The Compassion Course Online
Sample Week 2

Community Board

Message Schedule

Every Wednesday, a new message is published via internet and email starting June 22nd.

The course will last for 52 weeks, ending in June, next year.

Conference Calls

On the second Monday of each month, starting July 11th, at 12:00 noon (US -EST), we have a 45 minute conference call to provide depth and clarity. We will be reviewing the previous weeks messages and Thom will answer questions.

The calls are recorded for those who cannot attend and links to the recordings are posted below and on "The Community Resource Page".

The next call is:

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The call-in number outside the U.S. varies according to the country you are calling from.

Phone numbers provided by our conference service are listed below. (If you cannot find your country in this list, please choose the number closest to your region. If you are not sure, please contact Free Conference Call HD at 877.482.5838 or 562.437.1411)

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Our Online Community

Our online forum is an integral part of the Compassion Course...

for participants to support one another by sharing information, staying connected as a community, "on the same page" and growing as a group.

By reading and participating in group discussions, we can be part of a community of support in our learning. When we share our experience, practice, and learning together, we are likely to gain more insight… and generally have more fun and inspiration too.

Through the group you will also have access to exercises and documents that are instrumental in The Compassion Course.

How to Join the Forum

Click on the link below to go to the Community Forum Login Page. It is recommended that you bookmark the login page when you get there. You will need to enter the following information to proceed to our secure page.

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with  Thom Bond
Founder and Director of  NYCNVC, Certified Trainer, CNVC



The Concept

"More about Appreciation"

“The greatest of all gifts is the power to estimate things at their true worth."

François de la Rochefoucauld

Appreciation versus Praise

As a child, I grew up hearing expressions like "good boy" or "nice job". These expressions of "approval" were often nice to hear and yet, always left me wondering. What was "nice" about that? It also left me a bit nervous. Does that mean I might not be "good" if I do something else?

These were the "instructions" I received on how to be a human. It was the "praise" I received from the "people in charge". From this "praise" I learned that certain behaviors earned me the label of "good". They also reminded me that I might lose that label if the "people in charge" decided my behavior wasn't "good".

This way of relating to others has shifted to something new for me, as I have traveled my path to a more compassionate and connected life. I have come to realize that many of the expressions of "praise" that I have received were often designed to get me to "behave". Others were designed to let me know that someone appreciated my actions and was grateful for what I did. The second category felt different. These expressions touched me in a way that felt connecting and clear. These are the ones I want to understand and be part of. They were not "praise"; they were "appreciation".

Living in Appreciation

A profound part of the practice of appreciation is that with the skills we have learned in this course so far, we can experience a deeper, more satisfying life, through our awareness. Also, as we discussed last week, through language, we can share it with others.

Inside myself, I can use the skills of feeling feelings and connecting them to my met needs, to notice the copious amounts of "metness" I am experiencing throughout my day. Right now, as I write these words, my brain is having thoughts, translating them into words, organizing them into sentences, helping my body type them into the message you are reading and helping me share this with you... Self-expression, mmmmmmm. All this while I am sitting in my office, which is clearly 40 degrees warmer than it is outside, while I'm fully clothed, while I'm fully rested, while my heart is pumping life through my body, while my lungs are bringing me fresh air, while the trees are helping make that fresh air, while this big blue ball of water, earth and life spins in space, while the sun gives us warmth and light... Comfort, security, care, well-being, peace of mind, communion... that's what I'm talkin' about! I can feel this; I can notice this. I can see that there are thousands of things happening that are contributing to the "metness" of my needs. I could go on... And I will (although I'll stop for now so I can get back to writing heheheh). Simply summarized, this practice makes my life and the lives of those around me more wonderful.

Receiving Appreciation

My partner and I have developed a practice of taking a few moments each day to share our appreciation for how we contribute to each other. In the beginning, it was a bit uncomfortable for me. After some thought, I realized it was because when I was growing up, appreciation had usually come with some sense of "approval" and "power over" and even engendered a sense of anxiety.

Over time I have learned to receive appreciation like "a shower", as opposed to "sustenance". Appreciation has become something that adds to my life, not something I depend on to feel OK about myself. This shift gives me a very different experience, one that is more choiceful and gratifying.

I have also noticed that instead of only thinking about the things that we did, or that we do, when we specifically think about the needs that we contribute to for one another through our actions, our experience is deeper and more satisfying.
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In Practice

"A Moving Experience"

A number of years ago, when I was living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I was in my favorite book store, a Barnes and Noble on Broadway.

I was lining up to get on the escalator, as is common in the city, and noticed a father and his three-year-old son approaching the moving staircase. The father was weighed down with a full day's supply of purchased goods along with a stroller, his son trailing close behind. As "Dad" got on the escalator, juggling his bounty, his son stood there frozen, struggling to find the right spot to hop on for his ride to the lower level. The little boy called out in a frightened, slightly quivering voice, "Dad?"

By the time his father noticed what was happening, he was hopelessly watching the space between them grow, from half way down the moving mass of metal stairs.

Seeing this, I stepped up and held my hand out to the soon-to-be panicking little person at the top of the stairs. I spoke. "Hold my hand." He reached up. "Ready? Here we go." We stepped onto the machine together. And down we went.

As the two of us reached the bottom and stepped onto solid ground, he looked up, straight into my eyes, let out an audible sigh of relief and said perhaps the most heartfelt little "thank you" I have ever heard.

It was so sincere and chock full of deep appreciation, I almost cried from the joy of this wonderful exchange. I feel warm right now recounting it. I could clearly see and feel what this meant to my little friend. His dad was pretty happy and relieved too. I owe it to my practice of compassion, that this seemingly "little" moment was so wonderful for me. Thanks to my ability to fully connect with this little guy's feelings and the "metness" of his needs in the moment... I had a moment I will appreciate forever.

More to come, as the Compassion Course continues...

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Practice(s) for the Week

Practice #1 - Check In Again - As we did last week, write down a list of things that are happening and the needs that are being met in this very moment. For example, breathing/air, reading this/learning and growth, sitting in a building/security. This time, write down ten to twenty of them. How do you feel?

Practice #2 - Appreciate Yourself - Write down three ways you contribute to your own life, three things that you do or have done that you enjoy. Then write down the needs you meet for yourself. Then look in the mirror and say, "Thank you." Note: It is difficult to do this without smiling... Oh well... Guess we'll just have to smile.

Practice #3 - Renewed Sharing an Appreciation - Think of something that someone said or did that contributed to your needs being met. Ask them if you could share something you appreciate with them. Then let them know what happened, how it felt and what need (or needs) it met.

For example: "I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your company at the movies last night... and for that matter all the times we've spent together... the friendship, the fun and companionship you bring into my life makes such a difference to me. Thank you, really."

You can do this in person, through an email or by sending a card.

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© Copyright Thom Bond 2016