Saturday, May 31, 2008

Love and the Living Energy of Needs

A few weeks ago, my partner and I attended a weekend seminar at Unity Village near Kansas City, Missouri with Byron Katie.

Afterwards we were talking about how Katie seems to emanate love, even when she responds to people with words of praise or encouragement or labelling, such as "You're so sweet." (Which in the process of Nonviolent Communication--NVC for short--we often consider to be obstacles to connection, even if the words are positive, because when we say what we think someone *is* we in essence separate ourselves from them.)

This reminds me how people's intentions behind the words they say are so much more powerful than the words themselves.

I love how NVC is two parts (because the second part helps me with the first part!):

1) A consciousness of love, of interconnectedness, of beingness; and

2) A set of tools including observation, feeling, need, request which help us to focus attention on what goes on inside us, in ways that help us live in the consciousness. This is helpful, because often we are not aware that we are thinking or focusing our attention in ways that separate us from our essence, and from life. Using these tools helps us to become more aware, and to reconnect with the energy of life, through connecting with the Living Energy of Needs.

When we are living in the consciousness, the 'words as tools' become superfluous, as in Katie's example.

I am so inspired by her presence and her love! (In formal NVC, being with her and hearing how she responded to participants beautifully met my needs for presence, love, and wisdom!)

Warmly,
Rhonda
Hello,

I feel so happy and grateful for what I'm learning by practicing and teaching Nonviolent Compassionate Communication.

I've been playing ... and would like to share with you this "NVC Overview Page" -- including NVC assumptions, intention, and spiritual practice -- which I put together. This page has been inspired by my own exploration of NVC, influenced mostly by Robert Gonzales and Susan Skye, and also Myra Walden, Jeff Brown, Eckhart Tolle, and integrated with my learning of Rod Stryker's Para Yoga (which I've been studying since 2003.)

I'd enjoy hearing what comes alive in you reading this!

Warmly,
Rhonda


NVC Overview Page


Assumption:

There is a consciousness that is recognized in NVC which is sometimes called NVC Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, or in the Supreme Reality. Some aspects of this consciousness are:

· Interconnection: Human beings are interconnected to each other to Life. All human beings have the same feelings and needs.

· Compassion: When our needs are met, human beings are compassionate by nature. Contribution is one of the most powerful human needs.

· Abundance: there is unlimited creativity, resourcefulness, and compassion possible in human beings, and in life.

· Awareness and Power: Human beings are more powerful that we imagine. Research shows that most human beings only use about 2% of our brain capacity. By growing our Awareness and Intention to have “power with” relationships with others, we can transform our lives and this world so that we hold everyone’s needs with loving care.

Intention:

To move toward living in this Universal Consciousness in each moment. To do this by being connected to what’s alive in ourselves and others, and holding all needs with loving care. To this end, NVC has some tools available that apply to language, thought, and power.

Tools:

NVC provides a map (tools and processes) to help us live in Universal Consciousness. Remember, the map is not the destination (intention). One of the pitfalls of using these tools is getting so involved in them that you forgot your intention and get caught up in the mechanics.

Obstacles / Opportunities to Grow Awareness:

· Thinking that Disconnects - Some kinds of thinking separate us from this Universal Consciousness, limit our experience in life, and limit our connection with others. When we become aware we are separating ourselves from Life, we can choose to transform this thinking to bring ourselves back into alignment with the flow with Life.

· Mechanical use of NVC tools – Remember that using the map or tools of NVC is not the same as the Intention to be in Universal Consciousness. Using the tools is a way to fulfill the intention.

· Demand, expectation or attachment to a certain outcome. When this comes up, it is an opportunity to observe & see what consciousness (thoughts, beliefs) is stimulating it. NVC helps us embody a consciousness of acceptance and peace about what is alive, unattached to outcome. Beyond acceptance is .. Enjoyment ….Enthusiasm

· Scarcity Mindset – thinking that there is not enough of something, enough time, enough money, enough love. When this comes up, it is an opportunity to observe and see what consciousness (thoughts, beliefs) is stimulating it. NVC helps us embody a consciousness of Abundance.

Moment to moment practices:

· Connection with myself: Perceiving my own needs and values and how they are being met or not being met.

· Connection with others: Perceiving the other's needs and values and how they might be met or not met.

Created by Rhonda Mills

Friday, May 9, 2008

What is Tantric Hatha Yoga?

Tantric Hatha Yoga is an ancient system of working with the body, mind, and heart to reduce suffering, enrich life, purify and revitalize the systems of the body, and ultimately, to remember and rest in your best self, the real you, an ever-lasting source of tranquility. Yoga is a ritual which we offer our body and mind to the flame of awareness that is our true Self. The highest state of yoga is self-knowledge.

