At Three Rivers, we think of mindfulness as the process by which a person comes fully alive. Do a quick google search, and you’re likely to find that there is a rich diversity of definitions available for the word “mindfulness.”

Here’s how we define it, meeting each moment of our lives with curiosity and warm-heartedness, and responding wisely.

Over time, the wisdom that is cultivated through mindfulness allows us to see how often we are spending our energy resisting a reality that has already presented itself, and how much we suffer in the process. That said, mindfulness is not a passive practice. Acceptance and resignation are not the same thing. Often what is needed in a given moment is action. Mindfulness simply affords us the space to choose what action is called for, if any.

What is Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)?

We specialize in teaching a particular mindfulness program: Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). MSC is a set of skills designed to help you respond to yourself with kindness when you are in distress. For most of us, making an embarrassing mistake is an occasion for self-criticism not self-compassion. Many of us wouldn’t blink an eye at saying truly horrible things to ourselves (“I’m such an idiot!”)–things we would never say to another human being who is suffering. Unfortunately, habitually treating ourselves this way breeds depression, anxiety, shame, anger, and relationship problems. Learning to treat ourselves compassionately has been shown by research to help in each of these areas. In our clinical experience it is the only way to heal shame–which is the destructive common denominator at the root of so many of the ways we suffer as human beings. MSC is typically taught as an 8-week class. Please click here for more information about our current course offerings.


2030 W El Camino, #200, Sacramento 95833.

MSC is self-compassion training.  Mindfulness is taught because it is the context in which self-compassion happens.  We teach you everything you need to know. Most of our students arrive with little to no experience with meditation.  Some arrive having had negative experiences with meditation, and as a result, have decided they’re “bad at meditation” (we can help with that!).  Others arrive with significant meditation experience, but have found that they still find themselves habitually locked in self-criticism. If you are brand new to meditation, self-compassion practices are an excellent doorway into mindfulness training because people tend to enjoy the process.

Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. Although MSC is therapeutic, it is not group therapy. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.

Yes! This course meets the first prerequisite for teacher training in MSC. See www.centerformsc.com for a full list of training requirements.