From the Teachers

When you know the layers of suffering in yourself well, you can sense them in others and have empathy and compassion for them naturally.
~ Lama John Makransky

Our Mission

To empower people with profound contemplative practices that support their aspirations to become better people and to make a better world.


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John Makransky & Brooke D. Lavelle: Empowering Those who Care for Others: SCT
Sat, October 22, 2019 - Sun, October 23, 2019  9:00am - 4:30pm
Harvard Divinity School - Cambridge
Social Service , Social Justice


Two-Day Workshop with John Makransky, PhD & Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, PhD

Co-Sponsored by Courage of Care and Harvard Divinity School

Empowering Those who Care for Others: Sustainable Compassion Training


Guiding Teacher: John Makransky


Guiding Teacher: Brooke Dodson-Lavelle

In this two-day workshop, Drs. Makransky and Dodson-Lavelle will introduce Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT): a set of contemplative practices designed to help people realize a power of unconditional care from within that is healing and sustaining, that makes them more fully present to themselves and others, and that empowers a strong, active compassion for persons that is not subject to empathy fatigue and burnout. SCT supports people in all kinds of caring roles and professions, by helping them develop an increasing power of care, equanimity, and emotional resilience. SCT highlights our need to experience ourselves as objects of care and compassion in order to extend care and compassion sustainably to others, our need to be seen in our unconditional worth in order to see the same in others, and our need to become present to our own feelings with kindness in order to become reliably present to others with kindness. Although SCT draws from Buddhist contemplative principles, it has been adapted into a thoroughly secular form informed by current developments in psychology and neuroscience. SCT has been taught to thousands of people in secular workshops in the past decade, and has been found beneficial by healthcare and mental health professionals, teachers, social workers and those who work in hospices, with addicts and with at-risk youth. The retreat will consist of progressive guided meditations, explanations of their functions, and discussion with participants on the relevance of these practices for their' lives and work.

For more information, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Registration available at this link: Courage of Care

John Makransky is Associate Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College and guiding contemplative teacher for two organizations that provide training in sustainable compassion for people in social service: the Courage of Care Council and the Foundation for Active Compassion. For the past fifteen years, John has taught meditations of compassion and wisdom, adapted from Buddhism for secular and interfaith settings, to teachers, healthcare givers, social workers, psychotherapists, and those who work with prisoners, at-risk youth, the hungry, and the dying.

Brooke D. Lavelle Heineberg is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Courage of Care Leadership Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) programs and support to individuals and communities in education, health care, and other areas of social service. She is also Senior Education Consultant at the Mind & Life Institute and a co-developer of the Call to Care program for teachers and students. Brooke holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Emory University.


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