Module 1

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 1: Introduction

This video is an introduction to Compassion’s COMPASS: Strategies for Developing Kindness and Insight, a book that offers a systematic approach to developing compassionate insight that has been adapted from Tibetan mind training strategies, secularized for modern audiences, and supplemented with relevant research, anecdotes, and exercises in accessible language. “COMPASS” is an acronym for “Compassion and Analytical Selective-Focus Skills”. Selective-focus skills suggest contemplations that can help to generate and enhance compassionate insight. These exercises follow an “emotional logic” in which one step produces a basis for cultivating the next.

Module 1 interview

Dr. Milagros Rivera

In this video, Dr. Milagros “Millie” Rivera, Director of Faculty Diversity, Inclusion, and Well-Being for George Mason University, describes her experiences of how different cultures express empathy and compassion. She talks about ways that empathy and compassion bridge divides, bringing out the best in humanity. Dr. Rivera also gives practical advice about ways to self-calm and regain a connection with our empathy and compassion.

Module 2

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 2: The Foundation Practice of Mindfulness

Mindfulness, acceptance, self-compassion, and self-care set a foundation on which the other COMPASS skills can build. A regular practice of mindfulness can help in preventing and overcoming burnout, anxiety, depression, and other internal obstacles to building compassionate insight. Acceptance, self-compassion, and self-care create a safe basis for developing resilience and well-being.

Module 2 interview

Peggy DiVincenzo on Mindfulness Practice

Peggy DiVincenzo has practiced vipassana meditation since 1980 and is a certified mindfulness instructor. She began teaching mindfulness in the context of individual and group psychotherapy beginning in 2003. In this interview, she talks about the impact that regular practice has had on her life and she leads us in a brief session of mindfulness practice.

Module 3

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 3: Equanimity

Equanimity sets the ground for developing a universal form of kindness and compassion by reducing and eliminating bias. Biased compassion can be harmful to those it excludes and marginalizes. Remembering our similarity to everyone in our basic wish to be happy and free from suffering helps connect us to humanity and all forms of life.

Module 3 interview

Dr. Melissa Villodas on Connectedness and Mental Health

In this interview, Dr. Villodas shares her research findings on the relationship between connectedness and mental health, particularly as it impacts black youth and young adults who have had interactions with the Juvenile Justice System. The devastating effects of systemic racism are explored along with ways social workers, mental health practitioners, and others should consider intervening to help those affected.

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Module 4

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 4: Gratitude

Gratitude can lift us up from emotional depletion and revitalize us when fatigued and worn down. For helping professionals, it can provide a protective buffer against compassion fatigue. Research on the benefits of gratitude and an easy way to practice it are shared in this video.

Module 4 interview

Wes Smith, LCSW, on Gratitude and Well-Being

Gratitude can uplift us when we’re feeling depleted, worn down, and fatigued, It’s as easy as counting your blessings. In this video, Wes Smith, who has worked as a School Social Worker for over 25 years, shares his strategies for personal renewal in the face of life’s constant challenges.

Module 5

Compassion's COMPASS Module 5: Forgiveness

Resentment and anger block kindness and compassion. To move through our anger, it’s important to know strategies for corrective self-talk and forgiveness. Forgiveness skills are particularly useful when a grudge runs deep and is causing us internal distress. Forgiveness and trust are two different things: forgiveness is for our own peace of mind; trust must be earned.

Module 5 interview

Scarlett Lewis on Forgiveness

Each moment offers us a choice: we can follow our anger, hurt, and fear or we can choose courage, love, forgiveness, and compassion. In this amazing interview, Scarlett Lewis, author, and founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, shares her story of devastating loss, recovery, and turning tragedy into resilience, love, and compassionate action. Scarlett and Jesse’s Choose Love Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program have reached over 3,000,000 children in over 120 countries around the world.

Module 6

Compassion's COMPASS Module 6: Kindness

Kindness is the wish that others and ourselves encounter happiness and the causes of happiness. It is an uplifting feeling that can lift us out of depression and anger while opening our hearts. In this video, research on the benefits of kindness is explored and an easy exercise for cultivating it is offered.

Module 6 Interview

Shayla Ortell on Kindness Contemplations

In this video Shayla Ortell, a psychotherapist and meditator, explains how she was introduced to kindness contemplations, how they have influenced her, and practical ways kindness practice can transform tasks of daily living. She also guides us in a practice to center, regain equanimity, and expand kindness to include yourself, your community, and everyone everywhere.


Mary Rixby on Mind-Body Health and Well-Being

In this interview, Marlys Rixey, Psy.D., a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 25 years in the field of Health Psychology, explains how mind and body affect each other. She points out the health effects of positive and distressing emotions and gives practical advice on ways to become more aware of states of mind and improve mind-body health. Marlys also demonstrates some simple physical exercises that can be used each day to drain stress out of the body and mind for regaining equilibrium.

Learn to foster well-being and compassion resilience!

Subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll send you lessons every day or two so you can learn the COMPASS method, develop (even more) kindness and compassion, and learn the mind training exercises and avoid compassion fatigue.

