Hope Mindful Compassion Program
by Paul Garrigan
What is Mindful Compassion?
We usually struggle to come up with an exact reason for why we began abusing alcohol or drugs, but a common explanation is that we felt ‘uncomfortable in our own skin’. This discomfort may have involved a sense of inadequacy, unease in social encounters, and a persistent feeling of being out of step with the world.
In the beginning, alcohol and drugs does allow us feel a bit more at ease – at least temporarily. The problem is that we the more we use these substances, the more out of sync we become from reality, and the bumpier our life becomes. It puts us on a collision course with life, and the outcome of this is usually incredibly unpleasant.
There is a way for you to become comfortable in our own skin that doesn’t involve artificial chemical numbness and all the negative consequences that go along with this. The Hope Mindful Compassion program is going to provide you with the skills you need to be at ease with yourself and the world in general.
“It’s on the very ground of suffering that we can contemplate well-being. It’s exactly in the muddy water that the lotus grows and blooms”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Level 1 – Mindful compassion for ourselves
Level 1 of the Hope Mindful Compassion program is delivered during the first month of treatment. The focus at this stage is on learning to be kinder to ourselves and developing sufficient self-compassion so we are better able to comfortably deal with the ups and downs of reality
• Kindness and Compassion for Ourselves – introduction to loving kindness meditation
• Resting in the present moment
• Your meditation toolbox
• How to develop a new relationship with thought
• Management of Cravings
• Basic Tonglen
• Dealing with anxiety, depression, and other negative states
• Obstacles to mindfulness
Level 2 – Mindful Compassion for Others
Level 2 of the Hope Mindful Compassion Program is where we begin chipping away at the walls around our heart. We built these defenses to protect ourselves from getting hurt, but these walls have created the prison of self-obsession. The work we have done at level 1 means we have less need for this protection, and as we open up more and more, we can begin to discover the joy and freedom we have always yearned for. Level 2 of the program is available to those who stay a second month at Hope.
• Loving kindness meditation including others• Freedom from self-obsession
• Developing compassion for others
• Managing social anxiety
• Tonglen practice with a focus on others
• Mindful relationships
• Mindful listening and mindful speaking
• Becoming the least important person in the room
Level 3 – Mindful Compassion for Life
During level 2 of the Hope Mindful Compassion program, we developed the courage to begin opening up to the world, and we are now going to expand this even further in level 3. Instead of viewing life as a threatening experience where we have to chemically number ourselves to cope, we see how it is an amazing gift. We now feel at home in our own skin and we begin to develop unconditional positivity. Level 3 is available as part of the second-stage program or you can also complete it at home via skype.
• Becoming more comfortable in your own skin
• Discovering your life purpose
• Unconditional positivity – learning to trust life
• The joy of sila
• Insight meditation
• The compassionate life
• Mindful eating
• Continuing your journey
Hope Mindful Compassion Program By Paul G