The College of New Jersey

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About the Center

The Center for Mindfulness and Compassion was inspired by the internationally recognized religious historian, Karen Armstrong.  In her 2008 TED talk, Armstrong responded to the tragedy of 9/11 by speaking out on the need for all people to unite around compassion, the common core of all major religious and ethical traditions.  Since then she has created the international Charter for Compassion  to foster compassion in government, religion, schools, businesses and all aspects of life. Click here to read and affirm the Charter.

Mindfulness and compassion are integrally related.  One has to learn to be compassionate toward oneself, to accept the truth of one’s limitations, and to be vulnerable and to treat oneself with compassion in order to have the capacity to be truly compassionate towards others. The formal practice of mindfulness is a discipline that enables us to be still with the difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations that are part of the human condition, without judgment.  In that place of non-judgment, we can see with greater clarity and acceptance. Once you have developed this practice, it is easier to feel compassion for specific individuals and people in general.  This heightened awareness of the common bond shared by all humanity enables us to make more constructive decisions about how to do our part in making the world a better place.

The Center offers non-credit courses and workshops in mindfulness, self compassion, compassion for everyone, and mindful communication to students, staff, faculty and the general public.  The Center also serves as the advisor to the Circle of Compassion student group and provides training for student mindfulness leaders and Circle Executive Board members.