Practicing Mindfulness & Compassion

This day-long conference, featuring a keynote by Jon Kabat-Zinn, will illuminate the connections between mindfulness and compassion, focusing on how mindfulness can deepen relationships, enhance caregiving, and build compassion.

  • Venue: Craneway Pavilion Conference Center
    OR Live Webcast
  • Date: March 8, 2013

Clockwise from top right: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Shauna Shapiro, Kristin Neff, and Paul Gilbert. Clockwise from top right: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Shauna Shapiro, Kristin Neff, and Paul Gilbert.

Registration for this event has CLOSED. Please look for video highlights on the Greater Good website soon!

Click here to download an updated agenda and speakers’ bios for this event.

Click here to download the slides for this event.

The GGSC, in partnership with Mindful, is pleased to present this ground-breaking, one-day conference, which will explore the important connections between mindfulness and compassion.

Speakers will discuss how to apply scientific findings to the real world, drawing on cutting-edge research and inspiring success stories. Attendees will practice research-tested mindfulness and compassion techniques and learn from program leaders who have fostered mindfulness and compassion in schools, health care settings, and beyond.

The underlying goal of the event is to support a large and growing movement around mindfulness and compassion—a movement we want to fuel with science. It will empower attendees to use the science of mindfulness and compassion to deepen their connections to other people, incorporating top evidence-based practices into their personal and professional lives.

The day will tackle these and other questions: How does mindfulness support the practices of compassion and self-compassion? What does neuroscience suggest about the relationship between compassion and mindfulness? Which research-tested programs have been shown to boost mindfulness and/or compassion, and with what specific results?

Our speakers will include some of the world’s leading experts on the science and practice of mindfulness and compassion, including a keynote by best-selling author Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in the clinical application of mindfulness. They will distill the strongest science and evidence-based practices involving mindfulness and compassion, focusing especially on the “pro-social” dimension to mindfulness—how it deepens our relationships with others, enhances caregiving, and builds compassion. They will also offer practical strategies and techniques for cultivating mindfulness and compassion to reduce stress in oneself and others.

More specifically, the event program will include:

  • A keynote talk by Jon Kabat-Zinn on the relationship between mindfulness and compassion;
  • Presentations by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner on the neuro-psychology of mindfulness and compassion; Kristin Neff on the connection between mindfulness and self-compassion; Shauna Shapiro on the “pro-social” effects of mindfulness; and Paul Gilbert on Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT);
  • Breakout sessions that offer first-hand experience with powerful mindfulness and compassion practices tested by research, including Dr. Neff’s self-compassion practice, Gilbert’s CFT, Stanford University’s Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), and Emory University’s Cognitively-Based Compassion Training(CBCT);
  • “Stories from the field”—a panel of leaders who have successfully applied the science to the real world, creating programs that foster mindfulness and compassion in schools, workplaces, health care settings, and beyond.

The Greater Good Science Center is co-hosting this conference with Mindful: Taking Time for What Matters, which is launching its bi-monthly magazine in February of 2013.


More Information

Live Webcast

If you can’t make it to the San Francisco Bay Area, never fear: This event will be webcast live!

With the webcast, you’ll watch real-time video of the event, including slides, be able to submit questions to the presenter online, and receive CE credits—all from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere with a hard-wired Internet connection. You will be emailed prior to the event with course materials and a login and password for the webcast.

Note: For the event’s breakout session (1-2:15 pm), we can webcast only one workshop to all webcast attendees. The session selected most often during registration by webcast attendees will be the session included in the webcast.

Please see the registration page for more details about the webcast.

Continuing Education

*Attendees can receive 6 CE credit hours for attending in-person or online.* Continuing Education for this event co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Psychologists: R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program. (6) CE hours.

Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), and Counselors:
California: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418.

R. Cassidy Seminars is an approved provider for Social Work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. ACE Provider #1082. Approval Period April 15, 2012 – April 15, 2015.  6 CE hours.

R. Cassidy Seminars is a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP™) and may offer NBCC approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. (NBCC Provider #6375).

Nurses: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CeP12224, for (6) contact hours.

Alcoholism & Drug Counselors: Provider approved by CFAAP/CAADAC.  Provider 4N-00-434-0214 for 6 CEHs.  CAADAC is an ICRC member which has reciprocity with most ICRC member states.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between mindfulness and compassion, on a practical and psychological level, including the “pro-social” effects of mindfulness practice;
  • Practice research-tested techniques to cultivate mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion in everyday life;
  • Summarize key research findings that support the benefits of mindfulness and compassion, including self-compassion;
  • Explain what the most effective mindfulness and compassion programs are, why they work, and with what outcomes;
  • Identify best practices for promoting compassion and mindfulness in others, including students or clients they serve.


