Wilson Hurley, Director of the Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Center of Washington, D.C., has written a helpful article on promoting anti-bullying via secularized compassion training: Enhancing a Positive School Climate with Compassion and Analytical Selective-Focus Skills (COMPASS), IISTE Journal of Education and Practice (2014):http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/JEP/article/view/11589
While Hurley is a long-time practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and both a scholar and translator. In addition, he is a social worker and educator. From this special vantage point, he has crafted exercises that capture the essence of Buddhism. He describes them in such a way that people from all cultures and religious traditions can easily adopt them. He writes, “Mindfulness serves as the foundation for the COMPASS “core skills,” which suggest topics of focus aimed at reducing counterproductive mental states while enhancing compassionate insight.” Five skills are presented: equanimity, gratitude, kindness, compassion, and insight.
Hurley explains the results of an informal survey he conducted that gathered the results of practicing this set of compassion training exercises. The article describes how to do the exercises. The exercises promote mindfulness, self-discovery, and a willingness to acknowledge our own difficulties as well as those that others around us confront. Furthermore, the exercises help us explore and open ourselves to where others are coming from and helps us cultivate the wish to be able to free them from their troubles.
It would be very exciting if such compassion training techniques could be tested and potentially adopted for use in the school system, in prisons, wellness programs, re-hab programs, and other organizations.