Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT)

Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT)

For well-being, engagement, and purpose: learning to live mindfully and compassionately, with resilience, perspective and energy.

Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT) Overview

Nalanda Institute offers 8-week CBRT groups periodically throughout the year, and a CBRT Teacher Training yearly in the Spring. Both CBRT and its Teacher Training are supported by training websites with research articles and study aids including a student manual, a teacher manual and instructional videos, and a full series of guided meditation files to prompt homework and fieldwork.

  • Compassion-Based Resilience Training students on retreat with Joe Loizzo

8-Week CBRT group overview

Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT) is a complete, evidence-based training method of building resilience and well-being of mind, heart, and body using mindfulness and compassion practices as well as healing imagery and breath-work. Since it includes a broad range of insights and skills taught separately in other trainings, it offers the most effective way for individuals and groups to get fully introduced to the health benefits of contemplative stress-reduction and compassionate living.

Continue Reading 8-Week CBRT group overview

The curriculum integrates timeless contemplative skills with contemporary breakthroughs in neuroscience, positive psychology, and integrative medicine, and is taught in a secular, experiential learning format that is not faith-based but is compatible with all faiths, including atheism/agnosticism.

Research studies conducted at the University Hospitals of Columbia and Cornell with women recovering from breast cancer treatment found that the Nalanda Institute Compassion-Based Resilience Training improves quality of life, reduces biomarkers of stress, lowers social emotional and role stress, enhances overall functioning and resilience, and markedly decreases post-traumatic symptoms including intrusive thinking and traumatic avoidance.

Who participates in the 8-week CBRT groups?

Compassion-Based Resilience Training is for anyone wishing a comprehensive training method for building resilience, including living mindfully and compassionately; cultivating well-being, and transforming stress while helping others. Our research has shown that it is especially effective at building resilience in people with higher levels of chronic stress, such as people facing major illness or trauma, health providers, humanitarian aid workers, caregivers and teachers.

Compassion-Based Resilience Training Curriculum

This training consists of eight weekly modules that introduce and teach mindfulness, insight, compassion, imagery, and breath-energy work:

Continue Reading Curriculum

Module I: Embracing Suffering with Body Mindfulness
Bringing mindful awareness to our breathing body helps us reconnect with our inner lives, to embrace the experience of being in a sensitive body, vulnerable to pleasure and pain, and to begin releasing the survival habits of stress, trauma, and reactivity.

Module II: Stopping Reactive Habits with Mindful Sensitivity
Staying in touch with the raw feel of our inner lives with mindful sensitivity helps us maintain balanced awareness through the ups, downs, and plateaus of pleasant, painful, and neutral experience, to anticipate reactivity, and to replace the urge to avoid or crave with the ease of acceptance and care.

Module III: Breaking Free of Stress  with Mindful Awareness
Mindful Awareness trains us to cut through the mesh of reactive habits and stress instincts that normally block the full openness and clarity of our human mind. It empowers us to own and awaken the boundless potential for learning, unlearning, freedom and creativity dormant in us all.

Module IV: Mindful Insight: The Lifelong Path of Self-Healing
In Mindful Insight we engage our open mind to expose the habits of thinking, feeling, and acting that shape our mindset, empowering our inner therapist to cut the roots of reactivity and grow proactive new ways of being in the world.

Module V: Disarming Social Stress and Bias with Equal Empathy
With the basic insights and practices of mindfulness-based self-healing in place, we are prepared to extend that awareness and care out to our interactions with others. Using the practice of Equal Empathy we begin to unlearn the implicit social survival biases and reactive emotions that make all our interactions stressful while deepening and expanding our sense of connection to others.

Module VI: Healing Reactive Emotions and Beliefs with Self-Compassion
With more of a sense of our common humanity, we explore where our social stress and suffering comes from, and what can be done to prevent it. Using the practice of Self-Compassion, we learn to view our confused childhood selves with a wise, caring mind and begin to see through our myopic cocoon and inner monologue to reparent ourselves one breath at a time by replacing self-enclosure and self-criticism with the mature insight and care our hearts need to heal, grow, and change.

