“I would never have signed up for anything with the word compassion in the title. However, my wife suggested the course and I was not paying much attention at the time. This proved to be a most fortunate accident. The course gave me a fresh perspective on my dealings with my extended family, my law practice and myself; allowing me to find patience and connection in places I would not have found it before. Magda has a wonderful manner of providing information, examples and leadership, with lots of space for each participant to engage at his or her own pace. I find myself continually recommending the course to both colleagues and loved ones”
– John Clark


“The CCT Course was extremely well designed and well facilitated.  Magda brought compassion, presence, and discipline around allowing time and space for everyone to share, which created an environment where people could go deep.  I recommend this course for anyone who is a bit hard on themselves or others, anyone trying to develop a meditation practice, and anyone trying to revive their meditation practice (so that’s basically anyone!).” – Alex Hutton


 “As a lawyer providing advice and representation on land and sustainability use issues, in the context of people who passionately express widely differing strongly held views regarding how land should and should not be used,  and what projects should and should not proceed, and political and regulatory regimes that seek with varying degrees of success to balance a myriad of environmental, social and economic considerations into positive outcomes, I repeatedly observed the importance of being present in the moment, and of maximizing one’s ability to hear and understand what others are saying from their own perspectives.  I came to the program as an opportunity to further develop my awareness and joined with my wife and others in our group, who shared an interest in the material from a range of differing contexts (health challenges, problems in specific relationships, complexities in work assignments, and personal development generally).   Magda’s warmth, openness, humour and insight created a wonderful atmosphere for learning and discussing the research and training that has been developed at Stanford, and allowed each participant in the program to incorporate it into their own lives in whatever fashion worked best for them.” – Peter Kenward


“I often find evening courses hard after a long day.  But I grew to look forward to Magda’s teaching, the atmosphere she created, and the opportunity to develop a whole new area of competence.  It has already proven so powerful in both my personal and professional life.  Magda is a skilled and sensitive teacher, and sets a beautiful tone.”
– Pippa Rowcliffe, Deputy Director, Human Early Learning Partnership, UBC



“The Cultivating Compassion Course is a gift that I recommend you give yourself.  Magda is a warm and skillful teacher.  The course blends theory and practice, heart and mind, personal wellbeing and concern for others perfectly.   The whole experience was rejuvenating.”
– Elizabeth Sheehan, President, Climate Smart


“Prior to register for Magda’s class I read an article that claimed that just in 8 weeks one’s could develop compassion and change how he/she relates and/or reacts to emotionally charged events / persons.  I was very skeptical as 8 weeks seemed to be a short time to effectively change anything – not so much anymore having experienced a real improvement in my level of compassion towards myself and others.  I now have the tool to manage and unwrapped myself from the “poison-of-anger”.  Magda is wonderful at what she does.  She has an extraordinary ability to bring together the meditative process in inspiring ways.  I highly value the time I spent in her class.  An absolute must for anyone involved in meditation or with issues of anxiety and PTSD.”
Charles Dumont, retired police officer


“Our organization recognizes that working in the environmental sector can be difficult due to the strain of what seem like overwhelming odds against our success.  Our employees are committed, passionate people who go above and beyond because they believe so strongly in what we do.  Being able to offer the Compassion Cultivation Training program to interested staff meant that we could provide an additional tool to assist in building resilience to help them through difficult times.”
– Catherine Gordon, HR Director, David Suzuki Foundation


“I was so pleased to take part in the Compassion Cultivation program. The course was carefully designed to guide participants through a simple yet profound educational experience that gradually deepened each week.   Magda was a wonderful facilitator and provided a safe and enriching learning environment.  The program’s content and practices are so accessible, I would recommend it to anyone.  The world needs more of this.

