April’s Learning Resources
Practicing Inclusion + Nonviolent Communication
Treating people of all backgrounds and identities with fairness and respect is an ongoing journey for most of us, including our team at Namchak. We share our experience with the practice of nonviolent communication, which teaches us how to listen deeply to our own needs as well as those of others, helping us connect to our innate compassion.
LEARNING RESOURCES & ACTIVITIES ✨
- Discuss: How have your personal experiences influenced the way you communicate and interact with others? What topics or situations are difficult for you to discuss? Are you able to acknowledge your needs as well as the needs of others when having these difficult conversations? What tools are you looking to add to your toolkit in order to move through these types of conversations or interactions with more grace, compassion and steadiness?
- Read: Listening Deeply for Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh (lionsroar.com)
- Watch: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story (TED YouTube channel)
- Namchak Blog: The Ripple Effects of Implicit Bias
- April book recommendation: Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication by Oren Jay Sofer* Buddhist meditation teacher and certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer Oren Jay Sofer does a beautiful job of fusing mindfulness and meditation practices with nonviolent communication and somatics to help us navigate the complexities of human communication. In a straightforward and easy-to-read format, he provides the tools to express ourselves more openly, honestly and clearly in a way that creates more connection and understanding.
- Podcast: Resmaa Menakem – ‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’ (On Being with Krista Tippett, onbeing.org)
* Namchak Foundation and Lama Tsomo do not receive any monetary or other benefit from the purchase of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.
MEDITATION INSPIRATION ☸️
One Community Activities
Opening, Community Commitments, Check-Ins:
- Invite a moment of silence and give rise to Bodhicitta.
- Read Community Commitments.
- Do you have any nonviolent communication tools in your toolbox? If so, feel free to share.
- After watching this video, is there anything that resonates with you?
- What does it feel like when someone is really listening to you? When someone is not?
- Did you have any insights, questions or curiosities around what was shared?
Watch from 3 min, 20 sec. to the end of this video recording where Alley introduces and leads us through an exercise inspired by Buddhist mediation teacher and nonviolent communication trainer, Oren Jay Sofer.
Discussion in Breakout Rooms (10-15 min)
- Share what you noticed in the journaling exercise or in the exercise Alley led.
- While you are listening, use one of the four reference points to bring embodied awareness to the conversation.
Group Share (5-10 min)
Come back as a large group and share takeaways from partner discussions.
By the power of this compassionate practice,
may suffering be transformed into peace.
May the hearts of all beings be open,
and their wisdom radiate from within.
Embracing the contemplative dark months of winter as a time of reflection and renewal, looking back on the year past and beginning to plan for the new year. Looking at the past and future as a way to inform present personal, community and action in the world.
The Gift of Community
Having spent the dark winter months reflecting on our personal practice and spending the holiday with friends and family, embrace on the new year with an appreciation for both self-compassion and compassion for others, focusing on our interconnectedness and what it means to live in community.
As our awareness of our interconnectedness expands, so too does our sense of belonging in the world. This month, through exercises focused on our individual and shared stories, we explore how we can open our hearts to experience an expansive sense of love and true connection. We’ll look at the four “immeasurable” qualities of Compassion, Loving-Kindness, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity.
Modern life brings unprecedented stressors, from personal challenges to global ones like climate change. Shamata helps us expand our mental awareness of the causes of stress, allowing us to cultivate a greater sense of calm in our lives and find the joy that is always available.