Compassion’s COMPASS: Strategies for Developing Kindness and Insight offers a systematic approach to developing compassionate insight that has been adapted from Tibetan mind training strategies, secularized for modern audiences, and supplemented with relevant research, anecdotes, and exercises in accessible language. This book contains easy exercises for regaining composure, boosting compassionate insight, preventing compassion fatigue, and maintaining compassion resilience. “COMPASS” is an acronym for “Compassion and Analytical Selective-Focus Skills”. Selective-focus skills suggest contemplations that can help to generate and enhance compassionate insight. These exercises follow an “emotional logic” in which one step produces a basis for cultivating the next. These skill steps are broken down in detail within each section of the book containing a discussion of the purpose of the skill being presented, supporting research for it, examples of its use, and short exercises for the reader to try in order to cultivate and enhance it. These techniques have been piloted with social workers and therapists-in-training. Details of these pilot studies are included along with a handbook for helping professionals in the prevention and healing of compassion fatigue. The exercises that are presented in each chapter are also compiled in order for easy use in the handbook in back of the book.
Wilson C. Hurley is adjunct professor at George Mason University and a clinical social worker in private practice in Centreville, VA. He specializes in working with children, adolescents and families, but also works with adults in individual and couples therapy. His publications include Enhancing a Positive School Climate with Compassion and Analytical Selective-Focus Skills, IISTE Journal of Education and Practice, and The Water and Wood Shastras, which he co-translated from Tibetan with Yeshe Khedrup. His website is: http://compassmethods.com/
Foreword by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
2 The Foundation Practice of Mindfulness
3 Core Practices for Developing Compassion
8 Giving and Taking
10 Goal-Focused Compassion
11 Core Practices for Developing Analytical Insight
Appendix: A COMPASS Handbook for Helping Professionals
Compassion's Compass is precisely what we need now as individuals and as a society! Wilson Hurley's is a voice of deep kindness, reason and sanity. He has spent decades bringing compassion to individuals, schools, workplaces and larger institutions. Here he offers a practical path away from stress, confusion, division and interpersonal destruction, helping us to again find a peace of mind and of heart, to connect to our own sense of meaning and purpose in life, and to connect with others in a spirit of respect, empathy and compassion. If you want happiness and meaning in your own life, then read this book and practice the methods it teaches. If you want to help your family members, your workplace and the communities that you participate in then share this book with others and work together on implementing the research-based, accessible and highly practical methods that it teaches!
I was thrilled to discover Wilson C. Hurley’s Compassion’s Compass, which presents in a beautifully written and authentically experienced book, the wisdom and secular method of developing the enlivening and competent force of compassion that is so essential to our society and world in its present crisis. Hurley’s own long experience as a social worker, confronting the terrible realities of the hardships faced by the most disadvantaged members of our societies, and his evident personal attainment of deep understanding of the way that the vision and skills of compassion can effectively help beings in distress, have enabled him to produce this wonderful book and a workable curriculum for individuals intent on empowering their human compassion and even for the new kind of school every 21rst century society needs. A work of great and lasting value.
For many clinicians, learning how to maintain compassion for oneself and our clients can be a struggle in the face of unrelenting pressures across our personal and professional networks. Wilson’s wisdom, experience, and honesty about what has worked and maybe not worked so well, shine through in this very accessible book that embraces change as part of deepening our connections to ourselves and others. Each chapter provides both a conceptualization of core concepts like “kindness” along with exercises to help build and strengthen your personal compassion muscles. Reading this book has helped me to be more conscious in my own work with clients and I have no doubt it can help you to transform your own work.
In Compassion's COMPASS: Strategies for Developing Insight, Kindness, and Empathy, Wilson C. Hurley writes: “compassion is the thread that stitches together the fabric of society”. COMPASS stands for “Compassion and Analytical Selective-Focus Skills”, an approach used to support the cultivation of awareness and self-compassion. Hurley provides the research and the practical aspects of the process as well as anecdotal stories that reinforce just how effective it can be. Written for a practitioner or a care professional, with a very helpful guide at the end of the book.