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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Sacred Space Presents Cognitively-Based Compassion Training

Sally Dodds

Sally Dodds, Ph.D., in conjunction with Sacred Space, will present Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), an eight-week, contemplative course that uses meditation to gradually train the heart and mind in the qualities of compassion, from 1 to 3 p.m., Sundays, starting September 25, in Tucson. Developed at the Emory University-Tibet Partnership by a former Buddhist monk, the entirely secular CBCT uses a step-by-step approach and covers a different topic each week related to compassion, including self-compassion, equanimity and impartiality for all people, interdependence and interpersonal connection, appreciation and gratitude, kindness, empathy and universal love and compassion.

To deepen these qualities, students learn to use several different meditation techniques. Practices used first are those designed to enhance mindfulness—or the ability to focus, pay attention and be present. Once a degree of stable attention has been gained, compassion practices are used to promote self-reflection and self-awareness, aid in taking the perspectives of others and in enhancing positive mental states.

“Recent research has shown that people who train in compassion have improved interpersonal relationships and overall well-being,” says Dodds. “Further, studies suggest that the underlying biology of compassion actually enhances both physical and mental health.”

Dodds is a 20-year meditator and certified teacher of CBCT. A retired university research professor, she has studied stress and mind-body health, integrative medicine and CBCT with breast cancer survivors. Location details will be provided upon registration. Cost of the training includes eight audio recordings of guided meditations, readings and handouts.

Cost: $300. For more information and to register, visit

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