Igniting Compassion

A Mini-Course Guide to Integrating Contemplation & Compassionate Social Action | taught by Tom Bushlack, Ph.D.
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Preston Hall

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I enjoyed this quick and insightful course that has the potential to help you understand the basics of your call to contemplation and action in the world. Be intentional and see what happens! Thank you for providing this!

Preston Hall

I enjoyed this quick and insightful course that has the potential to help you understand the basics of your call to contemplation and action in the world. Be intentional and see what happens! Thank you for providing this!

Tom Bushlack, Ph.D.
Tom Bushlack, Ph.D.
Contemplative Field Guide

About the instructor

My goal is to share the fruits of contemplation with others. My courses are informed by my professional training in theology and by nearly two decades of personal engagement in contemplative prayer and meditation.

I am currently an Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics at Aquinas Institute of Theology (St. Louis, MO). I'm also an Oblate of St. Benedict at St. John's Abbey (Collegeville, MN), commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer through Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., and a Trustee of the Trust for the Meditation Process.

You want to make the world a better place!  

But where to begin?

This three-part mini-course guides you through practical exercises that will provide you with everything you need in order to:

  1. Center: Get in touch with your innate passion for justice;
  2. Connect: Identify sources of power for change that already exist within your social and institutional relationships; and
  3. Engage: Apply the fruits of contemplative discernment to compassionate social action

"Perhaps the ultimate demand laid upon the human spirit is the responsibility to select where one bears witness to the Truth of his or her spirit.  The final expression of the committed spirit is to affirm: I choose! and to abide."

- Howard Thurman

As more people today are discovering the benefits of contemplative practices - including mindfulness, meditation, or contemplative forms of prayer - we also find ourselves awakening to our natural desire to live the fruits of  our practice in daily lives, to live with compassion, and to contribute to the good of others and to the common good of our communities.  

  This course draws upon principles from my experience in teaching and researching Catholic Social Thought, while presenting them for anyone to use as practical guidelines regardless of your religious commitments or background.  I will walk you through three practical exercises, undertaken in a mindful, contemplative attitude of reverence for the goodness of all life, that will help you to cultivate a positive sense of commitment and purpose to others and to important issues in your local communities.  

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

- St. Catherine of Siena

FAQ's

Who should take this course?

  • This course is designed for individuals or groups seeking greater clarity about where to direct your energy toward compassionate social action.  Originally designed for students in my course on Catholic Social Thought, simple principles are presented in a way that persons from any background can learn and apply them.
  • Students seeking to determine a topic for a paper, project, or presentation on social justice issues might also find these exercises helpful.  Students always perform higher (read: earn a better grade) when they're personally engaged in learning.
  • Parish-based social justice or faith-sharing groups will also find these exercises helpful for engaging in justice work in your local community.

What are the benefits or learning outcomes?

  • The primary goal of this course is to help you focus and harness the good intentions cultivated in your mindfulness, meditation, or contemplative practice toward compassionate social action.
  • By the end of the exercises you will:
    • Be prepared to take the next small step toward changing the world with clarity, courage, and intention.

Course Contents

3 Videos
2 Texts
3 PDFs
3 Disqus
1 Download
0.5 hrs