Hatha Yoga is so much more than asana or physical poses. There are 5 sheaths, or coverings, of the Soul, and the body is one of them, known as the Anna Maya Kosha--or food body. Other sheaths include Prana Maya Kosha (energy body), Mana Maya Kosha (lower mind or sense mind), Vijnana Maya Kosha (higher mind or intuition), and Ananda Maya Kosha (bliss sheath), and finally - the Soul, known as Purusha or Jiva Atman. In Hatha Yoga, we may work at the level of any of the koshas, although generally we work from the most gross or dense (the physical body) to the more subtle (Vijnana Maya Kosha & Ananda Maya Kosha). Specific kinds of practices address each sheath.

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, anyone who has been impacted by spiritual, mental, environmental, or physical pain can be helped by Hatha Yoga. If you are practicing asana (yoga poses), then according to the Yoga Sutras, you can judge the quality of your asana practice by how stable you remain in the midst of change in your life.

The reach and affect of Tantric Hatha Yoga include and consist of the following:
- The Physical Systems (muscular, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and the nervous system)
- Steadiness and stability of mind and body
- Balance of the mind - preparation for meditation
- Devotional
- As a tool for self-reflection
- Energy - 1) Undoing energetic blocks in the body and collecting and channeling energy, and 2) Chakras & Prana Vayus (awakening, purifying, and balancing energy)
Progress - physically, mentally, spiritually
- Awaken Shakti / Kundalini
- Care for the body as a fit vehicle for the Divine to shine through
- Tools and practices from Classical Yoga, Tantra, and Ayurveda* include:
Asana, Pranayama (breathing and breath retention), Relaxation and Yoga Nidra, Chanting, Meditation, Contemplation, Visualization, Kriya, Mudra (gesture),
Bandha (energetic seal), Bhakti (Love and devotion), Rituals to connect to self, others, earth, and the Divine.

Monday, May 5, 2008

What is Sacred Movement?

Movement and dance is one way to experience the truth, the beauty, and the fullness of who we are. It is an accessible way for people to experience themselves as alive--as pure, sacred energy. Dancing is cathartic on many levels, freeing emotions and energy which have become locked in the body, unexpressed.

All of our life's experiences-- thoughts, feelings, words, and actions--are recorded in the body at the cellular level, and layers of being that are even more subtle than the physical. Trauma (samskara) causes the flow of life to be dammed, and it can create illness, dis-ease, stagnation in life, and a drain of energy. Dancing, along with awareness and witness consciousness, unlocks blocked energy and emotion which was not expressed and released fully at the time it occurred. As we dance, we connect to all parts of ourselves, all the characters in our inner play, and to Soul Essence or Purusha.

The more connected we are to our essence, the more we are able to see and experience the inherent beauty in all beings. As we dance, our love unfolds--love for the sacred body, for the individual human soul (Purusha), and for all that is.

NVC in St. Louis, Missouri

To learn about what is going on in with Nonviolent Compassionate Communication in St. Louis, Missouri, visit www.stlouisnvc.org.

Would you like to be more involved in the NVC community locally? Join our St. Louis yahoo groups:

to discuss and practice NVC online locally, email to stlnvc-discussion-subscribe@yahoogroups.com, or click here.

to hear announcements about NVC workshops, classes, practice groups happening locally, email to stlnvc-announce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com, or click here.

What is Compassionate Nonviolent Communication (NVC)?

Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
awakens empathy and honesty
and is sometimes described as "Compassionate Communication,"
“the Language of the Heart,” or “the Yoga of Communication.”
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I’m not a violent person, so what can the NVC process offer me?
This is a common question when people read the term “Nonviolent Communication.”

The word "nonviolent" in Nonviolent Communication refers to the term as Gandhi used it when he spoke of the absence of violence in the human heart. In Nonviolent Communication or NVC, we recognize that certain language we use dehumanizes other people, or disconnects or dissociates us from those people. By using NVC, we seek to stay connected to the beautiful life-energy within us and other people.


NVC is both a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, and a concrete set of skills which help us to live more peacefully. These skills apply to thought, language, and a commitment to "power with," rather than "power over/under." NVC is a learnable process for creating emotional freedom, self-acceptance, inner peace, and fulfilling relationships. It involves expressing ourselves honestly, listening with empathy, and developing a more compassionate inner relationship. People around the world are using NVC skills to transform conflict, create harmony in their relationships, and build a world where everyone's needs are met through natural giving and receiving, and without the use of coercion or violence.

NVC was created by clinical psychologist and international peacemaker Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, whose work is now supported and promoted by the global Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC).

NVC helps people to:

* speak in a way that inspires compassion and understanding
* initiate difficult conversations with more ease and confidence
* remain centered and peaceful while hearing difficult messages
* express anger fully, safely and respectfully - yet powerfully
* shift patterns of thinking that lead to depression, guilt, shame
* enliven yourself by expressing and receiving gratitude
* translate criticism, judgments and blame into life-serving messages
* resolve long-standing conflicts and heal painful relationships
* inspire others to change their behavior willingly.

NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.

NVC Workshops provide the opportunity to learn the process, and to learn practical tools which help to apply and integrate the consciousness into your life. Learning and practicing NVC in workshops often meets my needs for inspiration, learning, personal growth, as well as community, support, and play.