Hi, I'm Danny and I'm in love with the art of communication. This course is the fruit of the past 13 years of my explorations, studies, and training in the skills and consciousness of communication, both interpersonal and intrapersonal, based on the approach known around the world as NVC, (Nonviolent or Compassionate Communication), developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. NVC is a simple and powerful tool, rooted in radical honesty and a deep quality of empathy, which aims to connect human beings to their common humanity. It provides clear and accessible tools for connecting with ourselves and relating to each other with compassion, paving the way for generative dialogue and integrative solutions that transcend the familiar options of win, lose, and compromise. It teaches us to connect to the true and loveable essence behind another’s message (no matter how it is expressed), and to express ourselves honestly, beyond our judgments of ourselves or others.
The ways we think about and communicate with each other daily - so often leading to polarization, conflict, hurt, resentment, and chronic friction, distance or unsatisfying compromise in relationships and within families, organizations, and communities - which seem so normal or ‘natural’, are in fact a reflection of the societal operating system into which we are socialized. It’s so ubiquitous and deeply ingrained that we may not recognize it and may so rarely encounter an alternative that we don’t know one exists. We might have inclusive, caring, or collaborative aspirations, but lack the tools to live them when we get triggered. Rather than just ‘trying harder’ (itself part of the standard operating system) or falling into tragic pitfalls of simply trying to be nice or civil, NVC invites us to explore:
- How can we be honest and caring?
- What is the kind of connection that doesn’t depend on agreement?
- How can we be caring towards others without giving up on ourselves?
- How can we condemn the actions we oppose without dehumanizing others, and in ways that people may hear and actually be responsive to?
- How can we connect through conflict?
- How can we transform the inner critic into inner ally?
In this rigorous foundations course, we will learn the very concrete ways and means that enable these possibilities. We’ll become more aware of the operating system we’re already running and explore new possibilities so that we have more choice about what is really life-serving.
❀ How to be radically honest without being judgmental or demanding.
❀ How to stand firmly and effectively for your needs and assertively ask for what you want without triggering others into defensiveness.
❀ How to connect through conflict.
❀ How to express and hear a ‘NO’.
❀ The power of deep and attuned empathy to dissolve anger, pain, fear and hurt. How to hear the essence of what other people say, no matter how they express it.
❀ How to create the quality of connection that shifts conflicts and zero-sum tension to collaboration and creative solutions (without having to compromise or be nice)
❀ the many subtle ways we remain entrenched in scarcity, separation, and powerlessness and how we can restore the sense of flow, interdependence, and agency.
The goal of this course is that you come away with the foundational understandings of NVC and basic competencies that you can apply and develop through ongoing practice for effective self-expression, empathic listening that can change relationships, and clear, empowering self-connection. Course sessions will be an integrated mix of demonstrations, introduction of key conceptual frameworks and communication practices, role plays and exercises to practice with situations from your own life, and time for questions and organic group learning process as they emerge. The course sessions will be supported by a team of assistants and include structured ‘Life Integration Practices’ and WhatsApp group between meetings. For the sake of the group container and the scaffolded learning, I request a strong intention and commitment to participate in all sessions, and if you will miss more than 1 session it's best to join another course. In addition to the sessions themselves, it's best to plan 10-15 minutes per day, 5 days a week for reading/viewing/reflection time, and 20-30 minutes for a partner practice to support real, consolidated learning and integration into your life.
Your Guide for this Course:
Danny brings a rare integration of contemplative spiritual practice and wisdom traditions with trauma-informed therapeutics and practical tools for cultivating authentic human connection. His unique style opens people to radical change and transformation in everyday life and an embodied sense of new possibilities of being alive together. His work is heavily influenced by Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC, by Yoram Mosenzon, his primary NVC teacher, and by contemporary mystic, Thomas Hübl. Danny also has extensive psychotherapeutic training from both the Israel Hakomi Institute and Organic Intelligence™. A graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Danny was the founding director of Or HaLev: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation, and a Guiding Teacher at Mindful Schools from 2016 to 2019. He has guided thousands of people around the world in mindfulness practices and conscious communication skills. He currently lives in Israel and is a member of the Evolve Foundation core faculty.
image courtesy of Or HaLev
Practicalities: This course will take place on ZOOM, 11 x 3 hour sessions
Tuesdays July 11-September 19 9:00am-12:00pm PT, 12-3:00pm ET, 5-8:00pm BST, 6:00-9:00pmCET, 7-10:00pm IT
*August 8 session may be guest taught
Hey Danny, what about cost? What is the price of entry?
