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Level 2 - the Art of Empathy

 

Tuesdays June 25-August 20, 2024

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 of 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 (topics and order 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 and organic learning 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: Meeting Anger

Unit 8: Celebrations and Appreciating - Unwrapping everyday presents to enrich life

 

Practicalities: This course will take place on ZOOM, 10 x 3 hour sessions

You may expect 30-40 participants in the cohort. The course will be supported by a team of NVC-experiencied assistants whose presence offers significant opportunities for support and coaching in breakout practice groups and empathic support during course sessions.

There is also a course WhatsApp group and forum where you can ask questions and share challenges and celebrations or offer/request empathy as you take the learning into your life in between sessions.

Dates: Tuesdays June 25 - August 20

9:00am-12:00pm PT, 12:00-3:00pm ET, 5:00-8:00pm BST, 6:00-9:00pmCET, 7:00-10:00pm IT

There may be a guest-taught session.

7-9:30pmIT, 9-11:30am PT, 12-2:30pm ET, 6-8:30pmCETundefined

Money

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 (ours and yours) 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 assistants 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 and in consideration and care for our needs. The suggested range for consideration of what would be sustaining is $380-$2,000 including an $80 registration fee. Either side of that range is welcome as well.

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.

photo by Amir Ganun courtesy of Or HaLev

image by Amir Ganun courtesy of Or HaLev

"I loved Danny's "Art of Empathy" course so much I did it twice! The course took the single notes I learned to play from the foundations class and allowed me to make improvisational music. I was able to really integrate my own voice with the skills NVC gave me. Danny's approach of hands-on learning with demos and pair-shares pushed my capacity to a new level which remains really meaningful in my life today. When I took the course again, I heard nuances that I did not pick up on the first time around. Taking the course for a second time made the skills I had learned feel like second nature and muscle memory. I highly recommend taking this course!" - Esther Goldberg