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Fall 2021 Courses

Mindful Self-Compassion Online Course

  • Wednesdays, 4-7pm PST, October 13th to December 8th (no class November 24th), with one half-day retreat on November 13th from 9am to 12:30pm PST
    Detailed Dates:
    Oct. 13
    Oct. 20
    Oct. 27
    Nov. 3
    Nov. 10
    Half-day retreat on Nov. 13th, 9am-12:30pm
    Nov. 17
    Skipping Nov. 24th for the Thanksgiving Holiday
    Dec. 1
    Dec. 8
  • Location: Online via Zoom (details sent upon registration)

Register Today!

Why Mindful Self-Compassion?

Despite how kind we are to other people, many of us are very hard on ourselves. We are biologically wired to focus on our shortcomings and ruminate on our deficiencies. If we add to this the sometimes seemingly impossible pressures and demands of our current times, we find that many are left in a self-diminishing cycle of burnout and feelings of not being good enough. 

What is Mindful Self-Compassion?

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported, 8-week training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding. It is a powerful approach for emotional resilience and wellbeing, boosting happiness and reducing anxiety and depression.

After participating in this workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • Practice self-compassion in daily life
  • Understand the empirically supported benefits of self-compassion
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new
  • Manage caregiver fatigue
  • Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation

What to Expect:

MSC includes 8 weekly sessions of 3 hours each, in addition to a 3.5-hour retreat.  Prior to registering, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day throughout the program.

MSC is primarily a compassion training program rather than mindfulness training, although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion.  MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds.  Beneficial change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.

Learn More:


Dr. Bento Soares is Head of the Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology and Senior Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. He is a Senior Instructor of CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training), a certified teacher of CEB (Cultivating Emotional Balance), and an MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion)  and SCHC (Self-Compassion for Healthcare Communities) Teacher-in-training. Dr. Soares has made significant contributions to the human genome project and to pediatric cancer research, and works to bring emotional awareness, resilience and compassion training to healthcare education, to healthcare providers, to educators in the public-school system, and to cancer survivors and their partner/caregivers.

Denise Funfar, Integrative Coach and Social Entrepreneur collaborates with organizations ranging from business accelerators to non-profits to guide people, especially women, to create form a place of authenticity, self-worth, and inner joy. Her corporate career spans Europe and the U.S. with a B.S. in Business and an M.S. in People & Change Management, emphasizing employee morale. Denise graduated from UCSD’s teacher trainings and practicums in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). She is also a graduate of USD’s Leadership Coaching Program as well as various certifications in integrative psychology and wellbeing. She is fueled by a deep desire for people to experience worthiness, belonging, and joy being fully themselves.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (in Spanish!)

Programa de 8 semanas de Reducción de Estrés Basado en Mindfulness

¿Qué aprenderé en este programa de 8 semanas?

(Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction MBSR)

Los principios de la atención plena, que conducen a un mayor enfoque, conciencia de sí mismo y de la situación, mejoran la salud general, la memoria y la regulación emocional, el bienestar y las relaciones interpersonales.

Explora y mejora la capacidad de conciencia. Incrementa la resiliencia. Reduce el estrés


En español, con Sofía Puerta Webber 16 de SEPTIEMBRE al 4 de NOVIEMBRE 2021 Jueves a las 4:00 pm

¿Quién es Sofía?

Sesión introductoria opcional 30 minutos: Jueves 9 de septiembre 4 pm (hora del Pacífico)

Terapeuta de yoga certificada y profesora cualificada del programa de reducción de estrés basado en atención plena (REBAP). Desde hace mas de 16 años, Sofía enseña yoga y meditación bilingüe a personas de todas las edades y condiciones, especialmente niños, adolescentes y adultos mayores, pacientes con cáncer, depresión, ansiedad, dolor crónico y comunidades inmigrantes. Sofía también es la creadora de ShiwidoTM, el juguete que hace el ejercicio divertido.

Primera sesión: jueves 16 de septiembre 4-7 pm (hora del Pacífico)

Los siguientes jueves de 4-6:30 pm (hora del Pacífico)
Día de retiro:
sábado 23 de octubre de 9am-4pm (hora del Pacífico) 

Incluye: guías de audio gratuitas y certificado del programa (es necesario hablar español con cierta fluidez, asistir a todas las sesiones y al día de retiro)

REGISTRATION CLOSED Check back for Spring 2022!

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (English)

  • Thursdays, September 23rd - November 18th *8 Weeks (Note, there will not be class on 11/11) 
  • 4:00pm - 6:30pm
  • Location: Via Zoom

REGISTRATION CLOSED  Check back for Spring 2022!

We are pleased to host a FREE 8-week Mindfulnesss Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. THe MBSR program is one of the most highly respected and research mindfulness progrems, and decades of research indicate that the majority of people who complete the MBSR program report greater ability to cope more effectively with both short- and long-term stressful stituations. 

As you consider registering for this course, please be aware of the following: 

  • It is important to attend all sessions, including a half-day session that is usually scheduled between the 6th and 7th week on a Saturday 
  • A personal commitment to MBSR meditation practice of 45-60 minutes daily at least six days per week for eight weeks is essential. The time can be divided into two meditations if desired. Your commitment is essential. It is the practice of mindfulness meditation that will enable you to fully realize its benefits. 
  • This highly participatory, pratical course includes: 
    • Guided insturcation in mindfulness meditation pratctices
    • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
    • Inquiry exercies to enhance awareness in everyday life
    • Individually tailored instruction
    • Group dialogue 
    • Dialy home assignments 
    • Guided audio files for home practice and a workbook 

Lauren Campbell, MBSR Teacher & Practitioner Alison Brown, MBSR Teacher and Psychologist

Lauren is a teacher of mindfulness meditation who loves inviting people into the complexities of their own mind with softness and compassion.

Alison Brown is a licensed psychologist and the coordinator of the Center for Wellness & Wellbeing at Santa Monica College. She is passionate about teaching mindfulness in college and university settings.