Mindful Non-Self Compassion:

Exploring the Self in Self-Compassion

Join Andrew Olendzki and Chris Germer as they explore precisely what is meant by “self” in early Buddhist psychology

and in the widely known Mindful Self-Compassion training program during this 3-hour workshop.

Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Time: 6:00-9:00pm (EST)

Platform: Zoom (Live Online)

Participants will have access to recording of the workshop for two months after the live event.

3 CEs will be available to psychologists who attend the entirety of session live.

This workshop is open to everyone – professionals and the general public.


Self-compassion is rapidly going mainstream around the world. However, the “self” in self-compassion still makes some people uncomfortable, especially when “self” is associated with selfishness. Early Buddhist psychology goes further and states that the “self” is the cause of most human suffering. How, then, do we explain the overwhelming research evidence showing that self-compassion is good for mental and physical wellbeing?

This unique, public offering is an opportunity to explore precisely what is meant by “self” in early Buddhist psychology and in the widely known Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training program.

Andrew Olendzki, a foremost Western scholar of early Buddhism, and Chris Germer, a clinical psychologist and co-developer of the Mindful Self-Compassion program, will share their views and discuss key questions such as:

  • “What is the ‘self’ and how is it created?”
  • “How is the ‘self’ understood in self-compassion?
  • “Can self-compassion soften the ‘self’? If so, how?
  • “What is the role of mindfulness in self-compassion?
  • “Who is talking to whom in loving-kindness meditation?”

Mindfulness and self-compassion practitioners will be able to practice more effortlessly by understanding the deeper roots of self-compassion in the wisdom of non-self.

Scholars and academics will discover new threads linking wisdom and compassion in modern contemplative practice.

Psychotherapists will learn the underlying mechanics of effective self-compassion interventions in clinical practice.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how a sense of “self” is constructed and deconstructed according to early Buddhist psychology
  • Explain how self-compassion softens the “self” through warmth and goodwill.
  • Practice self-compassion with less effort by cultivating the wisdom of non-self
  • Integrate self-compassion into professional work more easily and effectively


Andrew Olendzki, PhD is a Buddhist scholar, teacher, and writer living in Amherst, MA. Trained at Lancaster University (UK), the University of Sri Lanka (Perediniya), and Harvard, he worked in leadership positions for 25 years in Barre, Massachusetts, first at the Insight Meditation Society and then at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He has taught at various New England colleges (including Amherst, Brandeis, Hampshire, Harvard, Lesley, Smith, and Wesleyan), and worked for two years with the Mind & Life Institute.. Andrew has contributed chapters to many books on Buddhist psychology, writes regularly for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and is the author of Unlimiting Mind: The radically experiential psychology of Buddhism (Wisdom, 2010), and Untangling Self: A Buddhist investigation of who we really are (Wisdom 2016). He is currently professor and director of the graduate Mindfulness Studies program at Lesley University.

Chris Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He co-developed the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program with Kristin Neff in 2010 and they wrote two books, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program. MSC has been taught to over 200,000 people worldwide. Chris is also the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion; he co-edited two influential volumes on therapy, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy. Chris spends most of his time lecturing and leading workshops around the world on mindfulness and self-compassion. He is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, Cambridge MA, as well as the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Harvard Medical School. He maintains a small, online psychotherapy practice.