8:15 - 9:00 a.m. Registration. Coffee and pastries will be provided.
9:00 - 9:10 Welcome by Ann Shulman, GGSC Executive Director
9:10 - 10:15 Keynote and mindfulness practice led by Jon Kabat-Zinn
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 12:00 Scientific and clinical perspectives on mindfulness and compassion, with presentations by Kristin Neff, GGSC Science Director Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Paul Gilbert, and Shauna Shapiro. Moderated by Dacher Keltner, GGSC Faculty Director
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch. Box lunch provided
1:00 - 2:15 Breakout session: Evidence-based mindfulness and compassion practices. See breakout session options on the registration page.
2:15 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 4:00 “Stories from the field”: Presentations by program leaders who have fostered mindfulness and compassion in schools, workplaces, health care, and beyond, including: Megan Cowan (Mindful Schools), Nancy Bardacke (Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting program), Robert McClure (Sharp HealthCare) and Rhonda Magee (University of San Francisco Law School). Moderated by Barry Boyce, Mindful Editor-in-Chief
4:00 - 4:15 Break. Opportunity for discussion with panelists
4:15 - 5:30 Closing reflections with Kabat-Zinn and discussion with Neff, Gilbert, Shapiro, and Keltner

Speaker Bios

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., is a scientist, best-selling author, and meditation teacher. He is a professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was the founder and former director of its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic. Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s work has contributed to a growing international movement to bring mindfulness into psychology, health care, schools, corporations, prisons, and professional sports. He is the author of several books, including Wherever You Go, There You Are, Full Catastrophe Living, Coming to Our Senses, and is co-editor of the new volume, Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on its Meaning, Origins, and Applications. Dr. Kabat-Zinn received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT and has received many awards over the span of his career.

Nancy Bardacke, RN, CNM, MA, is a midwife, mindfulness teacher, author and founding director of the innovative Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) program. An assistant clinical professor in the UCSF School of Nursing, Nancy currently leads the MBCP program at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Her new book, Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond, describes this innovative program for finding ease during pregnancy and childbirth and for cultivating lifelong skills for healthy living and wise parenting. Nancy offers mindfulness workshops for expectant parents and professional trainings for health professionals nationally and internationally.

Barry Boyce is the editor-in-chief of Mindful magazine, which published its premier issue in February of 2013. He is also editor of, and a contributor in, The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life. He is also the co-author of The Rules of Victory: How to Transform Chaos and Conflict—Strategies from the Art of War.

Megan Cowan is the co-founder and program director of Mindful Schools, a non-profit that offers professional training, in-class instruction, and other resources to support mindfulness in education. In her work with Mindful Schools, Cowan has taught more than 3,500 youth and trained more than 2,000 educators, mental health professionals, and parents in mindfulness practices and applications for youth. She is the primary author of the Mindful Schools Elementary School Curriculum and created its first Adolescent Curriculum, and she has been the sole trainer for the dozens of instructors who have taught for Mindful Schools. Cowan has more than 15 years of formal and intensive mindfulness training, a background in teaching and education, and a degree from UC Berkeley in Alternative Health. In 2012, she was featured in Room To Breathe, the first feature-length documentary on the effort to integrate mindfulness training into U.S. public schools.

Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, M.A., is Doctoral Candidate in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. She currently serves as an instructor for several studies examining the efficacy of a secular, Cognitive-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) program for adults and school children, as well as adolescents in Atlanta’s foster care system. She is also the Program Coordinator for the Emory-Tibet Partnership and the Emory Tibetan Mind/Body Sciences Summer Study Abroad program in Dharamsala, India.

Paul Gilbert, Ph.D., is head of the Mental Health Research Unit as well as Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby. He was made a fellow of the British Psychological Society for contributions to psychological knowledge in 1993 and was president of the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy in 2003. He has published and edited 21 books, over 100 academic papers and 39 book chapters, one of which is The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges which is part of the ‘compassionate approaches to life difficulties’ series.

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a leading expert on the science of positive emotions such as compassion, gratitude, love, and awe, having authored more than 100 scientific papers and two best-selling textbooks. An inspiring speaker who has twice presented his work to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Keltner is also the author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness.

Rhonda Magee, JD, currently serves both as Professor of Law and as Co-Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of San Francisco. She is also Chair of the Board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, a member of the Project for the Integration of Spirituality, Law and Politics, and a contributor to (Shambhala). At USF, she teaches Contemplative Lawyering, Immigration Law, Insurance Law, Race Law and Policy, and Torts. She is an expert in Contemplative Pedagogy, Race Law, Identity-Sensitive Pedagogy, Critical Race Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Immigration.

