Want to begin a meditation practice or deepen one? Consider taking an eight-week course in Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT).™ Classes meet once a week for 2 hours. You can register for my next course (March 17 – May 5, 2020 at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD) here.

What is Compassion Cultivation Training?

Designed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University, CCT is an 8-week course that can help you live with more joy and intention.

We all face difficult situations, challenging relationships, and internal thoughts and beliefs that prevent us from experiencing the best life has to offer. When we become more aware, open, and curious about the world and people around us, we learn to use our natural compassion in practical ways to navigate life’s toughest personal challenges and begin to move through life’s ups and downs with greater confidence and ease. Practicing compassion can alleviate our worries and fears so we can become powerful forces for good — in our relationships, families, workplaces, and communities.

Through instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and in-class interaction, you can strengthen your innate qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness—toward yourself and others! Classes meet for 2-hours (7-9 pm) on Tuesdays for 8 weeks from March 17, 2020 through May 5, 2020, and daily meditation home-practice is assigned. Read more about the Compassion Institute and CCT

Transportation and Parking

Public parking is available directly across Walsh Street from The Writer’s Center in a county parking lot. The meters in this lot are effective Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 10:00pm and free on weekends. Meters accept payment through the ParkMobile and MobileNOW! apps. Please note that The Writer’s Center is not able to make change for meters. Additional pay parking is available in the Capital Crescent Garage (7171 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814), just a 5-minute walk from the Center.

The Writer’s Center is a ten-minute walk south (about 6 blocks) from the Bethesda Metro station (Red Line).

Several nearby bus stops along Wisconsin Avenue are served by the Ride On 34 route.

Questions? Contact Brandel at bravofrance@gmail.com

Please note that while the fee for the workshop helps cover the expense of offering it, everyone is welcome and no person will be turned away for lack of funds. Please email me at bravofrance@gmail.com if you would like to attend but the cost is prohibitive.


There are many different types of mindfulness or meditation practices. Why CCT?

All of us, but especially writers and artists, can be very self-critical. Compassion Cultivation Training helps us be more generous to ourselves, strengthening our vision, positivity and focus. Those dedicated to creative expression or bettering the world tend to empathize easily—we’re used to placing ourselves in other people’s shoes. But some of us, especially those whose work is guided by concerns for social justice, can experience empathic distress and what some call “compassion fatigue.” In CCT, we learn how to develop reserves of strength, courage and resilience. This 8-week course introduces participants to, and helps support them in, a daily meditation practice that can uplift and inspire.

I’m already compassionate. Why do I need this course?

All of us have the innate capacity for compassion, an emotion that reinforces our feelings of common humanity and motivates us to help those in need. Everyday stress, social pressures, and life experiences, however, can suppress compassion — potentially resulting in physical and psychological problems. The good news is that, with daily practice, we can develop a more sustainable way of coping with life’s hurdles and learn to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others.

Optional Reading

During the course, I will provide links to videos, suggested readings, and share poems. If you wish to prepare for CCT, I highly recommend reading Thupten Jinpa’s A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives


Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She has two decades of experience researching and designing health interventions in the US and overseas. She has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist.  She studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified teacher of CCT.