Stanford compassion classes named among 2012’s Top 10 findings in the “Science of a Meaningful Life”

A Stanford study demonstrating that compassion training can make participants more compassionate has been named one of the Greater Good Science Center‘s “Top 10 Insights” in 2012.

The July 2012 paper evaluated students who completed Compassion Cultivation Training, or CCT—an 8-week-long course at Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. The training program involves instruction, readings, practical exercises and frequent guided group meditation, and was designed by GESHE THUPTA JINPA, the primary English translator to the 14th Dalai Lama and a visiting research scholar at the center.

The authors, led by Stanford social science researcher HOORIA JAZAIERI, analyzed CCT participants’ assessments of their own capacity for compassion. Compared to identically surveyed CCT applicants who had been waitlisted, the researchers found that those who completed the course exhibited more compassion for others, were better able to accept compassion from others and exhibited more self-compassion.

The UC Berkeley-affiliated Greater Good Science Center, an interdisciplinary research center focused on the science of well-being, compassion and mindfulness, will feature CCT at its upcoming “Practicing Mindfulness & Compassion” conference in March.

—MAX McCLURE