Naropa University – Oakland Campus

Master of Liberal Arts in Creation Spirituality

 

 

COMPASSION PRACTICUM

 

CSP 653                                                                                                                                 Credits: 1

Russill Paul/Aileen Donovan                                                                                          835-4827 ext. 19

Fall 2003, Tuesdays 1:30-4:00 pm

 

 

Course Description:   The Compassion Practicum is just that – the practice of compassion, living out Creation Spirituality.  The practicum invites students to learning sites beyond the campus and in their own communities where they join others committed to justice, peace, social change, health, healing and care for our planet.  Students spend 20-25 hours learning with others engaged in the restoration and transformation of the earth community.

 

 

Course Objectives:

 

·        To experience the neighborhoods and communities of Oakland as the larger setting for the learning and practice of compassion.

·        To join with others who are engaged in works that foster justice, healing and cultural transformation

·        To develop a deeper sense of interconnection by learning from and with those who are very vulnerable, others committed to works of compassion and justice making, and through the sharing of peer experience.

·        To integrate the Compassion Practicum experience through an on-going group reflection process.

 

“The whole idea of compassion… is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.”

 

“…the rock, all matter, all life, is charged with dharmakaya... everything is emptiness and everything is compassion.”

The Asian Journal, Thomas Merton, pp. 341-342, 326

 

 

Course Requirements:

 

1.      Attendance and active participation in class ritual, discussion, group reflection and other activities.

2.      Completion of Compassion Practicum placement form by September 23, 2003.

3.      Approximately 20-25 hours of engaged community/volunteer work.  (See “Choosing a Compassion Practicum Site” below.)

4.      Time given to reflection and journaling after each volunteer session.

5.      A two page reflection paper to be handed in at the last class on November 18, 2003

 

 

 

 

Readings:  While there are no required readings for the Compassion Practicum, articles will be distributed in class to enrich the reflection and exploration of compassion and justice.

 

 

Grading:  Grades will be based on the following criteria:

           

Volunteer time at selected site………………………………………………………….35%

            Class attendance, participation, reflection…………………….………………………..35%

            Reflection Paper………………………………………………………………………...30%

Total Requirements…………………………………………………………………. .100%

 

 

Choosing a Compassion Practicum Site

In choosing a site for your compassion practicum, you are encouraged to explore some area beyond your ordinary experience which touches your passion and invites a response of compassion.  Alternately, you may choose to incorporate within your present work a component that adds a spiritual/communal dimension which is not already there.  A listing of suggested sites will be provided.

 

 

Class Schedule:

 

September 16               Introduction to Compassion Practicum

                                                Practicing Compassion: The Four Paths of Creation Spirituality

                                                Course format of spiritual practice, praxis, group reflection

How to choose a site

                                                Possible site visit

 

September 23               Compassionate Presence

Group meditation and group reflection on process of selection of sites and initial practicum experience

 

October 14                  Group meditation practice and group reflection on praxis

 

November 11               Group meditation practice and group reflection on praxis

 

November 18               Group meditation practice and final group reflection on experiences and learnings of the Compassion Practicum.

 

 

When are we like God?

I will tell you.

Insofar as we love compassion

And practice it steadfastly,

To that extent we resemble the heavenly Creator

Who practices these things ceaselessly in us.

(Mechtilde of Magdeberg)