How to Build Resilience in a Polarized World

    Practical tools for reducing stress and finding balance

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    Start Date: 24 August 2020
    Duration: 4 weeks
    Registration: Now Open!

    clickheretoregisterProposed Zoom dates: 

    28 August 2020 09.00 PT/13.00 ET
    11 September 2020 09.00PT/13.00 ET

    Course description

    How do you feel when watching the news? The daily round of suffering, protest, accusation and dispute can be exhausting. It can sometimes seem as if the whole world is in turmoil and there is no hope for dialogue and resolution.

    Our world is going through a phase of acute polarization and the Corona crisis has only served to intensify the divisions between countries, communities and individuals.

    This is profoundly worrying and stressful. We can be left feeling powerless and bereft of solutions. We worry that it’s all too much to cope with.

    This online course offers a way through.

    By investigating the sources of polarization directly, and uncovering the stress that comes from it, we can already begin to get things in perspective. Furthermore, we will see that we do have a powerful tool at our disposal. Human beings have a tremendous resource of natural resilience. We just need to be able to access it and learn to actively work with it, in order to make it part of our lives.

    The course has a wealth of tools to help bring this about. Using video, reflection, meditations and the fruit of current scientific research we can put together a potent toolkit to reduce stress and find balance. This will
    enable us to build our resilience in the face of whatever challenges we face.

    Course Method of Delivery

    The content is uploaded to the class once a week and you can access it anytime, any day at your convenience. There will prompts for discussion with each activity. Students can post comments and engage on the discussion board which will be accessible and active for the whole month. As your instructor, Maureen will be on hand to answer questions and engage in the conversations.

    The two scheduled Zoom sessions are optional.

    ZOOM 1: to share which aspects of polarization are most stressful for people in the group

    ZOOM 2: to discuss empathy as a pillar in building resilience

    Course Outline

    How the Course Works

    Lesson 1: the challenges of polarization

    • The polarization we are dealing with
      Identifying the ways in which polarization affects our lives
    • How polarization can lead to stress
      Exploring how stress works in our bodies and why polarization has such a stressful impact
    • How the mind processes stress
      Unpacking how all this affects our mood and general wellbeing
    • Some things we can do about stress
      Introducing the first range of tools to work with this

    Lesson 2: challenges to building resilience

    • How does polarization come to our attention?
      The role of media, opinion and experience
    • How the stress of polarization can impact your life
      Increase of fear and a sense of helplessness, exploring inner and outer polarization
    • How do we face the challenge of polarization?
      Exploring how we react

    Lesson 3: antidotes to the stress of polarization

    • Not losing heart
      How to stay open, rather than closing down and becoming defensive
    • Remembering that everything can change in an instant
      Recognising how impermanent and changeable situations are
    • Prioritising empathy
      Understanding the importance of empathy, what blocks it and what helps to open it up
    • Trying to let things be as they are
      Working to accept when we cannot change

    Lesson 4: taking action from a place of resilience

    • Taking responsibility for everything that you do
      We may feel powerless but actually everything we do does matter
    • Recognising that we are all connected
      Uncovering the deeper connections
    • Trying to stay cool
      Exercises to develop equanimity and balance
    • Wishing everyone happiness and wellbeing
      The power of loving kindness
    • Seeing other peoples’ suffering
      Recognising that even people we don’t like also struggle
    • Going for joy
      Understanding the power of joy – of seeing the cup as half full
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      Taking this forward into your life
      Some tips for keeping this all going after the course has finished.


    Course Instructor


    Maureen CooperMaureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to helping people accomplish sustainable well-being as part of their personal journey, with their relationships and in the work environment. We can bring this about by developing awareness through integrating meditation and compassion as part of our response to everyday situations.

    Drawing on more than twenty-five years of experience as a professional educator, senior manager in a non-profit organization, an entrepreneur and as an experienced practitioner of Buddhist meditation, she leads workshops and training programs in the UK and Europe.

    Maureen was born in London, UK but love took her to the Netherlands, where she lives with her partner in Amsterdam.






    Her latest book, The Stress Workbook is a ground-breaking effort that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s fast-paced world.

    We’ll be including exercises from the workbook during the course.
    These will be uploaded to the course, so it’s not necessary to purchase the workbook.


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