People have a variety of reasons for wanting to learn about and cultivate compassion, but in some way we are all suffering—be it from pain, loss, frustration, dissatisfaction, or an unfulfilled desire for happiness.
However, we are not powerless in the face of our circumstances. It is possible to consciously cultivate positive states of mind, and diminish negative states of mind, and so transform our experience and our reactions to life’s circumstances and the people around us. In this way it is possible to change our lives, and bring about change in the world.
In this course students are introduced to a complete picture of what compassion is, why it might be beneficial to us and the world around us, the possibility of training in a more wholesome way of being, and how we can go about that training.
The course has been developed from the ancient tradition of Buddhist practitioners. However, there is no need and certainly no expectation that students undertaking the course should be or become Buddhist.
There is no sense of conversion, nor any sense that this course is a ‘preparation’ stage for joining the Rigpa Sangha (although, of course, that is an option for those who wish to at a later stage.) The techniques, skills and knowledge learnt on this course can be used to enhance people’s own beliefs (be they spiritual, religious or secular).
As the Dalai Lama says: “Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever- you-already-are.”