The Path to Self-Compassion


We human beings want to be happy and to have as much good stuff going on in our lives as possible. We certainly don’t go looking for things that will cause us worry and pain.

Nevertheless, as we go through life we face all kinds of challenges and disappointments. These can be big life changing events like divorce or job loss but also the small, everyday worries of just keeping it all going.

Ask yourself: when life gets hard how do I manage?

Are you able to show kindness to yourself and treat yourself as you would a good friend? Or do you find that there is a critical voice in your mind that nags away at you and tells you over, and over again that you are just not good enough?

Most of us have some version of this harsh inner critic which pretends that it is there to help but in fact, often leaves us feeling down and insecure.

Does this sound familiar?

If your answer is ‘yes’, then this online course could be just what you are looking for. We will unpack the reasons why we tend to be hard on ourselves and explore new, kinder and more effective ways in which we can manage our worries and concerns. Through learning a whole range of simple exercises we can start to put together our own self-compassion kit and apply it whenever the need arises.


Start date: 5 January 2017

Duration: 8 weeks of course content + a bonus section at the beginning and end

Enrolment opens: 5 December 2016

The Path to Self-Compassion takes you through a process of understanding and applying self-compassion in an engaging, straightforward and interactive way. Throughout the course participants will find up-to-date information on current scientific research into the effectiveness of meditation and compassion.

The course is made up of a combination of text, videos, photos, and written exercises. There are a whole range of techniques to try out and a selection of these are available as audio recordings.

Bonus starter session

How to get the most out of the course and the qualities of a good friend.

Lesson 1: What is self-compassion?

We will explore how self-compassion works, and the role played by our brain systems. We’ll also look into why happiness is more elusive than we thought and difficult stuff is inevitable.

Lesson 2: How our inner critic works

This is where we will go deeply into where this inner critic comes from and what it is trying to do. We’ll see how we can change the harsh critic into a good friend.

Lesson 3: Meditation: the basis of self-compassion

This lesson is all about how meditation can help and how to set about making it part of our lives.

Lesson 4: The three elements of self-compassion (i) Self-kindness

We know it is important to be kind to other people but in this lesson we see how it is also important to be kind to ourselves

Lesson 5: The three elements of self-compassion (ii) Common Humanity

We live in an interdependent world, in which we all have to deal with very similar worries and concerns, whoever and wherever we are.

Lesson 6: The three elements of self-compassion (iii) Being mindful

If we can learn to be more present to what is happening to us and the people around us, we can find some space to choose how we want to react.

Lesson 7: Some challenges with self-compassion

It is easy to misunderstand self-compassion and to think it is indulgent, or showing weakness. In this lesson we will examine how we can misunderstand and what to do about it.

Lesson 8: The benefits of self-compassion

The course ends with looking again at how self-compassion can help us to be stronger and happier.

Bonus concluding session

We will finish up the course by making a plan for our path to self-compassion. There is also a helpful list of resources for further study.


Outcomes from this course

Changing our habits takes time and effort—just like when we train in the gym, or learn a new language. However, as soon as we begin to work with these habits, things can start to change. By working through this course and making the exercises part of your new routine, you will learn to:

• Identify your inner critic and to take it less seriously
• Turn your inner voice from harsh critic to good friend.
• Understand that kindness is a more effective way of supporting ourselves through difficulties than criticism is.
• Recognise struggle and disappointment as common to all
• To separate a challenge from your reaction to it.
• To understand the benefits of self-compassion.

Maureen has succeeded in developing a very logical, practical, evidence based and fun course to help people train in self-compassion, a key element in wellbeing. It will help people to feel happier and to be more compassionate to themselves and others regardless of their profession, gender, religion or previous experience with meditation. I’m very pleased that this online course will give easy access to these valuable lessons and I hope many people will benefit from them!

Peter Vermeiren, Founder of Health Leads and President of Compassion for Care.

As someone who is highly self-critical and tough on myself I found this course a wealth of proof, reassurance and techniques to overcome these tendencies, which I am now managing to do in my daily life very successfully. The result being a much more patient, relaxed, and less anxious me! I found it a rich and accessible course, easy to apply to myself in a busy life, and with results that are noticeable and growing on a daily basis.

Adele Hersey

I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in compassion. It is beautifully clear and inspiring, with many videos and charts which really bring the subject alive. There is also interesting and compelling evidence from scientific research that compassion and self-compassion actually change how our brains work. In addition many exercises are included which we can do over time to stabilise our understanding of the subject and to help us internalise compassion for ourselves and others.

Sue Cullen

Enrolment and cost


Course fee $85.00

This includes:

• Access to content, activities and exercises for 8 lessons and 2 bonus lessons.

• A variety of downloadable reflection and meditation exercises in written and/or audio format

• Unlimited interactive emails with the course facilitator throughout the course

TAKE NOTE: The first ten people who sign up for the course before 12 December 2016 are entitled to an early bird discount coupon on this option

Course + coaching option

Course fee ¢190.00

This includes:

• Access to content, activities and exercises for 8 lessons and 2 bonus lessons.

• A variety of downloadable reflection and meditation exercises in written and/or audio format

• Unlimited interactive emails with the course facilitator throughout the course

• 3 individual coaching sessions by SKYPE with course facilitator during the course and/or within one month of completion of the course.

TAKE NOTE: The first ten people to sign up for this option before 20 December 2016 are entitled to a Christmas discount coupon on this option

Give the course to a friend as a
Christmas gift

If you would like to give this course as a Christmas gift to a friend or family member contact the Ruzuku Team at and they will tell you the steps to follow.

What are the special features of this course?

• The 8 lessons of The Path to Self-Compassion: how to be a good friend to yourself are all online with easily downloadable reflections, exercises and quotes.

• There are 2 bonus sections to help you work your way into the material and plan for how to continue with it when the course ends.

• As long as you have an internet connection you can access the content anywhere and at any time.

· Lessons will be made available on the Thursday of each week giving you plenty of time to work with each one.

• We recommend something between one hour and one and a half hours on each lesson.

• This is self-paced course, so you can catch up and review past materials at any time.

• You can add comments and ask questions as you go through the materials.

• As your facilitator I will read all your comments and answer your questions and perhaps add some of my own.

Maureen Cooper: your course facilitator

Maureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to showing people how to combine well-being and excellence in the work environment. Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a professional educator, senior manager in a non-profit organization, an entrepreneur and as an accomplished practitioner of Buddhist meditation, she leads the in-demand Awareness in Action workshops and training programs all over the United States and Europe.

Her acclaimed book, The Compassionate Mind Guide to Reducing Stress is a groundbreaking effort that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s insanely fast-paced world.

When she’s able to take a break from rigors of the road, Maureen lives stress-free in Amsterdam, The Netherlands with her husband.