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Feel More Neighborly: Exercising Internal Friendliness

Near the end of the new documentary about the life of Mister Rogers, interviewees are invited to pause to reflect on a person who has supported or positively influenced their lives.

It was surprisingly moving to observe on the big screen but it reminded me of a simple but powerful compassion exercise that has been an important part of my contemplative practice for over fifteen years.

I invite you to explore it with me and a few others — whether you've seen the film or not.

There's such a strong pull right now to focus on our surface-level differences that we're overlooking our core similarities.

The good news? A felt sense of our shared humanity gets stronger when you exercise it.

Neuroscience research findings suggest that imagining the well-being of yourself and others develops a greater capacity for emotional regulation, resilience, and altruism

In this two-part online workshop, you'll discover ways to gradually erode your resistance to internal friendliness without becoming passive or forcing yourself to feel something you don't feel.

  • Week 1 Get Started with Internal Friendliness
    Sep. 11, 7— 8:30 pm

    Learn a flexible mindfulness meditation-based compassion exercise, customize your personal plan for experimenting with it between workshop sessions, and connect with others who are interested in cultivating friendliness on the inside. 

  • Week 2 High-Intensity Friendliness Training
    Sep 18, 7— 8:30 pm

    Regroup for more practice, nudge up the challenge level, and compare field notes with the group.

Everyone is welcome to participate regardless of mindfulness meditation experience, religious affiliations, cultural perspectives, or political views.

During our time together, the focus will be entirely on what unites us — our deep desire to feel safe, fully alive, and at home in a socially complex world riddled with danger and uncertainty, but simultaneously teeming with the less newsworthy opportunities to experience vitality, kindness, and connection.