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Compassionate Integrity Training


“We believe that a compassionate world is a peaceful world. 

We believe that a compassionate world is possible when every man, woman and child treats others as they wish to be treated–with dignity, equity and respect. 

We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive.” 

–The Charter for Compassion

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Registration: Now Open!
Duration: 10 weeks with one LIVE two-hour zoom call per week

Dates: Two Cohorts will be available. Both Cohorts are scheduled on Wednesdays beginning September 16 and ending November 18. Classes are on Zoom and are 2 hours long.

Cohort 1 will be at 2 p.m. Eastern Time
Cohort 2 will be at 7 p.m. Eastern Time

Both cohorts are limited to 50 participants each

Cost: The full price for Compassionate Integrity Training is $250.00. Life University’s guiding principle of “Lasting Purpose: To Give, To Do, To Love, To Serve – Out of a Sense of Abundance” allows us to offer this course based on what you can afford. If $250 exceeds your financial means, then pay what you can based on the options provided.

Testimonials:  Click here to read testimonials about the course


About the Course

Have you ever wondered how you could cultivate the compassion called for in the Charter or help others cultivate that compassion? Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) is a great place to start!

CIT is a resiliency-informed program that cultivates human values as skills, so we can thrive as individuals, and a society, within a healthy environment.  By learning skills to calm our bodies and mind, becoming more emotionally aware, learning to practice compassion for ourselves and others, as well as engaging with compassion in complex systems, we can build towards compassionate integrity: the ability to live one’s life in accordance with one’s values with a recognition of common humanity, our basic orientation to kindness and reciprocity. It is based on cutting-edge developments in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, trauma-informed care, peace and conflict studies, and contemplative science, and builds off of work done by Daniel Goleman (author of the book Emotional Intelligence) and Peter Senge, initiatives in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and other areas.

Facilitated by representatives of Life University’s Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics, Compassionate Integrity Training is an online course hosted through Zoom with additional materials located in Ruzuku (an online learning platform).  The course will include large and small group discussions, experiential learning activities, reflective writing activities, mindful dialogues, and contemplative practices.  This is an opportunity to be part of a global community of like-minded individuals who want to learn more about self-cultivation, relating to others, and engaging in systems.

CIT has been used to train self-compassion, compassion for others, and building compassionate systems to community leaders, peace builders, individuals who are currently incarcerated, and youth considered at-risk, and in shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness and issues with substance abuse. Compassionate San Antonio and Compassionate Atlanta have been at the forefront of implementing CIT and having their leaders become Level 1 Facilitators. CIT is now spreading to Compassionate Cities throughout North America and Europe.

For more information, click here to watch a video describing CIT.


How Does This Course Work?

  • This course will meet weekly, via Zoom, for two hours, in order to engage in “face-to-face” dialogue with colleagues.
  • The information for each weekly session will be located on the Sutra™ Platform for participants to review at their leisure.
  • Participants are encouraged to engage in ongoing dialogue through the discussion board(s) in Sutra™.
  • Participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible for the Level 1 Facilitator training that will take place in the spring.


Course Outline

CIT utilizes a “three-in-three” educational model that integrates three domains of knowledge and three levels of understanding. The three domains begin with a focus on the self (Self-cultivation), then move to others (Relating to Others), and finally to a systems-perspective, meaning the larger networks in which we exist. Additionally, each module in CIT is intended to allow participants to progress through three levels of understanding: received knowledge, critical insight, and embodied understanding. In CIT, it is important that knowledge not remain at an intellectual level; to be effective, it must lead to realizations and lasting changes in behavior. Knowledge becomes transformative when it moves from head to heart to hand. Therefore, each session has both content and practice learning objectives.


Weekly Topics

Series I – Self Cultivation

Skill 1:  Calming Body and Mind


  • Participants will learn:
    • about the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the difference between its fight or flight response and its rest and digest response.
    • about the three zones their body can be in (high, low and resilient) related to the nervous system.


  • Participants will learn how to return to the resilient zone when they move outside of it and how to expand their resilient zone through practice.

Skill 2: Ethical Mindfulness


  • Participants will learn
    • the importance of attentional stability
    • to become heedful of their capacity to do harm to self and others through their speech and actions
    • to be mindful of the reasons why harmful speech and action cause harm to themselves and others


  • Participants will increase awareness of the present moment in order to become more cognizant of their speech and actions in order to reduce their propensity to do harm to self and other.

Skill 3: Emotional Awareness


  • Participants will:
    • investigate whether the nature of thoughts and feelings is permanent or transitory
    • learn to differentiate between what they consider potentially harmful mental states and potentially beneficial mental states for themselves


  • Participants will cultivate balance toward their mental states and create more space between thoughts and speech/action

Skill 4: Self-Compassion


  • Participants will:
    • explore the underlying motivation beneath all of our thoughts and actions
    • explore how suffering and happiness do not depend solely on external situations
    • learn how seeking external sources of happiness, rather than internal ones, often fails to bring lasting satisfaction
    • explore how unrealistic expectations can lead to suffering and excessive self-criticism


  • Participants will explore how harmful mental states can be changed and gradually transform their harmful mental states.