Ah yes, cost, the lock on the door of entry to what we desire. So deeply ingrained in our society is the transaction - unlock access by giving over money. I mourn that the economy of interdependence, relationality, and gift has been eclipsed by the economy of exchange and accumulation. These teachings are so precious to me that I want everybody to have them, indeed I believe they have a key role to play in creating a sustainable and thriving world and I want to make them available to people of economically diverse backgrounds. Sharing these teachings is my passion as well as the source of my livelihood. Your financial contribution helps me and my assistants meet our needs so we can live, give, and teach from a resourced place. With all that in mind, I offer a suggested range of $380-$800, your choice, to be offered at the end of the course as part of our learning process. Less or more than that is welcome too. $80 will be requested upon approval of your registration. We will explore and engage this aspect of living in the gift economy as part of our learning at the end of the course.
"Learning NVC was like learning the fine melody of the heart, it helps navigate through the delicate and precious act of two people's conflicts coming together from off key into a harmony. It is that moment of silence when you are in awe because you feel like it's not so terrible, that there is space for you, that you are understood more than you thought, that you are not alone, that you are not in survivle and that the 'other' can live in this small eco system you've built. There is room for two, there is room for more because you aren't taking away from the other nor do you contradict. Learning with Danny has helped me not to give up in situations when it felt like the other could not possibly understand. It was like watching a master paint a masterpiece which is called compassion. It's a reminder that lifes conflicts can look and feel different and can be translated into care" - Sarit Mann
"Danny Cohen’s Art of Communication course was consistently a highlight of my week. I would leave class feeling more grounded, connected with self and others, and empowered to communicate in ways that felt meaningful and generative. Danny helped me notice patterns of relating and communicating that were causing harm, understand the root of these patterns, and develop practices that helped me be more aware of my feelings, the needs they were indicating, and strategies to meet those needs. My partner and I took this course together during a particularly challenging time in our relationship—we were on the brink of separating because we were having a hard time communicating our feelings and needs, and empathizing with the needs of one another. This course gave us powerful practices that helped us navigate some of our most difficult conversations.
Danny embodies the non-violent communication practices he teaches, demonstrating the depth of his knowledge. He creates a container that invites both deep vulnerability and playfulness, a magical combination for learning. Working with Danny was truly transformational. I feel lucky to have found a lifelong teacher and friend." - Sydney Bolger
"I feel so grateful to be a part of this class. The content renews me with hope in a way that I haven’t experienced in a long time. I feel hopeful about my ability to connect with others, and can imagine a beautiful world where needs are acknowledged and met.
More specifically, what leaves me with awe, is how in class you take a structured approach and keep up a quick pace of moving through the material that fulfills the yearning for effectiveness and progress that I feel whenever I’m a student. And quite miraculously I find that you simultaneously are incredibly present in the moment, giving of yourself emotionally and really absorbing and reflecting every contribution made in the class. I feel included, heard, and supported. I feel that the balance in tension between effectiveness and moving forward and stopping and being present is so perfectly balanced by you every session." - Sarah Rashba
from the spouse of a participant: “Let me be a witness that she is really integrating it in a really helpful way - I’m seeing her do that with other people around us and it’s happening in my relationship with her where I feel more ease and comfort in bringing up something difficult to her because she’s responding in a way that’s working much better for me. It’s really a pretty big deal…" - Yoni Ashar, phD (clinical psychologist and neuroscientist)
"His commitment to teach how to communicate in a way that nurtures compassion and closeness is of the highest caliber. He himself role models the NVC way of both speaking and listening as he engages with the “other” where transparency and vulnerability prevail, allowing for a genuine and warm connection. Danny would not only bring his tenured experience in NVC to class, not only his passion and sense of joy to share this way of communicating with his students, but as well, he brought resources, exercises and a well thought-out lesson for each week. He raised the bar, challenged us in the safest way imaginable, and again, has profoundly affected how I now go about my day --- how I listen and how I speak as I engage with others."' - Yiscah Smith
"My fiance and I joined "The Art of Communication" together because, simply put, we were desperately unskillful at reaching one another with our words. I thought we were joining a class to learn some tools, but it became so much more. Learning and using NVC actually facilitated deepening relationships in our whole group, so every week we dropped back into a supportive, loving and curious community of folks who joined us on our journey. Danny facilitated that with his sound containership and generous heart. He and his crew of skillful helpers held such solid, loving space while also providing practical tools, handouts and exercises to take into our daily life. I felt so supported and safe to hobble like a baby giraffe learning to speak her heart again!" -
"Danny is a master communicator. To observe him as he teaches, guides, and listens is an exercise in inspired learning. He has so completely integrated NVC into his life that the course doesn't really feel like a class but rather, more like watching an artist in his element. I came away from his 8-week introductory course with skills that I continue to utilize in work and life." - Sarina