“I work with crime victims, prison inmates, and homeless youth. My work often involves designing communication activities for people to learn non-violent approaches to conflict, including forgiveness. Several years ago I was introduced to The Compassionate Listening Project, and since then have used its teachings to train many, including prison inmates, with tremendous success.” – Lorenn Walker, former deputy Attorney General, Hawai’i
Compassionate Listening helps us to awaken to what the mystics from all of the great faiths have known for centuries: that cultivating the wisdom of the heart is the key to real peace from the inside out.
The intention of Compassionate Listening is to access our deepest wisdom to transform separation and conflict into an opportunity for connection, healing and peace. Compassionate Listening is
- A personal practice – to cultivate inner strength, self awareness, self regulation and wisdom
- A skill set – to enhance interpersonal relations and navigate challenging conversation
- A process – to bring individuals or groups together to bridge their differences and transform conflict
- A healing gift – to offer a compassionate listening session to a person who feels marginalized or in pain
We engage in Compassionate Listening through our five core practices:
- Cultivating Compassion for ourselves and others;
- Developing the Fair Witness by remaining open in conflict situations;
- Respecting Self and Others by developing boundaries which protect yet include;
- Listening with the Heart – allow divergence and find a deeper point of connection;
- Speaking from the Heart with language which reflects a healing intention.
The intelligence of the heart is confirmed in research in the field of Neurocardiology. In Compassionate Listening, our emphasis is on strengthening the influence of the heart through cultivating compassion for ourselves and others, and learning to listen and speak from the heart – even in the heat of conflict. The practice of Compassionate Listening teaches us how to reach through layers of defensiveness and reactivity to our essential core. From there, we can shift communication and relationships into heart-to-heart interaction. Participants in our experiential workshops learn powerful skills for peace-making, starting with peace within ourselves, and with family, community, in the workplace and beyond. We are truly learning to be the peace we wish to see in the world, as Gandhi so eloquently challenged us to do.
Training for Israelis and Palestinians, Palestine
We have taught Compassionate Listening world-wide since 1999 in public, private and academic settings. Our client list includes mediation centers, social service agencies, religious institutions, colleges, community organizations and peace groups. Our facilitators regularly present and speak at conferences around the world. We are happy to work with you to bring Compassionate Listening to your community, institute or workplace. Click here to see our calendar of trainings and events.
Participants often tell us they did not expect such a deeply personal, transformative experience in our one and two-day introductory trainings. Participants put the skills to use immediately where they are challenged the most. What you take out of the workshop has everything to do with what you bring to the weekend – your personal needs and challenges. Together we create a trusting circle and experience the heart-opening power of Compassionate Listening. We welcome people of all nationalities and backgrounds in our trainings, ages 18 and over (if younger people wish to participate it is up to the individual facilitator).
Please check our calendar for a full listing of upcoming trainings. If you do not see a training scheduled in your area and you would like to host a workshop, write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to work with you to bring Compassionate Listening to your community in a way that serves your needs.
Partial scholarships are available for most of the workshops we offer. We endeavor to make our workshops accessible. Please inquire with the facilitator of the workshop you’re hoping to attend.
From the participants:
Compassionate Listening is vital in every situation I find myself in. At work, home, out on the street and with friends, family and broken relationships…
The facilitation was exquisite. Perfect. Balanced. Whole. Soft. Clear. Supportive. Understanding. Connected!
This was the most transformative, essential workshop I have experienced…this is a powerful tool that can change the world.
I came away with so many inspirations from your workshop. It opened up something in me that has been laying dormant – the passion to listen deeply to others – friends, colleagues, and to those who are not in my circle but to whom my circle extends when I open my heart.
The skills this workshop provided are both personally and socially transformative.
I can’t thank you enough for the incredible gifts from last weekend. I began the week with repairing conflicts in my life…They were things I thought I had to live with and now I have moved enough to bring my peace to the situations. Thank You, Thank you.
I truly believe that Compassionate Listening is life-transforming. I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity…the value is clear to me in terms of my life, relationships and work.