Module VII: Cultivating Prosocial Emotions with Wise Give and Take
As we grow the ability to free our minds of self-limiting biases, emotions and beliefs, we gain access to our full natural potential to expand our circle of positive social engagement. Using the practice of Wise Give and Take, we explore our boundless human potential for care and strengthen our social muscles of love, joy and equanimity, and realize our full human capacity for feeling safe with and deeply connected to others.

Module VIII: Embodying a Resilient Self and Life with Caring Imagery
To accelerate the natural process of positive human development we use the power methods based on embodied techniques to progressively grow and own our natural capacities for love, compassion and altruism. Focusing on visualization practice, we take inspiration in real or imagined role models of wise care who enable us to stretch our traumatic sense of self into a fully empowered, resilient and compassionate self.

CBRT Teacher Training overview

Nalanda Institute offers an 8-month Teacher Training program for those who want to lead Compassion-Based Resilience Training groups in clinical, humanitarian, educational, business and/or underserved community settings. The Teacher Training program is divided into Level 1 and Level 2.  To be certified as a CBRT Teacher, students need to complete both Level 1 and Level 2.

Continue Reading CBRT Teacher Training overview

Level 1 is a 5-month program that includes weekly Zooms with the core CBRT faculty: Dr. Joe Loizzo, Fiona Brandon, MFT and Moustafa Abdelrahman, MBA. The weekly Zooms include interactive lectures, discussions, breakout groups and practice sessions with peers. Graduates of Level 1 earn a certificate of completion from the Nalanda Institute. Requirements for the training include a daily meditation practice for at least two years and some familiarity with the positive health benefits of contemplative living.

Level 2 is a 3-month program that supports students who have completed Level 1 to lead a CBRT group through the 8 modules. Students receive 3 group supervisions and 2 one-on-one supervisions with core CBRT faculty.  Students are required to write a short paper describing their experience of running their group. Graduates of Level 2 are certified as CBRT Teachers and become part of the Certified CBRT Teacher Network.

The Certified Teacher Network includes: a yearly retreat for CBRT teachers; a training website with research articles and study aids including a student manual, a teacher manual and instructional videos; a full series of guided meditation files; and access to CBRT core faculty for ongoing support.

Upcoming trainings

Meet our current CBRT certified teachers and find CBRT offerings given by our instructors on the CBRT calendar.


Nalanda Institute Director: Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD; CBRT Director: Fiona Brandon, MFT; CBRT Lead Facilitator: Moustafa Abdelrahman, MBA


For further information, download our CBRT brochure.

What they are saying

Read what our workshop participants have said about the program:

  • “I loved the feeling I had during and after each meditation session. I also felt a great sense of community with the other [participants] present.”
  • “It gave me even more than I hoped for. I took the training because of my fears, but it also helped me relate to my husband. It helped give me a purpose. I feel so grateful.”
  • “I feel much happier and able to cope with life’s changes. I feel so grateful to have been able to participate in the [training] and learn from Dr. Loizzo.”
Continue Reading Testimonials
  • ”I have a new outlook now with the meditation. It made me a new person in dealing with my cancer. It helped me to slow and get off the spinning wheel.”
  • “In combination with learning about the science of meditation, I learned to meditate in a way that alleviates anxiety…The benefits are great—beyond estimation.”
  • “It has made a subtle but huge difference in almost every area of my life and has given me hope which I never expected to have that I can change, and handle challenges in a way that satisfies me more.”
  • “Although I have done some form of mindfulness practice for years, the study jump-started me into beginning a more serious meditation practice.”

Application information / contact

For additional information on both the 8-week Compassion-Based Resilience Training program or the CBRT Teacher Training, please contact Fiona Brandon,

Excellent, wonderful, mindful experience that has reduced a great deal of stress. Dr. Loizzo, the group, and the openness of the sessions have changed my life for the better.

— Workshop participant

It’s amazing how quickly the time has flown…We are so grateful for the trainings you and your team brought to us. It’s been a transformative journey for so many of us. With gratitude…

— Ismini Georgiades, PhD, Clinical Coordinator, Rebecca School