Introduction: a warm welcome
Mindfulness can be considered as a great friend in life, as it opens our awareness of life as it is. The mindfulness wave began in the late seventies when Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Where mindfulness opens our senses, offering clearer sight and insight, compassion opens our heart, offering a way to relate to the suffering we encounter, however large or small it might be. This chapter offers many ways of nourishing and developing it and in doing so at the same time deepening mindfulness practice. The valuable feedback from clients, mindfulness teachers and health care professionals who took part in the courses helped to shape Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL). The first Dutch book on the course appeared in 2012, followed by German, English and Spanish publications. MBCL is based on extensive scientific work – pioneered by researchers like Paul Gilbert, Kristin Neff and Barbara Fredrickson.