Vajrapani Institute
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Training

Stanford cultivating compassion training logo

Event Description



July 12 – 15, 2018



Silence Level


What is it?

Explore Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) – A Special Weekend Immersion guided by two senior-level Stanford CCT instructors, Monica Hanson and Robert Cusick. The CCT immersion experience is unique both in its deep focus and the pristine contemplative space in which it is being offered, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vajrapani Institute. CCT was developed by Thupten Jinpa, PhD — English language translator for his Holiness the Dalai Lama for over 30 years — in collaboration with a team of psychologists, scientists and contemplative scholars and practitioners from Stanford University.


In this immersion, you will have the opportunity to develop practical skills for strengthening access to your own compassion and connecting with universal compassion by:

  1. Exploring specifically selected teachings and practices for self-compassion;
  2. Extending compassion to others safely; and
  3. Finding ease in challenging relationships and courage in difficult circumstances.

This ‘immersion’ will include talks, compassion meditations, small and large group discussions, skills training, self-reflection, and experiential exercises. You will also learn about the research and science-backed benefits of training compassion, and skills for sharing these practices with others. Selected readings will be included from Thupten Jinpa’s book based on this training: A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives.

Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.


Suggested Reading

A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives, Thubten Jinpa.


The Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) protocol is a course developed in the Center for Compassion & Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, School of Medicine.  Below is a talk given by Dr. Thupten Jinpa at the Science of Compassion: Origins, Measures, and Interventions, that took place July 19 – 22, 2012 in Telluride Colorado. Dr. Jinpa is principal English translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, co-founder of The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, and main author of the Compassion Cultivation Training program.

For more information see the Stanford CCT website.
Continuing Education

This workshop is eligible for 16 hours of Continuing Education credits.

American Psychological Association: The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal by LCSWs, MFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs for programs from CE approved sponsors of the American Psychological Association. LCSWs and MFTs from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board for approval. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. For questions about these CE accreditations, visit or contact David Lukoff, Ph.D. at

Additional Information
  1. Please plan on arriving between 3:00 and 5:00 PM on the first day of the retreat
  2. Please plan on departing approximately 2:00 PM on the last day of the retreat
  3. Consider reviewing our accommodations
  4. For more detailed information, please see our FAQ

If you are interested in serving as Course Liaison for this retreat, please apply here.

  • 12 July 2018 to 15 July 2018

Already Registered? Prepare for your Group Retreat Want to offer Service? Volunteer to be Course Liaison

Teacher Bio

Monica Hanson and Robert Cusick


Robert Cusick

Trained at Stanford University in the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). He is a Certified Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training instructor and teaches CCT at Stanford University School of Medicine and in multiple other venues. He studied in the Soto Zen tradition while in residence at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, in the Ridhwan School’s Diamond approach with A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali), and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Jack Kornfield, Gil Fronsdal​ and others. As a long time meditator and former monk, Robert ordained in Burma under the renowned meditation master, Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, and studied with him from 2003 – 2012. He currently provides individual bereavement support for adults and children and co-leads men’s grief groups at Kara in Palo Alto where he coordinates and directs training for their Adult, Youth & Family, and Community Outreach programs. Robert sits on the Board of Directors of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies. His practice is focused on recognizing and cultivating compassion through the application of mindfulness. You can contact him at:

Monica Hanson

Monica Hanson is a Senior Teacher at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Stanford University. She has taught the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program for the public at Stanford School of Medicine since 2011 and with Stanford students since 2010. Monica is also a member of the leadership team at CCARE that co-developed and launched the Compassion Cultivation Teacher Training Certification program in 2011. In 2013, Monica was the lead teacher in a research study for Stanford Medicine Neuroscience and Pain Lab, examining the effects of compassion training, chronic pain and the impact on significant others. Monica lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and her family, friends, mentors, colleagues, participants in her courses, and those that cannot participate are the inspiration for her practice.

Teacher’s fees

Traditionally, spiritual teachings are considered priceless; remuneration of our teachers is not included in the fee information detailed on this page. Instead, we invite you to consider bringing a cash donation with you to express your gratitude for the teachings. (Participants get a chance to present a cash offering to the teachers on the last day of the retreat and this is supplemented by a donation from Vajrapani Institute.)


Fees (inclusive of accommodation, meals, retreat fees)

‘Option A is a slightly lower cost designed to allow as many people to attend as possible. Option B reflects the true cost of hosting visitors and is higher as a result. The accommodations are the same for both and you can choose whichever price suits your financial needs.

10% membership discounts are applicable for members.


Option A Option B
Dorm $375 $479
Semi-private room $406 $510
Private room $564 $664
Private room – extra person $347 $448
Cabin $674 $773
Cabin – extra person $362 $494
Camping $290 $355
Commuting $189 $278


We want to make retreat available to everyone.  With this in mind, we will gladly work out a payment plan with you. If you need even more assistance, we offer several scholarships. Please note that the scholarship deadline is one month before retreat begins.

If you have additional questions after reviewing the guidelines for payment plans and/or scholarships, please email the Office at