Compassion In Action Fellowship


A Yearlong Inner & Outer Change Program for Student Leaders

July 2021 – June 2022

“When you change as an individual, you change the world.”
– the Dalai Lama

We are living at a critical moment in human history, facing complex challenges like no generation before. It is a time that is calling us to transform ourselves and each other as we actively engage in the healing of our world.

The Compassion in Action Fellowship is a yearlong inner & outer change program that supports college and university student leaders in learning meditation practice, building community, and engaging in meaningful social change. The fellowship integrates ancient and modern wisdom to support young leaders of today in addressing the interconnected challenges of the twenty-first century.

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

In this second year of the program, we are excited to partner with students and campuses across North American working to create a happy, just and flourishing world.

(Covid-19 Note: Given the many unknowns and health concerns connected to the Covid-19 pandemic, this program is designed for the scenario of campuses being open during the upcoming school year, but also for the scenario of needing to happen virtually for any time periods that it might be required. )

“Inner work goes hand-in-hand with outer work to create something powerful that can manifest in the world.” – Lama Tsomo

As a Compassion In Action Fellow You Will

  • Join an inspiring community of like-minded students engaged in personal and social change
  • Learn 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
  • Be supported in launching & leading a student group on your campus to engage in shared learning & practice, and cultivate authentic, satisfying friendships that can last a lifetime
  • Develop foundational life and leadership skills for creating personal, interpersonal, and social change
  • Receive direct guidance and mentoring from Tibetan and Western experts
  • Make a unique contribution to ending the suffering of our interconnected challenges and create a world that works for all

Who Should Apply

Students ages 18 – 25 attending colleges and universities in North America who are committed to creating inner and outer change.

We are seeking applications from two students per campus to strengthen the success and impact of the fellowship. Individual applicants will also be considered. Please identify someone on your campus 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 are enrolled at a college or university campus in North America
  • You have an ability to commit an average of 6 hours a week to the activities of the Fellowship program; to attend our Fellowship launch retreat this summer; and to participate in one weekend retreat each semester during the year
  • You have an interest in developing personal and group leadership skills, and in learning about how to create social change
  • You have an interest in meditation and daily personal practice
  • You have a commitment to diversity, equity and team collaboration
  • You have a willingness to learn & grow in new ways

The Curriculum

The curriculum for the Compassion in Action Fellowship is a dynamic blend of ancient and modern wisdom, tools and practices. Our “personal, community, world” framework creates a holistic model for leadership and social change designed to meet the needs of the twenty-first century. Skills and practices that Fellows will focus on include:


Self-Awareness * Self-Compassion * Personal Vision & Values * Critical Thinking *Mindfulness * Empathy *Emotional Intelligence * Exploring One’s Life Purpose* Healthy Living, Self-Care & Well-Being Practices


Shared Leadership * Group Facilitation * Conflict Resolution * Effective Communication * Giving & Receiving Feedback * Working Skillfully With Projections * Anti-Oppression & Collective Liberation * Generating Collective Wisdom * Collaboration & Team Building


Community Organizing * Outreach & Event Planning * Global Citizenship * Ecological Awareness * Systems Thinking * Social Networking * Creative Problem-Solving * Goal-Setting & Project Planning * Collective Impact * Dreaming Up The New Paradigm

"Changing the World from the Inside Out"

Program Elements

The Compassion in Action Fellowship is structured around the following program elements:

Fellowship Retreat

Fellowship Retreat from Friday, Aug 13 – 15 (on Zoom)
The Fellowship Retreat is a weekend gathering (on Zoom this year) that serves as a launching pad for the yearlong program. Compassion in Action Fellows will connect deeply with one another, coalesce as a group, learn foundational meditation practices, and orient toward the journey ahead.

Toolkit & Plan

Each Fellow will be supported by a Compassion in Action Toolkit that will guide the yearlong journey. Fellows will develop a clear action plan that supports their personal goals and practices, along with the implementation of their campus activities.

Campus Chapter

With the support of Namchak’s staff, Compassion in Action Fellows will establish or carry on the leadership of a Namchak Student Chapter on their campus as a way to engage with other students in learning & practicing meditation, building community, and creating meaningful social change. Fellows will be supported in forming a team on their campus to launch or sustain their chapter, and organize regular meditation practice circles, social events and team meetings. Chapters will also decide on ways to engage in social change efforts as a way to create happier and healthier campuses and a more just and compassionate world.

Weekend Retreats

Compassion in Action Fellows will participate in one weekend retreat each semester offered by Namchak on the East and West coast.

Waking Up in Community Retreat: Taking Your Practice Into The World

Fall 2021 (Exact dates TBD in Oct or Nov)

The Four Immeasurables Retreat

Spring 2021 (Exact dates TBD in March or April)

Coaching Calls

Every month Fellows will have the opportunity to join Lama Tsomo or another Namchak Teacher for a Coaching Call to clarify and deepen their personal meditation practice.

Closing Retreat

Compassion in Action Fellows will gather for a final weekend retreat at the end of the fellowship to reflect and celebrate together.

“Without inner change there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” – angel Kyodo williams


Fellows will receive continuous support throughout the year to ensure their success.

Staff Support

Namchak’s staff will provide ongoing assistance around the chapter formation process, campus activities, and each Fellow’s personal leadership journey.

Peer Support

An online community platform will support Compassion in Action Fellows in staying connected and sharing their stories, questions, challenges, and resources throughout the fellowship.

Mentoring with Experts

Each month Fellows will join a call with a leading expert from a variety of fields to gain deeper knowledge, practice and support. Guests include Lama Tsomo & Khen Rinpoche (Namchak Foundation), Aaron Stern (Academy for the Love of Learning), and Joshua Gorman (Generation Waking Up).

Expenses & Stipend

All expenses of the Compassion in Action Fellowship program are covered including travel, food, and lodging for the retreats. Fellows will receive a stipend of $2000 paid in two-parts during the course of the fellowship.

“It’s time for greatness — not for greed. It’s a time for idealism — not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action.” – Marian Wright Edelman

Nominations & Applications

We are now accepting nominations and applications for the 2021 – 2022 Compassion in Action Fellowship. We review applications on a rolling basis so we encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed and those selected will be invited into an interview process by video conference. Please fill out the application form here.

If you know an ideal candidate, please fill out a nomination form here. Our team will contact you to confirm your nomination.

Applications will be reviewed and those selected will be invited into an interview process by video conference.

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