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Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster

Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster was evaluated by IPA and endorsed without condition.
MBCL meets the criteria established by IPA ensuring the quality and integrity of the program.
Key in MBCL is the experience, knowledge, and insights of the trainer.
Recognition is granted for the period of 2023-2026.

Meet Erik and Frits to understand their motivation in creating this program and their experience of the IPA process:

Recognition MBCL as an MBP

We began to develop MBCL in 2007 in The Netherlands and have taught the programme in many countries in Europe and beyond. eamba’s acknowledgement of MBCL honours the dedication of developers, colleagues, researchers and – foremost – the many participants over the years.

All helped to shape MBCL’s curriculum into its current format. We feel proud MBCL is the first follow-up MBP formally recognised in this way. ‘Follow-up’, because it is designed for those who already followed a foundational MBP, such as MBSR or MBCT. Building on skills already established, MBCL can further deepen the practice of mindfulness and compassion. This deepening work is ever more needed in today’s world where we are challenged by so many crises.

MBCL’s prime intention is to contribute to a path of healing and peace – however modest – when we meet not just the suffering in ourselves, but also in each other and in the world at large. MBCL offers an accessible, secular language that connects people from different backgrounds and embraces diversity.

We very much appreciated the thorough procedure of the MBP recognition process as well as the open attitude of the members of IPA, the International Panel for the Acknowledgement of mindfulness-based programs. It all took place in a pleasant ‘learning together’ atmosphere.

It was very worthwhile to look at MBCL from the ‘warp-and-weft’ perspective on MBP’s. In this metaphor the ‘warp’ – the fixed vertical threads of the loom – refers to the essential elements in the fabric of the MBP curriculum, giving it its basic structure and strength, while the ‘weft’ – the variable horizontal threads with different colours and textures – refers to the allowable adaptations of the MBP in different settings.

This helped us clearly formulate the essential warp elements of MBCL. Like MBSR, MBCL is transdiagnostic in its scope and can be taught in clinical and non-clinical settings. In the metaphor one could say MBCL lengthens and strengthens the warp elements of MBSR, by adding mindfulness-based practices that explicitly deepen compassion and other qualities of the heart (kindness, joy, equanimity). Depending on context and participants, variable weft elements can creatively be woven in by teachers with adequate training and experience.

To us as MBCL developers, eamba’s official recognition is an important milestone. On sharing the news with others, we feel touched by the many expressions of appreciation we received. Our hearts fill with joy and deep gratitude towards all those we travelled with – for longer or shorter stretches – and continue to travel with on this wonderful path.

Erik van den Brink & Frits Koster, October 2023

* Note:
The work of IPA is explicitly about recognition of the training curriculum, not about accreditation of the programme that this curriculum offers.
(see post of 15 July 2022). This might follow later in collaboration.

[post published in March 2022, updated 6 November 2023)
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