Course Information

Compassion: Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living Teacher Training Programme

When: 4 Nov 2022 - 13 Nov 2022
Where: Online Event
Tutors: Frits Koster, Bridgette O'Neill

Dates and times:

4th – 13th November 2022

4th November, Orientation session, 7pm to 9pm UK time

5th, 6th and 7th November, 2pm to 5pm and 6.30pm to 9.30pm UK time

11th, 12th and 13th November, 2pm to 5pm and 6.30pm to 9.30pm UK time

All times are UK, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). If you are attending from a different time zone, please check equivalent timings in your time zone.

This teacher training programme enables participants to complete MBCL teacher training (previously offered as modules 1 and 2; this training combines both modules). MBCL is recognised as a follow-on course following foundational mindfulness-based programmes (MBSR, MBCT or equivalent) by BAMBA and VMBN (the Netherlands based mindfulness teaching network). The process involves 6 days online training and personal practice and small group work in between the training days. The learning objectives and content of the programme include: 

Learning Objectives of the MBCL Teacher-Training Programme: 

  • To experience the main exercises of MBCL in more depth beyond the foundation course level.
  • To thoroughly review the content of the 8 sessions of an MBCL course.
  • To have a basic understanding of the scientific foundation of compassion training and the theoretical background in western and Buddhist psychology.
  • To review and develop the basic attitudes necessary for working with compassion-focused methods.
  • To have an understanding for which clients compassion training can be helpful.
  • To deepen the practice of mindfulness and clarify its relationship to compassion training.
  • Deepening the understanding of the structure and content of MBCL.
  • Learning how to teach the curriculum and how to guide MBCL exercises.
  • Introduction to leading inquiry following exercises.
  • Developing skills of how to present the background theory on compassion training.
  • Deepening one’s personal experience of compassion exercises.

Content of the MBCL Teacher Training-Programme: 

  • The validation of pain and suffering.
  • How our brain has evolved to help us survive and the value of compassion for our wellbeing and survival.
  • Insight into the three basic emotion-regulations
  • How mental images and patterns can bring emotion-regulation systems out of balance and how compassionate imagery can restore the balance.
  • The psychological expressions of fight, flight & freeze: self-criticism, self-isolation and over-identification; and their antidotes: self-kindness, common humanity & mindfulness.
  • ‘Tend & befriend’ as a fourth instinctual stress reaction.
  • Compassionately relating to desires and inner patterns; self-conscious emotions; the inner critic and inner helper.
  • Developing the compassion mode with its attributes of care for wellbeing and relief of suffering, sensitivity to needs, sympathy, empathy, tolerance/courage and wisdom.
  • The balanced cultivation of the four limitless qualities: compassion, loving kindness, joy and equanimity.
  • Compassion in action and practical ethics.
  • The structure of MBCL’s 8 sessions will be presented in detail from the teaching perspective.
  • The content and structure of compassion-focused exercises will be reviewed and practiced.
  • Participants will have more practice guiding MBCL exercises as well as leading inquiry into compassion practices.
  • Background knowledge and meta-perspectives for MBCL trainers, including:
      • Evolutionary perspectives
      • High and low routes toward compassion
      • The plasticity of the brain
      • The physiology of the breath
      • Individual and gender differences
      • Different attachment styles
      • MBCL and psychological problems, (contra-)indications
      • MBCL in private practice settings
      • Content and attitude in communication
      • The differences and common ground between psychotherapy and MBCL training.

    Requirements to attend:

    All Applicants are required to have completed either:

    -  a MBCL Foundation Course with a qualified MBCL teacher, in person or online or

    - an eight-week MBCL training as a participant with a qualified MBCL teacher, in person or online; or

    - an MBCL retreat 

     (see or or for different options)

    In addition, applicants need to have:                                      

    EITHER: qualified as a mindfulness teacher (MBSR or MBCT, or equivalent, e.g. Breathworks) from a recognized training institute. On successful completion of the MBCL TT Programme, and following a minimum of 3 hours of supervision during teaching MBCL to groups, one can obtain A-

    registration as an MBCL-teacher and offer the formal MBCL-programme as an advanced course to participants who completed a basic mindfulness course (MBSR/MBCT/Breathworks). This is in line with the Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness-Based teaching in the UK. As this is a postgraduate education one is expected to have the professional integrity and responsibility to judge when one is ready to offer MBCL independently. Those who do not feel confident to do so as yet after the TT are advised to seek further training and supervision and/or obtain experience as a co-teacher. Those who have almost completed their mindfulness teacher training and have an aspirant registration can also apply for the MBCL TT programme. However, they only obtain their A-registration following completion of their training and full professional registration as a mindfulness teacher.

    OR: qualified in a (mental) health or other helping profession without MBSR/MBCT teacher qualification. They should have followed basic training and gained experience in mindfulness-based interventions (e.g. ACT, DBT, MBCT) and/or wish to do the training to deepen their own practice and their therapeutic or counseling skills with mindfulness-based and compassion-focused interventions. For this group the minimum requirements are that one has followed an eight-week MBSR/MBCT course and has at least one year regular practice in mindfulness meditation. Those belonging to this group can obtain B-registration as a professional being trained in guiding exercises and working with material from the MBCL programme and applying this in their own professional setting within the ethical guidelines of their profession, individually or in groups. Please note, one can only register as a formal MBCL-teacher and offer the full MBCL-programme under its name, when one is also a formal MBSR or MBCT teacher.

    Please ensure you are able to attend the entire event. If this is not possible, please contact us to discuss before submitting an application.


    Participants will need to have a copy of the MBCL workbook: “A Practical Guide to Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living - Living with Heart” by Erik van den Brink & Frits Koster, with Victoria Norton, 2018. London/New York: Routledge.

    This will support familiarity with the curriculum content including didactic themes for each session.


    The training will be delivered via Zoom.

    A Zoom link will be sent nearer to the start date. Participants will receive information about how to join online meetings via Zoom. Use of a laptop or equivalent well-functioning device is recommended.

    What to bring/wear:

    A mat, cushions and a blanket would be helpful to support your meditation space at home. 

    Fee options

    Standard rate is £788                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Bursary-assisted places are available on this event until three months before the event starts. If it is less than three months before the start date of the event, please get in touch to discuss if an application is possible.  When applying for a bursary-assisted place, please first register on the event and select the fee ‘I’m applying for a bursary-assisted place’. Once you have registered for the event you will also need to complete and return a bursary application form.  

    To find out more about our bursary schemes, criteria for bursary applications and to complete the bursary application form please visit:                 

  • Employer's rate - Recognising the large administrative overhead of dealing with employers, we will be adding a £50 surcharge if the employer is paying directly; where possible we would advise applicants to pay themselves and reclaim on expenses to avoid the charge. 

    The application and payment process

    Our application and payment process involves the following steps:

    1. We receive your application form and assess it to ensure this event is suitable for you. We endeavour to make assessments within a week but if the event leader is on annual leave or on retreat then this can take a little bit longer.
    2. Upon offering you a place we will then invoice you.
    3. Your place is confirmed once we receive either your full or deposit payment.
    4. If you selected to pay the deposit only, we will invoice you for the balance four months before the retreat starts.
    5. We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.

    Payment and Cancellation Policy

    Please read our Terms and Conditions for information regarding payments and cancellations.

    For more information

    Please email us at

Click here to sign up to our waiting list - unfortunately this event is now full.