Compassionate Integrity Training A Secular Ethics Approach to Cultivating Human Values

Follow along with our podcasts (soundcloud logo), as we take you through the CIT program and practices.

Compassionate Integrity Training modules can be found here.

Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) is a multi-part training program that teaches basic human values as skills through a systematic step-by-step model that combines easy-to-grasp learning modules with concrete practices. It is based on recent research in psychology, neuroscience, and contemplative science, as well as developments in education in social, emotional and ethical learning. It is also informed by the Dalai Lama’s model of secular ethics, an approach to the cultivation of pro-social values based on common sense, common experience and science. CIT is grounded in individual’s natural capacity for kindness and is built on the two pillars of common humanity and interdependence. CIT employs an integrative educational model that incorporates three foci of knowledge: 1) Personal, 2) Social, and 3) Systems.  The Personal refers to how one relates to oneself, the knowledge and skills related to the inner life of the individual, including integrity, emotional awareness, emotional intelligence, self-compassion, courage, inner fortitude, forbearance, as well as the key inner values of forgiveness of others, contentment and generosity.  The Social refers to how one relates to others, the knowledge and skills related to social intelligence and dealing effectively and ethically with others. This includes empathy, impartiality, gratitude, endearment, and compassion. Systems refer to how one engages with the larger world, putting the values cultivated in the program into practice in the real world.

CIT teaches human values at three different levels to ensure lasting change. These are: 1) received knowledge; 2) critical insight: and 3) embodied understanding. Received knowledge is a conveyance of information. Critical insight is when the participant, through exercises and practices, uses his or her own life experiences and reason to come to a flash of critical insight, an “ah-ha moment”, when he or she realizes the how the knowledge relates to his or her own life. Although this critical insight is an important step towards lasting change, it, on its own, is insufficient. Lasting change only comes when the received knowledge and critical insight become embodied knowledge through continual practice, so critical insights become spontaneous ways of seeing and being in the world, beyond mere cognitive apprehension.  Recent discoveries in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis supports what the belief that ongoing practice can actually change the structure of our brains and how likely neural pathways are to be followed. This form of knowledge is especially important with regard to personal and social skills, such as integrity, emotional intelligence and compassion. Each module of CIT incorporates each of these three aspects of learning. The full CIT curriculum is as follows:

Series I: Self-Cultivation

  1. Calming Body and Mind
  2. Ethical Mindfulness
  3. Emotional Awareness
  4. Courageous Acceptance

Series II: Relating to Others

  1. Impartiality and Common Humanity
  2. Forgiveness of and Gratitude for Others
  3. Empathy
  4. Compassion

Series III: Engaged Compassion

  1. Appreciating Interdependence
  2. Applying Critical Thinking


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