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Mon, Feb 01


Online 4-Session Workshop Series

Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times

Practicing Challenging Political Conversations with our Hearts Open and our Wisdom Intact

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Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times
Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times

Time & Location

Feb 01, 2021, 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM PST

Online 4-Session Workshop Series

About The Event

Facilitated by Rachel Eryn Kalish and Susan Partnow

Mondays, February 1 through February 22, 2021 (Feb 1, 8, 15, & 22)

4pm - 6:30pm Pacific / 7pm - 9:30pm Eastern

This is a 4-session class. Please note that all participants must attend the first session in order to engage in and support the container of trust which will set the tone for the following three sessions. 

With the recent upheaval of the US election and Brexit, the ongoing threat of the pandemic to global health, and with various sectors of the political spectrum expressing rage at one another, it's time for a new way of engaging.

We know how to fight. We know how to shut down. As a species we are just learning how to engage deeply, open heartedly, while standing for what we believe—in other words, truly listening while speaking our own truth. When we can do this, something new often breaks open and we can find solutions we hadn't imagined before.

If you are fearful or tired of the fighting—or if you know in your heart there is another way—come join us to practice the skills of Compassionate Listening in a loving and supporting environment, where you can work with whatever challenges you face in your world as we find ways to heal our political divides. Like a vaccine that inoculates against the virus, compassionate listening and speaking is an inoculation against hatred and the deep family and community divides we are seeing throughout our country. This class will support you in taking your healing journey to another level.

We will apply our core practices to these challenging issues and times: cultivating compassion for self and others; developing the fair witness; respecting self and others; listening and speaking from the heart. In these highly interactive sessions you will get to observe role plays and then dive in to practice with partners in the group, with time for reflection, new insights, and retakes.


A prerequisite for this course is some familiarity with Compassionate Listening—ideally an introductory workshop or participation in a delegation. If you haven’t had any of these experiences, please sign up for one of the practice sessions, and consider practicing on your own by purchasing our book, Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening


Accessibility is important to us, and we wholeheartedly believe in the value of this material and believe you will too. This course is therefore lovingly offered on a sliding scale from $125-250. A $100 deposit is due at the time of registration, which will secure your spot and count toward the full cost of the course. Your balance of $25-150 is due upon completion of the fourth week of the course, according to your ability to pay and your perceived value of this training.

Please contact us for additional scholarship options if finances are a barrier to your participation.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made 7 days or more in advance of the event date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made after midnight on January 11, 2021 will receive a tuition credit which may be used towards any future Compassionate Listening course or workshop.

Please note that due to the sacred container of trust which participants build with one another in this course, as well as the cumulative nature of the curriculum, we request that participants make every effort to attend the first session. Should unforeseen circumstances prevent this, your registration will be cancelled and we will apply your tuition as credit toward a future course.

Event Details

This online course will be held on Zoom. Rather than a webinar where you can tune in at your convenience and listen casually, our workshop is highly experiential and requires your full presence, participation, and commitment to show up without distraction. Please plan to show up in a quiet distraction-free environment, fully present and available to experience the workshop. Please do not join the workshop while in transit (walking, driving, on the bus, etc.), or while multitasking (cooking, working, watching television, etc.).

Breakout rooms will be used to guide participants through our introductory curriculum in small groups. Please connect to the event using a device that has full video and audio capability, and plan to have your video turned on for the majority of the workshop once it begins. (It's okay to turn your video off temporarily if a background visual distraction occurs.) Finally, we respectfully request that you attend all sessions possible and commit to listening to the recording for any session missed if unforeseen circumstances arise.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

We are so excited to meet you in the circle!

Participant Feedback for Compassionate Listening in Polarizing Times with Susan Partnow and Rachel Eryn Kalish

“I loved how you collaborated seamlessly between the two of you."

“I'm immensely grateful for the insight and healing that has come to me through your class.”

“[I was] surprised at how much the group bonded and shared in so short a time.”

“This course helped me remember that sometimes the best thing we can do is listen. It also increased my listening skills, and know that I don't always have to voice my own opinions.”

“This class far exceeded my expectations. Susan and Rachel Eryn are masterful facilitators.”


Rachel Eryn Kalish, M.C.

San Francisco Bay Area

Rachel Eryn Kalish, M.C. has over 30 years as a certified compassionate listening trainer, certified mediator, facilitator and trainer in the field of conflict transformation. She has worked with a wide spectrum of business and nonprofit organizations, with families and within communities to increase their capacity to listen deeply, navigate differences, repair broken relationships, and create & implement effective, wise, collaborative decision-making strategies with recognized results. She works on multiple levels: interpersonal, interpersonal, organizational, political and spiritual, balancing visionary thinking with highly sensitive attention to details that can deepen or impede trust and collaboration. She was the facilitator and thought partner in the pioneering Year of Civil Discourse which changed the conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Bay Area Jewish and interfaith communities, inspiring other projects around the country. She is also a certified meditation teacher. Her life’s mission is to bring conflict transformation tools and spiritual practice into our world to increase our capacity for loving, honest, rigorous conversations while maintaining respectful, caring connections. She is a senior consultant and a writer for Blueprint of We California; the principal in Workplace Connections and the co-author of Challenging Conversations, a training program distributed globally by the Ken Blanchard Companies. She is former board president of The Compassionate Listening Project.

Susan Partnow

Seattle, Washington

Susan Partnow, M.A., has catalyzed social transformation for 30+ years from Africa to Guatemala, Cuba to Japan and India. Co-founder of Conversation Cafes, Let’s Talk America, Global Citizen Journey and Seattle Restorative Justice, Susan especially enjoys transforming conflict using Restorative Circles, Open Space, World Café and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a mediator, facilitator, and coach. Author of Everyday Speaking for All Occasions and co-contributor to Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening. Passionately committed to inter-cultural understanding, peacemaking and community building, Susan deeply believes we can and must 'listen our way to wholeness' to find our essential humanity through connection, wise co-creation, and dialogue. She joyfully serves on the Board of Awareness, Courage and Love, dedicated to combatting loneliness and building meaningful relationships. Susan has been an essential part of Compassionate Listening from its earliest days, one of the very first trainers, co-creator of the core practices and the advanced training. Check out


  • Deposit

    This course is lovingly offered on a sliding scale from $125-250. A $100 deposit is due at the time of registration, which will secure your spot and count toward the full cost of the course. Your balance of $25-150 is due upon completion of the fourth week of the course, according to your ability to pay and your perceived value of this training.

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