Compassion In Action Fellowship

What is the Compassion in Action Network?

The Compassion in Action Network is a movement and community of young people working to create a happy, just, and flourishing world. Youth have always been at the forefront of social change, and today’s rising generation knows that our challenges are interconnected and that we need both inner change at the personal level as well as outer change in our communities and world. In partnership with young people and older allies across North America, we are growing a network of next-generation leaders who live and act compassionately for the benefit of all.

Our Compassion in Action Fellowship is a year long inner & outer change program that supports next-generation leaders in learning meditation practice, building community, and promoting social change. As an offering by the Namchak Foundation, an education organization sharing Tibetan Buddhist practices in contemporary ways, the fellowship integrates ancient and modern wisdom to support today’s young leaders in addressing the interconnected challenges of the twenty-first century. The curriculum instructs students in Buddhist principles, in particular those practiced by the Namchak Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Inspired by the path of the bodhisattva – awakened beings filled with compassion and committed to ending suffering and benefiting all life – fellows embark upon a journey that includes personal development, community building, shared learning, and collaborative action as they transform their lives, campus, and society.

As a Compassion in Action Fellow, you will:

Join an inspiring community of like-minded students engaged in personal and social change.
Develop foundational life and leadership skills for creating personal, interpersonal, and social change.
Learn and practice time-tested and science-backed Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices that you can use to decrease your stress, increase your focus, and improve your overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Receive direct guidance and mentoring from Tibetan and Western experts.
Participate in the Summer Immersion Retreat, a four-week experience: part study, part meditation retreat, and part environmental stewardship/ranch work.
Be supported in launching and leading a meditation group on your campus or in your community to engage in shared learning and practice and cultivate authentic, satisfying friendships that can last a lifetime.
Make a unique contribution to ending the suffering of our interconnected challenges and to the creation of a world that works for all

Summer Immersion Retreat

In the Compassion in Action Summer Immersion Retreat, students live, study, and work in a beautiful, awe-inspiring environment. This retreat will launch the Fellowship, bringing people together to participate in a curriculum that instructs in Buddhist principles, in particular those practiced by the Namchak Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. As part of the retreat, the participants will learn meditation practices, build meaningful community, explore social change models, and engage in contemplative practices relating to land stewardship – including permaculture farming.

Students embark upon a journey that includes contemplative practice, community building, shared learning, and hands-on work on the land.

About the Curriculum

At Namchak, we use three lenses to look at how we can make a difference in the world: Personal, Community, and World. Those lenses are reflected throughout our Compassion in Action curriculum.

The personal element of the program includes the teaching of Shamata, Vipassana, and the Four Boundless Qualities (Compassion, Loving Kindness, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity). These practices can help students quiet their minds, cultivate deeper connection, and develop greater self-awareness.

The community element of the program focuses on Engaged Awareness in Action, drawing from the Academy for the Love of Learning. This component of the program helps students learn how to connect with others and develop greater empathy and compassion.

The world element of the program includes advocacy and activism, helping students explore what is “my” work to do in the world. This component of the program can help students develop a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.

Finally, the program includes mindful work, such as permaculture, mindful clean-up, and food prep. These activities provide students with an opportunity to practice mindfulness in action, bringing greater awareness and intentionality to their everyday tasks.

Overall, the program is designed to provide students with a transformative experience that can help them develop skills and practices they can carry with them far beyond the retreat. By cultivating greater ease, clarity, and connection, students can learn how to surf the waves of life with greater skill and grace, benefitting not only themselves but also their fellow waves.

Daily Summer Immersion Retreat Schedule

*This is the general flow of the day

7:00 AM Wake Up!
7:30 AM Movement & Meditation
8:15 AM Simple (light) Breakfast & Pack Lunch
9:00 AM Mindful Cleanup & Prepare for Work Session
9:15 AM Mindful Work Session
• Lunch happens in the field
12:30 PM Return from Work Session
• Break, clean-up from the field (tea and snacks)
1:30 PM Workshops/teachings
3:30 PM - 4:30 Flexible time
4:00 PM Meditation
5:00 PM Dinner
6:00 PM Mindful Cleanup & Free Time
6:30 PM Meditation
7:15 PM Walk or Study Time
7:30 PM Wisdom Talk or Reading Evening Snack
9:30 PM Small Groups or Learning Circle Meditation
10:00 PM Bedtime

Who should apply?

Next-generation leaders in the United States and Canada who are committed to creating inner and outer change. We are seeking applications from two students per campus or community to strengthen the success and impact of the program. Individual applicants will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please identify someone on your campus or in your community that you feel would be a fit to collaborate with and invite them to apply as well. If you are not already connected to someone who feels like a candidate, our team will work with you after we’ve received your application to share this opportunity with other people and groups on your campus. Additional criteria for becoming a Compassion in Action Fellow include:

You have the ability to commit an average of 6 hours a week to the activities of the Fellowship program, to attend our four-week Summer Immersion Retreat, and to participate in one weekend retreat each semester during the fellowship.

You have a commitment to diversity, equity, and team collaboration.

You have a willingness to learn and grow in new ways.

You are interested in developing personal and group leadership skills and learning how to create social change.

You have experience in group meditation and daily personal meditation practice.

You can commit to the entire four-week summer immersion retreat.

College Credit

This Fellowship does not offer academic credit. Students enrolled in college can coordinate an independent study with their academic home. Namchak teachers and program staff can serve as advisors for this process. Upon completion, students may request letters of recommendation for college applications, internships, and paid positions.

Are you ready to apply?

The Compassion in Action Fellowship is an intensive and life-changing journey. It requires significant time and effort as well as sustained practice and engagement. Please make sure you are up for making this commitment before you apply.

Application Process

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now open and due by March 15, 2024.

How It Works

After receiving your application, you will receive a confirmation email that it has been received. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and those selected will be invited into an interview process. Interviews will last about 45 minutes and will take place by video conferencing. Selection of those chosen as Fellows is at the sole discretion of the Namchak Foundation.

If you have any questions, please contact our team at [email protected]

We look forward to receiving your application!

Watch Our Open House 

Learn more about the Compassion in Action Fellowship through our open house video using the link below. If you have any questions about the application or nomination process please reach out to .

Compassion in Action Open House Image

Sign up below to stay connected and receive updates on the Compassion in Action Fellowship.