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Self-Compassion Journey Bhutan

September 28, 2019 - October 7, 2019

Self-Compassion Journey Bhutan 2018 travelers

A study and practice exploration of Somatic Self-Compassion™, Secular Buddhism and Bhutanese Culture

Taught by Kristy Arbon

In 2018 Kristy Arbon of HeartWorks Training partnered with Tshering Lhamtshok of Saṃsāra Asia tours to offer the first Self-Compassion Journey Bhutan. Our 2018 journey was a wonderful small group adventure of connecting in community around material that helped us develop a kinder attitude toward ourselves while we simultaneously exploring the land of Gross National Happiness.

In 2019 we’ll offer more of these self-compassion journeys. This small group tour will blend Somatic Self-Compassion and secular Buddhist training with a cultural tour of beautiful Bhutan. Group members will be supported by daily self-compassion practices, as they explore some of the country’s most beautiful sites around Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.

We’ll travel together with a Bhutanese cultural guide and driver in a bus dedicated to our group. We’ll spend 3-4 days based in hotels in each of the Paro, Thimphu and Punakha areas. As this is a self-compassion journey, we’ll be encouraged every day to tune in to how we are feeling and what we need, and to support each other in tending to our needs. We have the flexibility to support individual and group needs, and can make adaptations where needed.

Buddhism is an integral part of Bhutanese culture, so we’ll learn from our cultural guide about this religious aspect of daily life in Bhutan. We’ll also explore some secular ways we might introduce a little of the Buddhist philosophy and psychology into our self-compassion practice.

Somatic Self-Compassion™

Kyichu Lakhang, Paro

Somatic Self-Compassion teaches us that our body is simultaneously:

  • the source of information about our emotions and needs,
  • the wise teacher we need to teach us how to respond to these emotions and needs,
  • the gatekeeper that allows us permission to tend to our body,
  • the nurturing arms needed to soothe our distress, and
  • the “soft animal”* that offers us exquisite pleasure, deep spiritual connection and a source of authentic joy.

*”…allow the soft animal of your body to love what it loves…” Mary Oliver

Tiger’s Nest, Paro

Our Journey

Our journey will actually encompass three journeys:

  • a 4-week online introduction to the work (Motivating Self-Compassion),
  • our time in Bhutan to deepen our study and practice (Developing Somatic Self-Compassion), and
  • another 4-week online connection after our time in country to consolidate our practice (Practicing Through Connecting).

Motivating Self-Compassion

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery, Punakha

This will be an integrated study and practice journey. We’ll begin by connecting online before our dates in Bhutan, to start to get to know each other and to establish a foundation for our self-compassion practice through embarking on the “Motivating Self-Compassion” journey that starts the Somatic Self-Compassion program.This 4-week block is designed to set the foundation for a self-compassion practice through learning what self-compassion is and how self-compassion practice fits in with your sense of purpose, your goals, your strengths and the ways you can naturally motivate yourself. We will spend time reflecting on our personal preferences and style so that we have a good sense of what we need when we start to work with ways to bring more intentional compassion practices to our daily life. No prior experience with meditation or self-compassion practice is necessary.

Developing Somatic Self-Compassion

As we travel through Bhutan, we’ll cover the material from the “Developing Somatic Self-Compassion” journey in the Somatic Self-Compassion program. We’ll likely spend around 2 hours per day in study and practice. This material is designed to introduce you to the body safely, inform you on ways to develop an understanding of messages from your body, normalize the mechanisms of stress, assist you to practice self-care through self-compassion, understand and encourage your wellness neurochemicals, and introduce you to sensory modulation.

Practicing Through Connecting

Paro Dzong

We’ll continue our journey after our time in Bhutan by reconnecting online to consolidate our learning and to plan for ongoing self-compassion practice as a community and as individuals. This 4-week block is designed to support your ongoing self-compassion practice through identifying and fostering sources of personal pleasure and wellbeing, connecting practice to your sense of spirituality, strengthening community bonds for continuing practice connections, and creating rituals for practice beyond our time together in Bhutan.

More Information…

If you are interested in learning more about this tour, please email kristy@heartworks.training and tsheringlhamtshok@gmail.com

If you’re interested in staying updated on Facebook, please join the Self-Compassion Journeys Bhutan Facebook Group.

Please see this page for logistical information about out journey in Bhutan.



September 28, 2019
October 7, 2019
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Saṃsāra Asia
HeartWorks Training LLC