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Nonviolent Communication and Mindfulness

Oren Jay Sofer kindly joined the eamba Community for the first of a series of webinars exploring mindful communication programmes: Nonviolent Communication.
The webinar was based on chapter 2 “Nonviolent Communication: Mindfulness and compassion in relationships” by Oren Jay Sofer and Sietske de Haan. (more on the book, see below).
Maria Mestre kindly offered simultaneous translation into Spanish.
eamba is very grateful to all presenters and to the interpreter. Thank you for having engaged and shared your insights, wisdom and skill.

Oren offered a meditation and let us experience how Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness enhance each other. He gave us a taste of some short practices used in the teaching of mindful communication which combines mindfulness with Nonviolent Communication, as developed by Marshall Rosenberg. We discovered how more mindful communication improves connection and contributes to enhancing our self-care.
The webinar inspired ideas about how to cultivate mindfulness in communication and informed the eamba Community about ongoing learning with Oren.

Recording published on the eamba YouTube channel.
Oren’s latest book: Your Heart Was Made for This: Contemplative Practices to Meet a World in Crisis with Courage, Integrity, and Love
Online course:
Contact: Oren Jay Sofer Meditation & Communication Training | @OrenJaySofer

Poems Oren shared:

Naomi Shihab Nye (Palestinian-American, 1952 –)
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere 
like a shadow or a friend.



Wild peace, Yehuda Amichai (Israeli, 1924 – 2000)

Not the peace of a cease-fire,
not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,
but rather
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill,
that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.
A peace
without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,
without words, without
the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be
light, floating, like lazy white foam.
A little rest for the wounds—
who speaks of healing?
(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation
to the next, as in a relay race:
the baton never falls.)
Let it come
like wildflowers,
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.




Oren Jay Sofer teaches meditation and communication internationally.
He holds a degree in comparative religion from Columbia University and is a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for the healing of trauma.
Oren is also the author of several books, including the best-seller “Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication”.
His latest book is “Your Heart Was Made for This: Contemplative Practices to Meet a World In Crisis with Courage, Integrity, and Love.
His teaching has reached people around the world through his online communication courses and guided meditations.
A husband and a father, Oren lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys cooking, spending time in nature, and home woodworking projects.

Sietske de Haan has been teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction since 2005 and later also Mindful Communication Programmes which include Nonviolent Communication and Interpersonal Mindfulness.
She develops programmes for medical doctors based on mindfulness, compassion and communication and teaches retreats.
She is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.
Sietse lives in the east of The Netherlands with her partner, and she enjoys gardening, hiking reading and writing. and

Cover Mindful Communication

The program Nonviolent Communication and Mindfulness is presented in a new book Mindful Communication: Speaking and Listening with Wisdom and Compassion, edited by Frits Koster, Jetty Heynekamp and Victoria Norton.

The editors will also join the event and are ready to engage in questions and dialogue on other aspects of the book, it features the following programs:

– Nonviolent Communication (by Oren Jay Sofer and Sietske de Haan),
– The Interpersonal Mindfulness Program (by Erik van den Brink),
– Green Zone Communication (by Greg Heffron, Esther Hasselman and Christine Trani),
– Mindfulness and Communication (by Edel Maex),
– Deep Listening (by Rosamund Oliver and Chantal Bergers) and
– Open Dialogue (by Russell Razzaque, Heleen Wadman, Kwok H. Wong and Olaf Galisch).

These mindful communication programs are of interest to those working in health or social care, education, community action and to all who wish to listen and speak with more wisdom and compassion.

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