Series II – Relating to Others

Skill 5:  Impartiality and Common Humanity


  • Participants will:
    • explore explicit and implicit bias and methods for weakening them
    • explore what we all have in common as human beings


  • Participants will learn to reduce partiality and bias and increase a sense of common humanity.

Skill 6:  Forgiveness and Gratitude


  • Participants will:
    • learn the benefits of and strategies for cultivating forgiveness
    • learn to distinguish forgiveness from condoning, excusing, forgetting or reconciling
    • learn the benefits of gratitude by exploring interdependence
    • learn that it is possible to be grateful for the harm that someone does not cause them


  • Participants will get better at noticing the ways others benefit them and recalling past benefit, cultivate the ability to recognize the benefits others provide for them, develop a greater appreciation for forgiveness, and gain a better ability to see the positive in people, objects, and experiences that were previously taken for granted

Skill 7:  Empathic Concern


  • Participants will learn:
    • empathy operates on two levels: feeling and thinking
    • the difference between empathic distress and empathic concern
    • the definition, and recognition, of sympathetic joy
    • the benefits of having consideration for others


  • Participants will increase their ability to experience emotional resonance with others’ joy and suffering, strengthen perspective-taking, and cultivate affection for others.

Skill 8:  Compassion


  • Participants will learn:
    • compassion is not weakness
    • the three necessary components of compassion
    • suffering and needs occur on multiple levels, not just obvious ones


  • Participants will increase their ability to extend compassion and increase their awareness in the universality of needs and suffering

Series III – Engaging in Systems

Skill 9:  Appreciating Interdependence


  • Participants will learn:
    • about the radical interdependence of the world
    • the importance of context in systems thinking
    • the way identity is constructed fluidly by chance
    • to recognize structural inequality, structural violence, and cultural violence
    • interdependence requires us to see solutions as sustainable and support collective success
    • to approach problems through the lens of critical inquiry


  • Participants will practice evaluating ethical dilemmas through the larger context of interdependence and analyze how objects, situations, and actions come to be

Skill 10:  Engaging with Discernment


  • Participants will learn:
    • compassion must be complemented with insight and understanding for decisions to lead to the most positive outcomes
    • to use common sense, personal experience, and scientific evidence as a foundation for discernment
    • to check their personal motivation when facing a dilemma
    • how much we gain by listening to others to gain a bigger picture and new ideas


  • Participants will practice examining an issue from multiple perspectives, considering the viewpoints, debating the pros and cons, and accessing the creative and imaginative problem-solving capabilities for engaged action within their community

The course includes:

  • Online interaction with facilitators and colleagues for two hours each week throughout the course.
  • A toolbox of skills focusing on self-cultivation, relating to others, and engaging with systems.
  • Access to course content, activities, and writing exercises, as well as access to a variety of contemplative practices.

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Questions about the program?  Please contact Jennifer Valtos at

The Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics is pleased to offer this course in partnership with the Charter for Compassion.



Course Facilitators:


Mohamed A Dewji pictureMohamed Dewji – Mohamed moved to Canada in 1976 from Kenya and graduated from UBC with a B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1991.  He has facilitated various programs over the past 7 years including NeuroPhychology for Learning, Aspire Case Management Training, and Leadership Development.  Most recently, Mohamed has been facilitating Compassionate Integrity Training and has made practicing and promoting compassion a goal in life. He is also an avid traveller and enjoys reading – especially Sufi poetry.

Renee Athay –

Michaela Maxwell – Michaela has a background in Buddhist Studies and strives to better understand how we as human beings can nurture our basic human values and elevate ourselves and those whose lives are touched by us every day.  She has done research on notions of gender and race in ancient Buddhism, and how Buddhist philosophy is applicable to modern issues.  Michaela has worked with interfaith organizations at the United Nations, as well as the Indian Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness consultancy, Beyond Mind. Her research and experience have shown her that cultivating compassion is a fundamental step toward healing our societies and our planet, which is why she is passionate about her role as a CIT facilitator!

Anja headshotAnja Pelzer-Brennholt – Justice, reducing bias, cooperation and commitment to change is Anja’s passion.  She is so convinced of CIT’s approach.  “Acting in accordance with our own values and with compassion is a win-win situation.  Essential is tolerance and respect for those who think differently, which is trained by compassion.  Personal growth challenges us just as much as good cooperation.  We could solve so many of our conflicts by being more in sync with ourselves, by understanding the concerns of others, by listening actively and looking more closely without the distorted view of projection. I am convinced that we can strengthen ourselves by strengthening others”.

Anja holds a law degree with a focus on human rights and international law, has a Master in Humanitarian Assistance and a Master of Science in Positive Psychology, is a certified mediator and last but not least a certified CIT facilitator, now back in Berlin.  She was lucky enough to be a member of the CIT working group of Dr. Michael Karlin and Dr. Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, translated the CIT material into German and is happy to help ensure that CIT receives the interest it deserves also here in Germany. After twenty years in research management, Anja now works free-lance as lawyer, mediator and CIT facilitator in Berlin, Germany

September 16, 2020
September 18, 2020
Charter for Compassion