2018 participant:

Zen practice helped to clear the mind and focus on NVC. For me, as relatively inexperienced Zen-meditator it was interesting to know more about the spiritual basis of NVC and to realize the importance of attention/mindfulness and empathy/compassion for Zen and NVC.

I am very enthusiastic about this retreat and I would advice it to anyone who experiences conflicts in professional and private settings or has trouble to stand up for his/her needs in an effective way. You learn to communicate about your own needs and those of others. By doing so you will be able to connect to each other and find win-win perspectives in almost any situation.

(Sander, The Netherlands – 2018 Retreat)

This retreat is an intensive journey to (re) discover the energy of compassion that is originally present in us gaining innovative insights, and practical skills with the integration of NVC, Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Zen.

During the boarding day we will intensively delve into NVC, getting acquainted and practising with concepts and skills as used in NVC which are useful both for the newcomer and for those who have already met NVC as a refresher and perhaps deepening as a basis for the following days. NVC is based on the principles of nonviolence - a natural state of compassion when there are no forms of violence in our hearts. The NVC process and skills assume that we are connected with each other and that we need each other at all times. This premise is almost the same as Zen Buddhism, which assumes a non-dualistic state of being, realizing that all living beings are interconnected. We will deepen the relationship between NVC and Zen on the boarding day and the following days.

In the subsequent 3 days of the retreat we work on regaining the connection to our deepest energy of compassion and to be and act from this place in the relationship with ourselves and with others. To this end, we will supplement the NVC process with insights and skills from the "Internal Family Systems (IFS)" process as developed by Richard C. Schwartz. Also from the Zen tradition we will explore points of reference that we can integrate for gaining more access to our own essence / mind, even in times of deep "suffering". We will also be concerned with the different forms of suffering from an NVC, IFS and Buddhist perspective.

Both IFS and Zen provide a practical and holistic approach to understanding our mind. Inside our mind there is a constantly changing landscape of parts, each of which has a different role, thoughts, feelings, needs, intentions etc, under the guidance of the deeper Self (Marshall Rosenberg: divine energy; Zen: Buddha energy / wisdom) and her immeasurable compassion.

Although sometimes one or more separate parts of the mind / mind dominate our behavior, everyone has access to their deeper Self.

One or more parts can sometimes come to the fore, form a strong ego, and bring the inner system out of balance.

The integration of NVC with IFS gives you applicable insights on how you can recognize yourself in the different parts, develop a compassionate connection with and between these parts and then make it function in harmony with your true Self, the process of “Awakening Compassion”. To this end, developing a compassionate "Self-leadership" is essential to be able to function as a trusted leader, or conductor, for the different parts that have always been and will always be there.

Whatever your motivation is to participate in this retreat and to explore the integration of NVC, IFS en Ze it requires the will to investigate your thinking and behavior, and to want to transform any moralizing judgments that stand in the way of a compassionate attitude. NVC and IFS are complementary processes that help to prevent and resolve conflicts, heal personal pain and relationships, promote connection and collaboration, and supports living from a place of compassionate connectedness. It is a way of being authentic in the world with the intention of paying attention to the needs of all living things.

We will discuss a number of relevant and fundamental principles of Buddhist psychology in relation to NVC and IFS.

There will be sufficient room for discussion that will contribute to deepening of the topic. It will be a learning path for us all during this special retreat! During the day program there will be time for interaction between the participants, for questions and dialogue.

The retreat is provided in English and is suitable for participants with and without experience in NVC, IFS or Zen meditation. Participation in the boarding day is a requirement for those who have no experience with NVC.

Our teacher is Ruud Baanders, Ruud is a certified GC teacher and has followed training in IFS with Dick Swchartz and other trainers. Ruud gives annual trainings in countries including Italy, Japan, Korea, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and England. If you want to know more about Ruud consult his website http://www.mahakaruna.org.uk/ruud.html. Following the 2018 retreat, an article appeared in the Zen Peacemakers Lage Landen Newsletter, read more https://zenpeacemakers.nl/praktisch-pad-compassievol-leven/#more-3836.

Day Schedule

Day 1
17.00-18.00 arrival
7:00 pm Dinner
20.00 Opening Retreat
21:00 Zen meditation
21:30 Preparing for the night

Day 2 (boarding day GC)
06:45 Zen meditation
08:30 am Breakfast
09:30 am NVC
13:00 Lunch + Break
15:30 NVC
7:00 pm Dinner
20:30 Zen meditation
22:00 Preparing for the night

Day 3 and 4
06:45 Zen meditation (zazen)
08:30 am Breakfast
09:30 Workshop
13:00 Lunch + Break
15:30 Workshop
07:00 pm Dinner
20:30 Zen meditation
22:00 Preparing for the night

Day 5
As day 3 and 4
20:00 Closing workshop
21:00 Zen meditation
22:00 Preparing for the night

Day 6

06:45 Zen meditation
08:30 Breakfast and ending retreat

Are you interesting in this retreat?

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