– Deborah


“This CCT course far exceeded my expectations! I especially appreciated the depth given to each aspect of compassion (e.g., self-compassion, compassion towards those we may not notice in everyday life), the clarity of the instructor in defining terms, such as “suffering,” and the guided meditations which were able to crack open my heart even to those whom I had considered “difficult.” I found Magda’s delivery and interactive exercises to be extremely helpful in bringing deeper understanding, awareness and compassionate action to my life. Thank you.”  
Ada Glustein


“Taking the CCT course has been life-changing! Magda’s patience and gentle guidance helped to create a safe place to learn how to truly cultivate compassion, not only for others but also for ourself. It was the latter that was a struggle for me and I continue to grow in the courageous journey of self-compassion. Magda’s experience and knowledge about the cultivation of compassion shines through in her teaching and facilitation. It is a joy to learn from (and with) Magda.
– Miriam Miller, Educational Consultant


 “Magda’s course offered a safe environment to explore compassion and the tools needed to generate compassion.  This was an extremely positive experience that brought me a greater sense of peace and connection. Thank you so much.”
– Donovan, Sales Engineer


“I arrived at Magda’s course in search of greater alignment in my personal, professional and spiritual life. I found the mindfulness exercises and in-class sharing of the Compassion Cultivation Training to be a very gentle and accessible way to integrate a practice of compassion and greater sense of awareness into my life.

 Magda is a fluid facilitator, providing just enough structure with discernment and patience. She would guide us through the training while also allowing the course experience to become what it would become that evening. The result was transformational every time.  Witnessing the small yet profound shifts within each of my classmates and within myself was testament to the benefits of the training. I revere Magda’s commitment to delivering these benefits to as many people as she can. It is truly inspirational.”  
– Jackie Kanyuk

lilis van

“I took Magda‘s course because I was curious to learn the role of Compassion in making a difference in the world. Until now, I had been “making a difference” through my work as an energy engineer and my activisim with environmental organizations. My previous experience with meditation and self-exploration had been more to satisfy the curiosity of getting to know myself better. In CCT, all these pieces got connected. I learned that by knowing and loving myself as I am, the same way I would a loved one or a friend, I will build the capacity to understand those I see as opposite forces to my purpose. And when I understand my opposition, I can relate to them and eventually engage them in being a part of the solution towards making a difference in the world!
Magda‘s strength is in engaging everyone at their comfort level and maintaining a balanced atmosphere. Magda has a great ability to be a friend and a professional at the same time. Her deep care for the individual is apparent while a reasonable boundary is maintained. This quality empowers the individual to take responsibility for their life and actions while feeling supported by Magda‘s wisdom and compassion.”
– Ainaz Bozorgzadeh,
Engineer/Energy Management Professional & Community Organizer

“The CCT course was my first experience with this kind of curriculum so I was initially a bit apprehensive about participating. Additionally, the course had a number of participants from a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds so it seemed challenging to conceive of how we might be able to connect to each other and to the curriculum. Magda’s openness and insights brought connections to these disparate experiences and frames of reference so that by the end, we had truly formed a community of co-inquirers and practitioners. She was masterful at the art of moderating conversation, guiding experiences, and providing a safe place for a wide range of ideas and experiences. Her compassion was and is truly a model that I carry into my own teaching to this day.”
– Michelle Nilson,
Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University


“I took the Compassion Training program in the spring of 2014.  As someone with a strong ‘thinking’ preference, deepening my experience in feeling, both in compassion for others and for myself, was transformational.  The classes were well facilitated by Magda, and the guided meditations were a great introduction to daily practice for me.  I strongly recommend the program!”
– Margaret


The Compassion Cultivation Training Program has been a wonderful journey towards the core of our existence. Now more than ever before, courses aiming at cultivating the heart and opening the mind to its true potential, are needed to assist us in our healing and the healing of the planet we inhabit. Masterfully facilitated by Ms. Magdalena Szpala, a teacher whose gentle manners, consideration of our individual needs, awareness of our various stages in our personal paths towards self realization and, above all, αυθεντική (authentic) compassion, made the two months in the course an experience whose impact I reflect in all aspects of my life. Sharing the same space with similarly minded individuals and learning from each other was a bonus and an invitation to humility. THANK YOU!
– Maria Davradou, Collage Artist/Educator


 “As much as I liked to think of myself as a healthy, well-adapted individual, I often found in my reality, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off! Mind racing, a bit frantic, and anxious. At least that’s how it was.  After taking the Cultivating Compassion workshops with Magda, I now have some good resources and meditative practices to turn to.  Magda is a wonderful instructor. She was always willing to provide extra support when needed.  During the course, she emailed participants weekly to maintain communication, and to keep us on track with the meditations.  I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity to learn from Magda and develop Mindfulness strategies.”    – Gloria Wong, Primary School Teacher


Leave a Reply