Mindfulness involves learning to be more aware of life as it unfolds moment by moment. But what if these moments bring us or those around us difficulty, pain or suffering? This is a challenge we will all face at some time in our lives, and which the healthcare professions face every day. The key is to learn how to meet life not only with mindfulness but also with “heartfulness”, in other words compassion.
Every human being has a capacity for compassion. It is a universal human quality, inherently present in everyone, but, for many reasons, often not fully cultivated. Fortunately compassion can be developed and deepened through practice, and this is the aim of compassion training. Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) is a training program developed by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster for those who wish to learn how to deal in a healthy way with pain, stress or suffering, in whatever form it presents – physical, mental, emotional or relational. Those already familiar with mindfulness practice can deepen the healing effects of mindfulness with the help of this program, which offers exercises in cultivating compassion for ourselves and others.