Module 7

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 7: Compassion

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 7 video, Compassion: the Compassion’s COMPASS modules leading up to this prepare you to experience the feeling of compassion. It’s a powerful feeling with many benefits. Research on the benefits of compassion and a guided meditation on developing it are included in this video.

module 7 Interview

Sheri Mitschelen, LCSW, RPT-S, on Compassion

An interview with Sheri Mitschelen, LCSW, RPT-S, on compassion: Sheri has been a clinical social worker devoted to providing mental health services for children and their families for over 30 years. She developed and continues to oversee the Crossroads Family Center and The Heart Leaf Center, both of which serve children and their families in Northern Virginia. In 2009 she was voted as “One of the Best Child Therapists in the Area,” by the Washingtonian Magazine. In this interview, Sheri shares her perspective on the importance of compassion, its benefits, and ways to ward off obstacles to compassion maintenance when providing direct work.

Module 8

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 8: Giving and Taking

Giving and taking is a practice of imagining taking in the suffering of yourself and others with compassion, reducing self-focus and self-centered fear, and breathing out wellbeing to yourself and others with kindness. In this video, research is shared on the downside of self-focus and the benefits of caring for others. It includes a guided meditation on giving and taking practice.

Module 8 Interview

Michael Sanger, Ph.D. on Giving and Taking Practice

Dr. Sanger is a Professor Emeritus from the Social Work Department at Valdosta State University who has practiced giving and taking for decades. In this video, he shares personal stories about how this practice has helped him through life’s challenges. He offers encouragement and advice for how to cultivate kindness, patience, and compassionate courage in daily life.

Module 9

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 9: Activation

If you have followed the sequence of the Compassion’s COMPASS videos and practiced the exercises regularly, you might find your experience of compassion deepening. The next step is to take that passive form of compassion and put it into action. In this video, research on the benefits of activating your compassion and contemplations to help you do so are explored.

Module 9 Interview 1

John Cerullo on Cultivating a Compassionate Lifestyle

John Cerullo is a publisher, teacher, and humanitarian who has spent his life deepening his compassionate insight and pursuing compassionate activities. In this interview he describes his early experiences that led him to cultivating a compassionate lifestyle and ways he puts his compassion into direct actions that benefit his family and his community. He discusses the importance of engaged compassion for personal and societal wellbeing and offers a contemplation focused on eliminating suffering and its causes in oneself and others.

Module 9 Interview 2

Pema Dechen Gorap on Ways to Live Compassionately

Pema Dechen Gorap is an active Tibet/human rights advocate who runs the non-profit Partners for Tibetan Education (PTE) helping Tibetans in exile retain their heritage, language, and culture. She has spent her life helping Tibetan children and families cope with the devastation, uncertainty, and challenges that they have faced after fleeing Tibet following the brutal occupation of their land by China. Pema-la shares her wisdom, stories, and advice on ways to live compassionately even in life’s most challenging times.


Compassion’s COMPASS Module 10: Goal-focused Compassion

Goal-Focused Compassion: All the Core Compassion Skills in previous Modules of Compassion’s COMPASS can lead you to a robust form of engaged compassion. In this, the last of the Core Compassion Skills, the focus is on developing your personal goals for how you want to express your compassion in the world and in your personal journey. This video includes a guided meditation culminating in goal-focused compassion.

Moduel 10 Interview

Dr. Daphne King on Self-Compassion and Selfcare

Dr. Daphne King is an Assistant Professor and MSW Online Program Director in the Social Work Department/College of Public Health at George Mason University. She is also a prolific writer and mental health provider. In this interview, Dr. King shares some of the factors in her life that led her to her current professional path as well as practices she uses each day to bolster confidence, wellbeing, and a compassionate approach to life. Dr. King emphasizes the importance of self-compassion and prioritizing time for meditation, selfcare, and reflection.

Module 10 Interview no 2

Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu on Self-Compassion and Compassionate Goals

Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu is an American Japanese psychologist at the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is also a speaker and author whose mission is integrating indigenous Asian spiritual wisdom with the art and scientific practice of psychology for healing and social transformation. In this interview, he shares details of how he found his direction and values for his life along with insights he has gained on the importance of genuineness, self-acceptance, and self-compassion.

Module 11

Compassion’s COMPASS Module 11: Analytical Skills

The COMPASS Analytical Skills target cognitive distortions about ourselves that might block our ability to maintain and develop compassionate insight. An overly negative sense of self can sap our energy and wellbeing. An inflated sense of self can lead to feelings of superiority, invulnerability, and thus inconsideration. When helpers are overwhelmed by Vicarious Trauma, it can damage our sense of self, safety, and wellbeing. Therefore, it is useful to have a simple exercise for debunking internal distortions about ourselves and for regaining our positive sense of self formed around our compassionate goals.

Module 11 Interview

Interview with Dr. Lorne Ladner on Defining Self with Compassionate Insight

Dr. Ladner is a clinical psychologist, author, teacher, and psychotherapist who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of wise compassion and helping others. In this interview, he shares his journey in the field of psychology along with insights about how self-concept forms, its contextual nature, and the importance of being realistic and flexible about your sense of self. He also guides viewers in a mediation aimed at healing self-concept.