Compassion Beyond Fatigue: Contemplative Training for People Who Serve Others

ABSTRACT: Teachers and others in helping professions or social service are taught the importance of listening with full attention, relating to students and clients in their deep worth, and discerning their hidden strengths. They are also cautioned to avoid burn-out. But how are such professionals to access in themselves the capacities of motivation, connection, discernment, and equanimity that are needed to fulfill those tasks? This article describes a contemplative training program designed by Makransky for those who serve others: such as educators, social workers, therapists, healthcare providers, hospice workers and social justice activists. Meditation practices from Tibet are adapted to help people of all backgrounds and faiths ease into a state of simple presence and compassionate connection with others, both for their own replenishment and to be more effective in their work with students and clients.

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Compassion Beyond Fatigue