Dharma Topic: Mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication

Dharma Topic: Mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication

Discussion date: Thu, Apr 15, 2004 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

DearStill Water Friends


This Thursday evening, after our 7:30 sitting, we will have an opportunity to explore the integration ofmindfulness and nonviolent communication (NVC).


Davidand Lynda Martin-McCormick recently returned from a nine day “intensive”retreat in Canada with Marshall Rosenberg and other NVC trainers. Among their key insights washow well mindfulness practice and NVC go together. They explain:


NVCis a close companion to Mindfulness practice. As we see it, Mindfulness practice creates the connection between peopleand the state of present-ness necessary to do what NVC suggests. NVC gives us the tools to take advantage of the conditions thatMindfulness practice creates.


Duringour Dharma discussion David and Lynda will share their experiences and then leadus through some exercises in which we will work on how to resolve specificissues nonviolently, without blame or criticism.


Davidand Lynda have chosen two quotes for us to consider. The first is from MarshallRosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication.


NVCis founded on language and communication skills that strengthen our ability toremain human even under trying conditions… It guides us in reframing how we express ourselves and hear others.Instead of being habitual automatic reactions, our words become consciousresponses based firmly on an awareness of what we are perceiving, feeling andwanting. We are led to expressourselves with honesty and clarity, while simultaneously paying others arespectful and empathic attention. We come to hear our own deeper needs andthose of others. NVC trains us to observe carefully, and to be able to specifybehaviors and conditions that are affecting us. We learn to identify and clearlyarticulate what we are concretely wanting in a given situation.The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.


Thesecond is Thich Nhat Hanh’s fourth mindfulness training.


Awareof the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the ability to listento others,I am committed to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in orderto bringjoy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering.Knowing thatwords can create happiness or suffering, I am a committed to learn tospeaktruthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I amdetermined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain andnot to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I willrefrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, orthat can cause the family or community to break.I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, howeversmall.


From6:30 pm to 7:20 pm we will continue our tradition ofhaving an informal discussion focusedon basic mindfulness practices and mindfulness in daily life. It is anopportunity for new comers and more experienced practitioners to ask practicequestions and share experiences in a small group setting.


Youare invited to join us this Thursday evening.





Discussion Date: Thu, Apr 15, 2004