of Sacred Space Tucson in their own communities.”

~ Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, Interfaith Amigos


“Sacred Space reminds me of the wonderful, mind-and soul-enriching topics and deep respect for all kinds of journeys from Krista Tippett’s NPR program, On Being.“


“Thank you all for your incredible work to bring forth this gathering which clearly expresses that real social justice flows from compassion.”


“Your particular spin on self love, compassion, empathy, community, and oneness that we share is making a difference! It is quiet, but impactful! This kind of safe gathering space will eventually lead to more compassion in communities.”


“Sacred Space brought to mind Edwin Markham's poem, Outwitted: "He drew a circle to keep us out -- heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took him in."


“Keep up the important and beautiful work!”

~ Rev. Brian McLaren


The conversational presentations contribute to my thoughts about my way of being, doing, and giving that are life giving. Thank you, Thank you for providing the Sacred Space.”


“I am moved by all Sacred Space does for our community (and the world!) My life is enriched by sacred space.”


“I love what you all have created there…such a life giving environment to be in.”


“I know Sacred Space holds the consciousness for a unified vision for humanity.  Thank you.”


“This is a wonderful thing you have done to bring us together to discuss compassion and how we can encourage this in the broader community.” 

~ Former Congressman Ron Barber



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