Is this you?

You value meeting others with empathy and compassion but find it is not so easy. Perhaps you find yourself getting caught in arguments, trying to fix things for people, or maybe you just feel uncomfortable not knowing what to do.

Sometimes you find yourself listening to the same complaint or difficulty from the same person many times over. You would like to help, but you also don't want to be held hostage in repetitive conversations. Listening with empathy does not mean being a silent hostage. Listening with empathy can be an active and engaged process. You can learn to interrupt repetitive or escalating conversations in a way that leaves the other person feeling heard and that moves the conversation forward in connection.

This course series is designed for anyone wanting to meet others with compassion and empathy while staying grounded in yourself.  

How it works

For each class we will begin with five minutes of guided meditation. I will present a particular concept and skill. Then you will practice the skill in a short structured exercise. You will hear questions and comments from previous participants both clarifying the material and debriefing exercises.

You will follow along with the video (60-90 minutes) and your handout. Some exercises you can do on your own and some are best done with another person.

As you take the course you can ask questions via email:

Thank you so much for your participation and dedicating your time and energy to this important work. We look forward to connecting.

Topics for the Series

What does it really mean to listen with empathy? Practice putting on new ears and learning to listen for feelings and needs. See how much easier it is to not take things personally when you can listen for the feelings and needs behind what someone is saying.

You will be introduced to the definition of empathy in the framework of Mindful Compassionate Dialogue. You will learn 12 essential aspects of empathy and how to identify what is often confused with empathy. You will have an opportunity to name what gets in your way of offering empathy.

Building a vocabulary for empathy: Part of learning to give and receive empathy is learning a vocabulary. You will learn some common "faux feelings" that can lead empathy astray into blame and shame. You will engage in exercises to help you learn the list of universal needs as a living language rather than a concept.

The experience of giving and receiving empathy: When you engage empathy mindfully, you will find that there many layers of experience to notice. Empathy is a state of consciousness and a generosity of the heart to be practiced and received with grace.

Obstacles to empathy: The obstacles to empathy are predictable. You will identify a common list of obstacles and name the ones that most often get in your way. You will have an opportunity to develop and engage practices to work with these obstacles.

Setting boundaries with empathy: Empathy isn't always the best response. And, sometimes, you don't have the resources needed to offer or receive empathy. You can't truly engage with empathy unless you can also set a boundary. Losing yourself in another is not empathy. You will learn strategies for discerning when you can truly give empathy and for how to set a boundary when you can't.

Practicing with challenge: Being able to offer and receive empathy means being able to practice with challenge. This includes learning how to self-soothe and engage in self empathy in the middle of a challenging dialogue.

Deep empathy: For relationships in which you need healing, deep empathy is often an important part of that healing. Deep empathy doesn't require the other person to be present for you to access it. You will learn a specific way to go beyond the simple empathic strategy of guessing feelings and needs.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome! Download and Print this Handout for the Course

    • Getting the Most Out of Your Pre-Recorded Course

  • 2

    Week 1 - Introduction to Empathy

    • Week 1 Video

  • 3

    Week 2 - Obstacles to Empathy, Empathy as Attunement

    • Week 2 Video

  • 4

    Week 3 - Empathy & Equanimity

    • Week 3 Video

    • "Tender" Needs

  • 5

    Week 4 - Empathy Guesses, Deep Empathy

    • Week 4 Video

  • 6

    Week 5 - Interrupting with Empathy

    • Week 5 Video

  • 7

    Week 6 - Bias, Empathy Circles

    • Week 6 Video

  • 8

    Week 7 - Empathy and Reactivity

    • Week 7 Video

  • 9

    Week 8 - How to Ask for Empathy

    • Week 8 Video - 1 of 2

    • Week 8 Video - 2 of 2

Be supported in your learning

  • Weekly Reminders

    Each week, you will get an email reminder encouraging you to login and complete content for the course. You have the option to manage this feature.

  • Learning Schedule

    If you get behind, you have an extra eight weeks to catch up. This format helps support you in your commitment to stay engaged throughout the duration of the course.

  • Live One-on-One Connection

    Private sessions with Wise Heart's MCD Companions are offered to you at a discount while you are enrolled in the course.

  • Get Questions Answered

    If you run into questions during the course, you can send us an email at