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    Strengthening the Heart

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    Event description

    How can we expand our capacity to show up for this world wholeheartedly, even in the face of difficulty, suffering and pain?Β 

    How might we open to life more so we can love and connect more deeply, even with those we disagree with?

    Join Turning Ground and the Centre for a Compassionate Society in deep inquiry and growth of the heart.Β 

    No matter what place, time or culture, suffering is an inevitable aspect of life. However, our response to it can either compound it, or open us towards connection and wholeness. As we encounter suffering in the world and within our own lives, we may shut down in various ways to protect ourselves from pain. Sometimes we fail even to register the suffering because we haven’t allowed ourselves to be fully present to the humanity of the other; at other times we turn away out of fear; or we collapse from empathic distress or overwhelm.Β 

    Some of our core needs for love and deep connection with others can become very far away, obscured by layers of conditioning that keep us distant and disconnected from each other. And for many of us it can even seem impossibly difficult to access the simple dimension of self love, and self acceptance.Β 

    Petrina and Vadim will draw from the science of compassion and the wisdom traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Contemplative Christianity to share teachings and practices that can enrich you and help you to stay strong in the face of suffering, open to deeper connection, and access self-compassion.

    Follow these links to watch some videos introducing the offering:


    • Anyone needing to develop a larger capacity for self-compassion.Β 
    • Anyone seeking to become a more resilient agent of change without falling into burnout.Β 
    • Anyone who is seeking to develop and mature their relationship with the suffering of self and others.


    Part 1: An Evening Talk and Community Gathering

    Our first session on May 7th is a larger gathering, open to all. It is an event where we will introduce the importance of our inquiry within our current social and cultural context. WeΒ will introduce the main themes of the subsequent program: Mindfulness, Reverence, Lovingkindness and Common Humanity. This will be done through a talk and some conversation and sharing in pairs. For those who wish to explore these themes more deeply, there will be an opportunity to enroll for the whole program which will be a closed group course in Part 2.Β 

    Part 2: A Multi-Week Deep Dive Program

    The following week after Part 1, the closed group course (limited to 20 places) will commence. This will provide you with an opportunity to dive more deeply into the themes of the course, in a safe, skillfully facilitated small group setting. You will share with others the challenges we face, learning resources and practices that can help us to grow our hearts in the face of suffering, and in doing so develop a community of friends to support you in your journey to becoming whole and fully human. We will be delving into introspective practices through various forms of meditation, and also have small group and partnered practices as we explore the themes.Β 


    • Part 1: Tuesday May 7th 6:30pm-9:00pm
    • Part 2 - Session 1: Tuesday May 14th 6:30pm-9:00pm
    • Part 2 - Session 2: Tuesday May 21th 6:30pm-9:00pm

    One week intermission

    • Part 2 - Session 3: Tuesday June 4th 6:30pm-9:00pm
    • Part 2 - Session 4: Tuesday June 11th 6:30pm-9:00pm

    Location: The sessions will be held in a venue in Fairfield, address will be sent once individuals have booked.


    We do not wish price to be a barrier. If you cannot afford the price of attendance, but deeply want to participate, please email us here:


    In addressing the entangled crises of our times, Turning Ground’s offerings are guided by the question: β€˜What kinds of humans do we need to become in this moment of history?’
    We offer psychotherapy, events and programs; all motivated to reweave a fragmented world.


    Β The Centre for a Compassionate Society. organises and supports activities that lead to a more compassionate way of being with ourselves, with one another and with our planet


    Dr. Petrina Barson is the director of the Centre for a Compassionate Society. She is a teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training, a mother, a doctor, a poet and an activist on issues of climate change and refugee rights. The thread that runs through all these domains is her passion for compassion, and her deep conviction that we have more in common than divides us.

    Vadim Ragozin is one of the directors of Turning Ground, and Lead of Community and Programs. He is an educational designer, group facilitator, and artist. He is continually striving to integrate our inner and outer worlds, reweaving what often gets lost in the cracks; a sense of meaning, wisdom, connection, and belonging in our lives.Β 


    "This course is invaluable as a means to deeply explore what compassion is, how it affects us and those around us. Petrina is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced. She personifies a compassionate presence with her kindness and gentleness. Her expertise is very much appreciated and I am very grateful to studying this experiential topic with her."

    "l found this course to be unexpectedly liberating in helping find a new default position of extending compassion to others as well as myself. While I have a long way to go, it was a wonderful step towards developing a mindfulness practice that underpins a new ability to see all living beings without feeling at risk of burn out or weakened personal boundaries. "

    "Petrina facilitated the group so well. Thank you for creating such a beautiful space for us to ponder, grow, connect, and belong. It was so lovely to be amongst such an authentic group of likeminded and kind-hearted people who showed such respect and care for each other.Β "


    All ages, cultures, orientations.

    This event and this series seek to create spaces for all, as we seek to build bridges, and weave trust. We hope to co-create open, connective, and generative dialogues; even in all of our differences.Β 


    We acknowledge that this event takes place on and with unceded Aboriginal land. We pay our utmost respect to the Wurrundjeri people from the Kulin nation and invite all who join us to remember history, pain, and privilege as we seek to include history, live, love, and lead in ways that allow a more inclusive and regenerative future to emerge.

    For questions, please email:

    We look forward to seeing you.

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