Is this you?

You value meeting others with empathy and compassion, but find it challenging. Perhaps you find yourself getting caught in arguments, trying to problem-solve, or maybe you just feel uncomfortable and shut down. 

Or, you already listen well and would like to refine your skills and understand how empathy is distinct from other kinds of listening.

This workshop is designed for anyone wanting to meet others with compassion and empathy while maintaining life-serving boundaries. 

What is it all about?

Empathy is the second relationship competency in Mindful Compassionate Dialogue (MCD). Empathy means listening to someone’s experience with warm curiosity. It might be offered in silence or with guesses about thoughts, feelings, and needs. Empathy is a form of attunement. It is a heart-based response to a heart-based expression. Empathy requires you to stay centered and self-connected. When you offer empathy, you are not taking responsibility for the other person’s feelings and needs.

As you learn and integrate the relationship competency of empathy, you will find that you are less likely to take things personally and more able to hear someone’s message regardless of the words they use.

In our workshop, 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 it differs from other forms of listening. Here are a few topics we will address:

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 an exercise 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 in 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. You will have the opportunity to to give and receive empathy in a short structured exercise.

Misconceptions of Empathy

Part of understanding empathy is learning what it is not. We will discuss how empathy can go astray when limiting personal and relational dynamics are at play.

Setting boundaries with empathy

Empathy isn't always the best response to another’s pain or difficulty. And, sometimes, you don't have the resources needed to offer or receive empathy. You can't truly offer empathy unless you can also set a boundary. We will briefly address the concept of boundaries as related to empathy.

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: [email protected]

While you are taking the course, you can also book a discounted session with an MCD Companion for one-on-one live support.

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

About Mindful Compassionate Dialogue

Mindful Compassionate Dialogue (MCD) naturally supports you in creating the relationships you want by integrating the wisdom and skills of three powerful modalities: Hakomi, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and mindfulness.

Each modality contributes something unique to the process. Hakomi offers clarity about reactivity and healing. NVC provides a method for achieving self-responsibility, skillful communication, and agency. And mindfulness adds the stable attention and clear focus needed to continuously refine your understanding and skills.

MCD is a system meant to provide access to agency, compassion, mindfulness, and wisdom. Personal transformation is achieved through practice with the 12 Relationship Competencies and Nine Foundations, which arise from a central, life-serving intention. 

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome! Download and Print this Handout for the Course

    • Getting the Most Out of Your Pre-Recorded Course

  • 2

    Empathic Listening: Empathy - Mindful Compassionate Dialogue Relationship Competency 2

    • Workshop Video

Be supported in your learning

  • Learning Schedule

    You will have access to the course for a full week in order to support your engagement with the material.

  • Get Questions Answered

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

  • 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.