Ep. 179 – Margaret Cullen
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For episode 179 of the Metta Hour Sharon speaks with Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher, Margaret Cullen.
Margaret Cullen is a licensed psychotherapist and was one of the first to become a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. For over 25 years, she has pioneered secular contemplative programs for various populations, developing and teaching contemplative interventions for research studies at Stanford, UCSF, Portland State, Penn State, University of Michigan, and the University of Miami. Margaret has contributed to the development of the Compassion Cultivation Training at Standford and become Founding Faculty for the Compassion Institute.
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The conversation begins with Margaret sharing more of her history and how she came to meditation practice in her late 20s. They discuss how mindfulness is defined in different traditions and the implicit quality of compassion that exists in it, and how Margaret’s mentor, John Kabat Zinn, folded compassion into the teaching of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. They discuss “emotional balance” in Margaret’s early work doing research at UCSF. Margaret shares her definition of compassion and the ways her definition has evolved over her time. She also shares some of the common misconceptions about compassion that she had encountered in her work. They also discuss Margaret’s views on compassion fatigue and collapse and the relationship between self-compassion and compassion for others. The conversation closes with Margaret leading a guided Compassionate Image Practice.