Hi, I’m Danny and I’m in love with empathy :)
Giving it, receiving it, watching it, teaching it.
I believe empathy is one of the missing ingredients that can make life wonderful. It can open doors to profound and life-affirming human connection with strangers without any shared history, not to mention enabling rich intimacy, deep mutual understanding, satisfying resolution to conflict (aka conflict intimacy) in our close relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Empathy is an antidote to physical, emotional, and relational violence, distance, withdrawal, and despair, can increase fun and togetherness, and bolster confidence about how to support others without needing to know the answers, and a pathway for everyday, relational spirituality. Certainly for me (and many friends I know), becoming skillful in empathic listening and developing empathic friendships has been one of the most transformative changes in my life and is one of the ways I see people can most radically and readily improve, enrich, and nourish their own relationships (including with self). It amazes me how just a few minutes or sometimes even a few seconds of attuned empathy can totally transform my mood.
Basic NVC teaches an empathic orientation to listening for feelings and needs. This is the key to the first gate to the garden of relational delights, and can open a whole new world of understanding, especially when we’re used to listening to surface level content, to fixing, helping, advising and all these well-intentioned but non-empathic ways of responding.
And yet, simple reflections of “are you feeling_____ because you have a need for ______?” can sound clunky, be off-putting, and are quite limited in scope of application. Even if a person says ‘yes’, then what?
What if a person is really attached to their strategy?
How do you go deep with empathy, touching the beautiful heart of life?
How can we support people staying whole and present when their needs are not met?
How do we meet people with empathy in a way that helps us 'fall in love' (be moved by their humanity), give them a deep sense of being seen, heard, and understood that brings them in touch with inner intelligence, and helps both of us find our way to willing flexibility and creative, collaborative, caring relationality? (And not 'NVC-annoy' people)
In this deepening course, we’ll explore some of the next level skills and applications of empathy, with a bit of focus on skillful authentic honesty as well. We’ll practice and refine it as an art and enjoy playing in the group field of empathy. I imagine that this learning exploration can help you consolidate empathy as a core orientation and skillset, provide meaningful community, and help you gain confidence about stepping into this beautiful way of meeting life.
Tentative Course Topics (subject to change)
Unit 1: "Street Giraffe" - Everyday Empathy without sounding like an nvc weirdo
Unit 2: Juicing Needs, Going for the depths, falling in love with humans, being touched by life, revealing hidden beauty
Unit 3: Mourning- finding wholeness and connection through embracing disappointment and unmet needs
Unit 4: Celebrating and Juicing the rich moments, Receiving gratitude, and soaking in empathy
Unit 5: Guilt Process: Receiving the Gifts of Remorse and what guilt is trying to do for us
Unit 6: Healing Dialogues/apologies in giraffe and healing ruptures in relationships
Unit 7: Sharing and Meeting Anger
Unit 8: Celebrations and Appreciating - Unwrapping everyday presents to enrich life
Class size may be limited for learning experience.
This course will take place on ZOOM
November 15, 22, 29,
December 6, 13, 20, (27 break)
January 3, 10, 17, 24
Time: 9:00am-11:30am PT/12:00pm-2:30pm ET/7:00pm-9:30pm Israel
This course is offered in the gift economy. The gift economy seeks to reclaim our interdependent nature as human beings in community enjoying caring for each other and mobilizing the flow of resources to needs. Rather than associating cost with 'value', as a barrier to access, or in the transactional orientation of the exchange economy (highest value, extracting as much as possible in exchange for as little as possible (getting 'bang for your buck' or 'coming out on top'), we step into the vulnerability and trust that needs matter and people can offer money as a gift, gratitude for contribution, and support for continued living and giving.
Sharing these teachings is my passion as well as the source of my livelihood. Your financial contribution helps me and my assistant(s) meet our needs so we can live, give, and teach from a resourced place. At the end of the course there will be an invitation to contribute and you will be invited to feel into what you would like us to receive and what works in your budget. If you want a suggested range for consideration of what would be sustaining, I invite you to consider $300-$750.
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 Huebl. 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 both mindfulness practices and conscious communication skills. He currently lives in Israel and is a member of the Evolve Foundation core faculty.
image by Amir Ganun courtesy of Or HaLev