Robert McClure LCSW, CEAP, is the manager for the Employee Assistance Program for Sharp HealthCare, San Diego CA., an integrated healthcare system with seven hospitals and 15,000 employees. Mr. McClure was trained by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion, Altruism, Research and Education (CCARE) in its Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program, which he teaches to employees as part of Sharp’s mission to transform health care.

Kristin Neff, Ph.D., is an associate professor in human development and culture at the University of Texas, Austin and the author of the recent book Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. Over the past decade, she has pioneered the scientific study of self-compassion; she has also co-created a program called Mindful Self-Compassion. You can learn more about her work, and find a test of how self-compassionate you are along with exercises for boosting self-compassion, on her website,

Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D., is an associate professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University. She has conducted extensive clinical research investigating the effects of mindfulness-based therapies across a wide range of populations, and published over 70 book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles. She currently lectures and leads mindfulness training programs nationally and internationally for health professionals on the growing applications of mindfulness in psychology and health care. She is co-author, with Linda E. Carlson, of The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, where she leads the GGSC’s Expanding Gratitude research project, oversees its research fellowship program, and writes about the science of compassion for its online magazine, Greater Good. Dr. Simon-Thomas earned her doctorate in Cognition, Brain and Behavior at UC Berkeley; as a postdoc, she worked with Dacher Keltner in studying pro-social topics like compassion, love of humanity, and awe. Previously, she was the associate director and a senior scientist at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University.

Leah Weiss, Ph.D, LCSW, is the education director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion, Altruism, Research and Education (CCARE), where she is a principal teacher of CCARE’s Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program. A contemplative educator whose research focuses on the application of meditation in secular contexts, Dr. Weiss has taught in a variety of settings, including at Harvard affiliated hospitals, the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She developed and teaches in the CCT Teacher Certification Program, as well as other educational initiatives.

Event Co-Sponsors

Presented by the Greater Good Science Center and Mindful.
Continuing Education is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

The Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series is made possible through a generous grant from the Quality of Life Foundation.

Center for Compassion and Altruism Research & Education (CCARE)

UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness

Institute of Noetic Sciences

Emory-Tibet Partnership at Emory University

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

The Garrison Institute

Mind and Life Institute

Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Awakening 360

The Charter for Compassion

(Sign the Charter for Compassion at

Event Partners

The Wright Institute

Sofia University

The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, East Bay Chapter

San Francisco Psychological Association

ICF San Francisco Bay Area Coaches

John F. Kennedy University

California Institute of Integral Studies Public Programs & Performances


Parking & Transportation

The Craneway Pavilion Conference Center is conveniently accessible by public transportation, as well as by car.

You can learn more about transportation options to the Craneway at, or review the instructions below.

By Car
1414 Harbour Way South
Richmond, CA 94804

The Craneway Pavilion has 1,200 private, secure parking spots. Parking is free with event registration.

Driving Directions
From Oakland, Alameda, San Jose
Take 880 Northbound to 580 Westbound. Continue on 580 West towards Pt. Richmond. Exit Harbour Way South (Cutting Blvd), make immediate right onto Cutting Blvd (at the light). Make an immediate right onto Harbour Way South (at the light) and follow it to the waterfront.

From San Francisco, Berkeley
Take 80 Eastbound to 580 Westbound. Continue on 580 West towards Pt. Richmond. Exit Harbour Way South (Cutting Blvd), make immediate right onto Cutting Blvd (at the light). Make an immediate right onto Harbour Way South (at the light) and follow it to the waterfront.

From Walnut Creek
Take 24 Westbound. Continue on 580 Westbound towards Pt. Richmond. Exit Harbour Way South (Cutting Blvd),  make immediate right onto Cutting Blvd (at the light). Make an immediate right onto Harbour Way South (at the light) and follow it to the waterfront.

From Marin
Take the San Rafael Bridge/ 580 Eastbound. Exit Cutting Blvd. Turn left onto Cutting Blvd. Make a right onto Harbour Way South and follow it to the waterfront.

From Sacramento
Take 80 Westbound. Exit Cutting Blvd. Turn right onto Cutting Blvd. Turn left onto Harbour Way South and follow it to the waterfront.

By Public Transportation
Exit at Richmond Station (16th and MacDonald Avenue) and get on AC Transit bus #74 South Harbour Way & Ford Point.

Exit at Richmond Station (16th and MacDonald Avenue) and get on AC Transit bus #74 South Harbour Way & Ford Point.

AC Transit—Lets you off at the door!
Take AC Transit Bus line #74, Ford Point stop. Be sure it’s #74 Harbour Way South & Ford Point!
—If you arrive at Richmond BART and board this bus at 7:25 am, you’ll be at the door by 7:36
—(BEST CHOICE) If you arrive at Richmond BART and board this bus at 8:16 am, you’ll be at the door by 8:28
The next bus, leaving BART at 8:54 am, arrives at 9:06.