Fostering compassion and trust among individuals and groups is key to the success and sustainability of communities of care. A number of mindfulness and compassion-based contemplative interventions offer methods for enhancing connection, empathy, and care, yet these approaches too often focus on the development of intra rather than interpersonal skills. This is due in part to the emphasis on the individual within certain Buddhist traditions from which these programs draw their inspiration. This narrow focus on the individual is also a result of various modern cultural conditions that have shaped the transmission, reception, and adaptation of these programs in America. This talk will explore both the Buddhist contemplative frames as well as the American cultural frames that have shaped these interventions and offer potential reframes that bring the relational dimension of compassion and trust into greater focus. Ways in which such interventions can learn from and be informed by ecological models and systems-based thinking will be considered, and suggestions for further program development and research will be explored.

Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD

Courage of Care Coalition

Convening Faculty, Grantee, Reviewer

Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD, is the Co-Founder and President of the Courage of Care Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating the co-creation of a more just, compassionate world. Together with her … MORE