So, now you see a way that, maybe you can change your internal dialog to a kinder voice, have a greater sense of wellbeing, improve your emotional balance and enhance your caring relationships and ask How do I start?
The short answer is to begin with taking an 8-week MSC course. There you will be introduced incrementally to all the MSC exercises, engage in the practices in a group setting, and receive ongoing guidance from three seasoned MSC teachers.
In each of the 8-week sessions, participants receive recommendations for daily practice between class sessions, to maintain continuity and hone the MSC skills. The dynamics of learning MSC are different than learning, say, long distance running, or achieving some external goal. Compassion is cultivated. It is more like learning an instrument, where one cultivates one’s talent by continued practice.
There are two phases or modes to MSC practices. The first is, what’s traditionally called practice, and the other is using MSC in the moment, in our daily lives. One way to look at this is practice is rehearsal, and daily life is the performance. In practice we create new patterns of thinking, feeling, and being, and are able to disengage from the old patterns and act upon the new ones. In MSC we bring those changes into our daily lives, altering our mental and emotional habits in real time, in our life.
It is recommended to establish a daily practice (as best you can in this busy world), since a daily practice can:
- Accelerate change
- Stabilize the changes we have made
- And begin to affect our overall being
It is recommended to not go too fast and hard and not too slow and soft. If we go too fast, we may get overwhelmed (remember backdraft) and likely stop at some point. If we go too slowly, we are susceptible of slowing to a stop, preferring the comfort of our old patterns.
Remember that the tortoise always wins the race.