Live Online Mindful Self-Compassion 8-week Course
Co-taught by Sondra Gudmundson and Jon Walker
Our next course will start on Monday, April 1 at 6 pm Eastern, and will continue weekly for 8 weeks; each class is 2.75 hours, delivered via Zoom. There is a bonus 3-hour retreat midway through the course. To register, you can click here or use the button at the bottom of the course description. We will also be offering a free 1-hour introduction to self-compassion that serves as an orientation for the full course. That will be on Monday, March 25 at 6 pm Eastern; you can learn more and register for that session here.
You can jump to more info on the teachers here.
Jump here for testimonials.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is a research-proven program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. MSC teaches practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn't receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are kind to themselves. It's a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.
This course is designed to enhance your ability to:
Practice self-compassion and mindfulness 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
Explore the role of self-compassion in meeting your core values
Embrace the art of savoring and self-appreciation
What To Expect:
Program activities include meditation, short teachings, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
MSC is not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis 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.
Compassion is a positive, energizing emotion. However, it is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While learning self-compassion, sometimes difficult emotions may arise. MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey enjoyable for everyone. If you are going through a particularly difficult time, it may be better to take this course at a later date when you can reap the full benefit.
This course takes a definite time commitment. There will be 8 weekly sessions of 2.75 hours each, and a 3-hour retreat midway through the course that is usually on a weekend. Don’t worry, there are plenty of breaks during class! The classes build on each other, so please try to attend every session, and be willing to practice mindfulness and self-compassion formally or informally at least 30 minutes per day throughout the program.
Everyone is welcome, including people of all backgrounds and identities. No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. Participants will be asked to provide some personal information when they register for this course to help teachers determine their safety and readiness for this kind of emotional work.
The following book is recommended as a companion to the MSC course:
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer (2018)
The course fee is US $350 per person. If you have financial concerns, compassionate discounts are available, and if that is an issue, let us know so we can meet.
You can review the waiver and register for the course here, or use the button below. You do not need to pay when you register; we will be sending out more info about that as we get closer to the date.
Sondra Gudmundson, MS, RD, LD
Sondra is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher through the University of California at San Diego Medical School’s Centers for Integrative Health, Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute. She inclines to help self & others meet difficulties in life with love and to facilitate opening the door to one's heart with greater ease. She is a graduate of both Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindful Self-Compassion Programs, and has been trained by internationally renowned pioneers of self-compassion, Kristin Neff and Chris Germer.
With a passion for wellness, Sondra has devoted >¼ century clinical experience as a nutrition therapist and mindful eating professional. She practices heart centered meditations including gratitude, lovingkindness, and self-compassion daily and honors these as essential nutrients for the soul. Sondra’s intentional focus is to offer lifecare nourishment with love to guide. Nurturing one’s organic true nature within is her life’s practice, and she values the global communities & interconnectedness created through MSC course offerings.
Jonathan Walker, MD
Jon Walker, creator of Modestly Mindful, is a retired physician, and his full background is on the About Me page. He has done teacher training through UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, and is a certified teacher in MSC through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. He is also certified through the International Mindfulness Teacher’s Association and the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. But his main qualification is that he spent a large chunk of his life being neither especially mindful nor self-compassionate, so he is highly motivated to help you avoid a similar fate!
Jon & Sondra met on the path of their MSC teacher training adventures and are inspired to partner with you to help cultivate your own personal relationship with your inner teacher.
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.
A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
Chris Germer, co-founder MSC
Thank you very much for offering this class! So much wisdom, care, and kindness in your guidance each week. I am really grateful for the tools and validation and resources and just the compassionate supportive energy you each offered so generously. It is truly important work you are doing and so very, very appreciated. An oasis of understanding and wisdom in the midst of what can sometimes be an overwhelming caregiving experience. Please know how much of a difference the work you are doing makes. K.F.
Sondra and Jon exemplify the concept of mindful self-compassion. Their teaching as well as their presence contributed to the value of this life-affirming practice. It was just what I needed at a time of personal/professional challenge. I highly recommend this course with these instructors. L. M., psychotherapist.
Thank you so much for taking me through this 8 week's class. I really looked forward to coming each week and seeing both of you. It was a bright spot in my weeks and I valued the time tremendously. You are both amazing teachers and your kindness, compassion, energy, and dedication really made this class that much better! A.I.
“This class offers a treasure trove of tools which enabled me to elicit a powerful paradigm shift. A shift towards the big MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion)! I am now a huge believer and have since ordered the workbook and plan to sign up for a second round and bring my family and friends. A huge shout out to two wonderfully insightful, caring and compassionate human beings! Thank you Jon and Sondra! Truly--thank you from the bottom of my heart." H.K.
"MSC opened my eyes to a beautiful side of life that I had never experienced. Through Sondra and Jon's kindness and expertise. I was taken on an exquisite journey of self-discovery and compassion. I have changed in profound ways while accepting my humanness with grace. My thanks and gratitude." Maria
“I sincerely thank you for your expertise, style, and kindness. I’m greatly appreciating the insights from the class and you both as teachers, plus I’m happy to say that frequently I think of the 3 basic concepts of self-compassion. They are really helping me!” Celine
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing our group together and sharing your teachings. Mindfulness and self-compassion have helped me stay present(ish). I’ve noticed the strong urges to act out of fear and anger, and get caught up in old stories. I can’t control what is going on around me, but I can say to myself, this is hard, I am suffering, remember that I am not alone and have an intention to be kind to myself. To my surprise, it has made such a difference. Little moments of letting go and letting myself grieve...Many thanks to you both for your kindness, generosity and teachings." Jean
"Thanks so much for the class and the teachings you have both provided over the last 2 months! It has been great and has helped me gain some tools for dealing with my inner critic. The process is nowhere near perfect, but nobody is, so I’m looking forward to continuing my journey towards a more self-compassionate lifestyle." Kevin
“Sondra and jon humbly present a really wonderful practice to tackling some difficult topics on self-compassion. They look at each session as a journey together to really get at this material. I was most appreciative of the time they took outside of sessions to fully answer any questions and concerns, even if it ended up with more confusion than certainty! I feel for those just starting any sort of self-development practice, they are great for helping individuals get their footing. They are really dedicated to their students, and that is fantastic!“ Jeremy
"Jon and Sondra really seemed to embody kindness in an authentic way. I'm not sure whether it was intended or not, but that authentic embodiment showed rather than told...it showed me a way of being that is rare in the world."