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6 Week Elective Course


This course exceeded my expectations. I found happiness, joy and less isolation in unexpected places and situations!


– Lisa, Course Participant

Upcoming Courses

Our spring course has been temporarily postponed.


To receive an email update when the new schedule is published, please click the button below.


Ryan Kenny, LCSW

Mental Health Professional


Ryan is a clinical social worker, mental health therapist and qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor with over twelve years of meditation experience. He holds a masters degree of social work with a focus in mental health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studied neuroscience at the Center For Healthy Minds and trained with the Center for Mindfulness at the UMASS medical school. He has brought mindful awareness into schools, hospitals, nonprofits, and corporate settings as well as to adolescents, seniors, leaders, teachers, veterans, and health professionals in the US.

Want to learn more before you jump in?


Schedule a free 15 minute phone visit with Ryan to discuss if this course is right for you

Welcome to Connection

In the Clarity course, we practiced shifting gears into a more nourishing mode of being and learned how to skillfully relate to difficult thoughts and emotions. In the Connection course, you will deepen your capacity to turn toward emotional turmoil as you transform life’s slings and arrows into a conduit for greater connection to yourself and the world around you.


You will explore how to train your mind to become your greatest ally instead of your worst enemy. You will learn how to navigate your inner barriers to love and connection and discover how to use life’s challenges to open up a deeper sense of emotional resilience and wellbeing within you.


You will experience in-depth practice with loving-kindness meditations that promote a natural sense of connection and satisfaction and compassion-based meditations to soothe and comfort yourself in times of hurt or distress.


You will also learn various dimensions of mindful communication: inwardly, how to let go of self-criticism and motivate yourself with encouragement; and outwardly, how to stay open, engaged, and connected to others while respecting your boundaries.

Course Overview

In this eight week course you will learn to:

  • Cultivate positive mental states through meditation

  • Compassionately work with your inner critic

  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease

  • Develop a more loving relationship with yourself and others

  • Transform pain and difficult emotions into sources of empathy and compassion

  • Communicate mindfully and nurture difficult relationships

  • Relax the tendencies of the mind that yield anxiety and dissatisfaction

  • Weave self-compassion into your daily routine

Who Can Attend This Course?

This course is open to meditators who have taken either the Focus + Calm course or the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, OR those who have been consistently practicing mindfulness meditation for at least one year.  


Loving Kindness

Develop the mental quality of friendliness

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Emotional Resilience

Adapt to stressful situations and adversity without lasting difficulties

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Sympathetic Joy

Rejoice in the wellbeing of others



Cultivate the heartfelt wish to alleviate or reduce suffering



Establish mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper (especially in difficult situations)

How This Course Can Change Your Life

Through simple daily practices, you will begin to cultivate the following qualities within yourself:

Who Will Benefit From This Course

  • ​People who want to deepen their mindfulness practice and learn new meditations to cultivate self-acceptance and unconditional love.

  • People who are struggling with self-criticism, shame, and guilt.

  • People who want to develop more fulfilling relationships in their life.

  • People who are seeking structure and accountability to support them in their practice.

  • Suitable for ages 18 and older.

  • People of all backgrounds (this course is accessible and understandable to everyone and applicable to any belief system).

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Excellent Value


8 educational and experiential 90 minute classes


60 days of ongoing, supported meditation + mindfulness practice


Expert meditation instruction from mental health professional


Custom guided recordings for weekly home practice


Digital workbook of readings and exercises


Ongoing mindfulness coaching + feedback


Community interaction, accountability, and support

You'll Also Receive These Special Bonuses

Total additional value of $140!



Value of $98

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Meditation is better with pals! Bring up to 3 guests to Pause drop-in classes.


Value of $42

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Course Curriculum

The Connection course curriculum is science-based and developed by a mental health professional.




Developing Your Inner Ally

  • Explore mindful self-compassion

  • Identify the negativity bias and appreciate your good qualities

  • Recognize and celebrate inherent positive qualities within you

  • Practice loving-kindness and compassion for yourself

Stressed Woman


Working With the Inner Critic

  • Understand the physiology of self-criticism and self-compassion

  • Relate to the critic mindfully and compassionately

  • Move beyond the critic to greater connection

  • Practice loving-kindness and compassion for friends and family

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Communicating Compassionately

  • Motivate yourself with compassion

  • Discover your compassionate voice

  • Learn to be there for others without losing yourself

  • Practice loving-kindness and compassion for neutral/difficult persons



Expanding the Heart

  • Embrace the power of love

  • Learn to take self-compassion breaks

  • Explore self-compassion for forgiveness

  • Practice loving-kindness and compassion for all beings



Living Boldly

  • Discover your core values

  • Integrate self-compassion into daily life

  • Explore self-compassion for shame

  • Practice sending and receiving limitless love and compassion

Father & Son


Transforming Emotions Into Greater Connection

  • Approach life with a sense of adventure

  • Realize the infinite possibilities to connect with others

  • Use self-compassion to move from anger to love

  • Practice using your emotions to connect more deeply with humanity

"A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life."

- Chris Germer

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 Connection: The Science

The Influence of Self-Compassion on Cognitive Appraisals and Coping with Stressful Events

Compassion toward oneself is helpful and beneficial in dealing with painful experiences people face. This study found that self-compassion promoted adaptive coping via reduced threat toward and greater controllability of the stressful event. The study also provides additional evidence that cognitive appraisals (threat and controllability) could mediate the influence of self-compassion in stress coping processes.

View Study + Source

Compassion training for 30 minutes a day for 14 days creates significant changes in the brain and leads to more prosocial and altruistic behaviors.

The results of this study suggest that compassion can be cultivated with training and that greater altruistic behavior may emerge from increased engagement of neural systems implicated in understanding the suffering of other people, executive and emotional control, and reward processing.

View Study + Source

Mindfulness and self-compassion as predictors of psychological wellbeing in long-term meditators.

Mindfulness training has well-documented effects on psychological health. This study's results suggest that increases in both mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate these outcomes. This study investigated cross-sectional relationships between self-reported mindfulness, self-compassion, meditation experience, and psychological wellbeing in 77 experienced meditators and 75 demographically matched nonmeditators. Most mindfulness and self-compassion scores were significantly correlated with meditation experience and psychological wellbeing.

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Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood

Perfectionism can exact a high psychological cost on individuals and it can have a significant impact on depression. It also affects the effectiveness of treatments for depression. This study presents evidence from two studies in an adolescent and an adult sample indicating that self-compassion acts as a buffer to the impact of maladaptive perfectionism on depression. Individuals with high levels of maladaptive perfectionism are less likely to experience depressive symptoms in the context of high self-compassion. These findings suggest that treatments that help patients cultivate self-compassion might lead to improvements in treatment outcomes for depression, particularly among perfectionistic individuals.

View Study + Source

Register Now

Join the Course Today

Upcoming Course

Our spring course has been temporarily postponed.


To receive an email update when the new schedule is published, please click the button below.


We'd love to talk with you.

Phone: 503.343.4831

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