A crisis of separation lies at the root of many of our current social and ecological challenges.
Empathy is in decline; hatred, violence and apathy are on the rise. We urgently need tools that help us reconnect in relational and non-instrumental ways. This is why our approach begins with love.
Love and compassion—and their umbrella term, care—are motivational stances that orient our way of being in the world. Compassion—the capacity to be with and attend to suffering, harm or hurt—and love— the capacity to connect and nurture life-giving qualities like friendliness and joy—are both critical to our project of justice and liberation. When understood and practiced relationally, they protect us against burnout.
This is not a call to put on rose-colored glasses. We have a natural capacity for care, but we can also be violently harmful to one another and our planet. We hold that our essential nature—when we feel safe, held and seen—is caring. When we feel threatened, unvalued and alone, our propensity for selfishness, competitiveness, othering and greed surfaces. A stance of love invites us to call each other into new relational ways of being that support all of us in realising our deepest potential. We therefore emphasize love because we see it as foundational and also as redemptive—it is the force of healing.
KEY LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Love and compassion require we learn to “turn toward” and “engage with” each other in healing and ethically responsive ways. The ability to “turn toward” requires that we develop competencies like attention, mindfulness, distress tolerance and empathy. Ethical responsiveness requires that we develop qualities like wisdom, courage, creativity and complexity capacity or systems-thinking.
Our LOVE course is designed to help us strengthen all of these skills in sustainable, relational ways. In this course, you will learn:
- the science of compassion, love and attachment
- tools for avoiding empathic fatigue and burnout
- relational practices for cultivating the building blocks of love and compassion based on our model of receiving, extending and deep self care
- practices for navigating obstacles to love and compassion in our relationships, communities and organizations
We are thrilled for you to join us! We look forward to learning with and from you in community!
Please note that our next live cohort meets Wednesdays from 5-6pm PST beginning January 29th. All are welcome! (You may also take the course as a self study at any time at your own pace.)
Brooke D. Lavelle, Ph.D., is the Co-Founder and President of the Courage of Care Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating personal and social transformation through relational compassion training, anti-oppressive pedagogies and systems and community organizing tools.
Brooke holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies and Cognitive Science from Emory University, an M.A. in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from Columbia University and a B.A. in Religion and Psychology from Barnard College. Her academic work focuses on the diversity of contemplative models for cultivating compassion and mindfulness.
She is a consultant to the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies AMA Project in Potsdam, Germany and is co-developing curricula and pedagogy to support sustainable systemic transformation. She served as a lecturer at San Francisco State University for several years where she taught a contemplative-based course on compassion and social justice. She also served as a consultant to Teacher’s College, Columbia University's new initiative on Spirituality and Education and was the Senior Education Consultant to Mind & Life's Ethics, Education, and Human Development Initiative.Brooke founded a compassion and equity learning community in the Bay Area and was a member of the Initiative for Contemplation, Equity and Action (ICEA). She previously consulted for the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University and the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at UC Berkeley.
Through her work at Courage, Brooke regularly leads compassion-based, anti-oppressive trainings and consultations. In addition, Brooke co-developed a relational model for training compassion, called Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT). She is also trained in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and has taught and adapted these programs in a variety of educational and clinical settings. Brooke now splits her time between Berlin, Brooklyn and the Bay Area and travels regularly to lead compassion-focused workshops and retreats in the US and abroad.