You want to make the world a better place!
But where to begin?
“Igniting Compassion” guides you through three practical exercises that will provide you with everything you need in order to ignite your inner compassionate warrior:
- Center: Get in touch with your innate passion for justice;
- Connect: Identify sources of power for change that already exist within your social and institutional relationships; and
- Engage: Apply the fruits of contemplative discernment to compassionate social action
“Perhaps the ultimate demand laid upon the human spirit is the responsibility to select where one bears witness to the Truth of his or her spirit. The final expression of the committed spirit is to affirm: I choose! and to abide.”
– Howard Thurman
As more people today are discovering the benefits of contemplative practices – including mindfulness, meditation, or contemplative forms of prayer – we also awaken to our natural desire to live the fruits of our practice in daily lives, to live with compassion, and to contribute to the good of others and to the common good of our communities.
This course draws upon principles from my experience in teaching and researching Catholic Social Thought, while presenting them for anyone to use as practical guidelines regardless of your religious commitments or background. I will walk you through three practical exercises, undertaken in a mindful, contemplative attitude of reverence for the goodness of all life, that will help you to cultivate a positive sense of commitment and purpose to others and to important issues in your local communities.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.
– St. Catherine of Siena
Who should take this course?
- This course is designed for individuals or groups seeking greater clarity about where to direct your energy toward compassionate social action. Originally designed for students in my course on Catholic Social Thought, simple principles are presented in a way that persons from any background can learn and apply them.
- Students seeking to determine a topic for a paper, project, or presentation on social justice issues will also find these exercises helpful. Students perform higher (read: earn a better grade) when they’re personally engaged in learning.
- Parish-based social justice or faith-sharing groups will also find these exercises helpful for discerning where to engaging in justice work in your local community.
What are the benefits or learning outcomes?
- Focus and harness the good intentions cultivated in your mindfulness, meditation, or contemplative practice toward compassionate social action
- Create a plan of wise and skillful compassionate social action, guided by a contemplative discernment process
- Change the world with clarity, courage, and intention