Mindful Compassion: How the Science of Compassion Can Help You Understand Your Emotions, Live in the Present, and Connect Deeply with Others

Mindful Compassion: How the Science of Compassion Can Help You Understand Your Emotions, Live in the Present, and Connect Deeply with Others

by Paul Gilbert, Choden


$21.86 $23.95 Save 9% Current price is $21.86, Original price is $23.95. You Save 9%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, January 24

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626250611
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 403,632
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Paul Gilbert, PhD, is world-renowned for his work on depression, shame, and self-criticism. He is head of the mental health research unit at the University of Derby and author of The Compassionate Mind and Overcoming Depression.

Choden was a monk for seven years within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Choden (aka Sean McGovern) completed a three-year, three-month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa, where he trained as a lawyer and where he learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programs drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their postgraduate study program in mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

Training the Mind 2

Our Multiple Selves 4

Understanding the Mind 5

The Self We Might Choose 6

The Importance of Wisdom 7

The Lotus in the Mud 8

Key Points 9

Part I The Issues

1 Waking Up 13

The Four Noble Truths and Modem Psychology 16

Emergence and Interconnectedness 24

The Buddha's Story and Us 28

Key Points 30

2 Evolved Mind and Motivations 33

Understanding Our Origins-The Flow of Life 33

The Evolutionary Journey 34

The Consequences of Evolution for Mindful Compassion 36

Old and New Brains 38

The Problems with Humans Getting Smart 40

How the Brain Coordinates Itself 45

Motives Coordinate the Mind 46

Minds Full of Conflicts 48

The Affliction of Self-Identity 50

The Shamed Self 52

The Compassionate Self and Its Benefits 53

Bringing Our Story Together 55

Key Points 58

3 Emotional Systems 59

Problems with Emotions 60

Emotional Regulation Systems 62

Threat and Self-Protection System 64

Why the Threat System Gives Us a Hard Time 69

Drive and Resource-Seeking System 71

The Soothing/Affiliation System 78

All Want Love and to Be Loving 90

Key Points 91

4 Emergence of Compassion 93

What Is Compassion? 95

Healing: Definition of Compassion 97

The Attributes of Compassion: Engagement 106

Bringing the Attributes Together and the Emergence of Compassion 120

Skills of Compassion: Alleviation and Prevention 121

The Two Psychologies of Compassion: Bringing Them Together 128

Key Points 130

5 The Challenge of Mindfulness Practice 133

The Role of Mindfulness 134

Problems That Can Arise with Mindfulness 140

Mindfulness and Motives 140

Key Points 151

6 The Lotus in the Mud 153

Understanding How Compassion Can Be Undermined 155

Compromised Soothing/Affiliation System 156

Misunderstandings About the Nature of Compassion 157

Fears of and Resistances to Compassion 157

Fear of Happiness 160

Emotional Memory 161

Affiliation and Emotional Memory 162

Affiliation and Emotional Fusion 164

Affiliation and Anger 165

Affiliation and Slowing Down-In the Culture of Speeding Up 166

Psychology of Avoidance 168

The Story of Chenrezig 168

Compassion as Ascent to the Angelic? 171

Compassion as "Cleansing and Purifying" Inner Poisons 172

The Real Story of Compassion-Descent 174

Descent: Choden's Personal Journey 176

Descent and the Emergence of Compassion: The Beginning of New Life 178

Compassion and the Flow of Life 180

Key Points 181

Part II The Practices

Introduction: Compassionate Motivation 183

Outline of Practice Chapters 185

7 Mindfulness Practice 187

Recognizing the Unsettled Mind 187

Beginning to Work with Attention 190

Slowing Down and Settling 192

Opening Up to Our Senses 196

Single-Focus Attention and Open-Field Awareness 198

Grounding in the Body 199

Body Scan 200

Body Awareness and Compassion 203

Sitting Practice 205

Little and Often 211

Conclusion 211

Key Stages 212

8 Working with Acceptance 213

Habitual Reactions 213

Familiarization and Cultivation 214

Intention, Attention, and Acceptance 216

Experiential Acceptance 217

Two Psychologies of Compassion 220

How Do We Practice Acceptance? 221

Cultivating the Observer 229

Key Points 230

9 Building Compassionate Capacity 233

Compassion as Flow 234

Working with Imagery 236

No Clear Pictures 237

Safe Place 238

Compassionate Color 241

Compassionate Image 242

Recognizing Our Wish for Happiness 248

Key Points 250

10 The Compassionate Self 253

Cultivating Helpful Patterns 253

Imagining Our Compassionate Self 255

Method-Acting Techniques 256

The Qualities of Our Compassionate Self 257

Remembering Our Compassionate Self 262

Doing the Work of Compassion 263

Focusing Our Compassionate Self: Compassion for a Loved One 264

Focusing Our Compassionate Self: Compassion for Oneself 265

Self-Compassion Break 268

Working with the Anxious Self 268

Working with the Angry Self 270

Working with the Critical Self 272

Compassionate Behavior 275

Key Points 276

11 Widening Our Circle of Compassion 277

Four Limitless Contemplations 279

Practicing Compassion for Others 281

Dissolving and Equalizing "On the Spot" 289

Self-Preoccupation 290

Tonglen: Taking and Sending 291

Practicing Tonglen 293

Tonglen on the Spot 297

Conclusion 298

Key Points 299

Conclusion: The Compassionate Journey 301

Find Out More 305

Books 305

CDs 306

Websites 307

Notes 311


Gilbert and Choden live in the UK.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Mindful Compassion: How the Science of Compassion Can Help You Understand Your Emotions, Live in the Present, and Connect Deeply with Others 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BLUEFISH99 More than 1 year ago
Another absolute brilliant book about Buddhism practices of mindfulness and how and why our minds evolve. Touches on depression and its destructiveness, you have to read this book because its like a light coming on in your head and in your mind, providing detailed explanations of our evolution