Growing Words of Compassion: Nature and Writing Practices to Love By
This hands-on, multidisciplinary course will help students engage with their innate capacity for tender compassion. The curriculum is designed to meet each student where he or she currently is in the understanding and practice of compassion; deepening one’s expression of compassion is the primary focus. The four areas we will cover include: writing for compassion; nature for compassion; gratitude’s role in compassion; and the creation of a symbolic toolbox of images, words, and objects as touchstones of compassion practice. Students will be asked to delve deeply into their individual process and ways of seeing themselves. They will also be guided to explore their relationship to difference, “the perceived other,” and how to offer compassion in difficult situations. Using a variety of creative, educational, and ecological tools, participants will deepen their relationship to their own heart of compassion. There is a strong emphasis on writing as well as exercises/activities to be completed out in nature. Students will also explore online resources, read articles, create symbols for compassionate action, and have a chance to reflect on their process and the resources provided. Assignments are designed to guide students toward an embodied practice of compassion that deepens in their lives long after the course has concluded.