Shantigarbha's blog

The Empathic Buddha: Shantigarbha's talk now uploaded to YouTube

My talk at wonderfully sunny Buddhafield Festival 2013 on ‘The Empathic Buddha’ is now uploaded to YouTube.

How did the Buddha embody empathy? How did he make it the basis of compassion? I recount a number of incidents from the life of the Buddha, share my understanding of empathy in a Buddhist context, introduce the NVC Tree of Compassionate Connection, and explore how empathy is the basis for both compassion and ethics.

I hope you find it helpful.

Love and life, Shantigarbha

Living Compassion Retreat, Bodh Gaya, India, Dec 28 - Jan 3

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya

Dear  Friends, how do we really live compassion in our lives? I'd like to let you know about a special NVC retreat coming up at the seat of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodh Gaya, over the New Year. This retreat will combine:

The NVC Tree of Compassionate Connection

Hi All,

Over the summer I've been working on 'The NVC Tree of Compassionate Connection'. Now I'm ready to share it here. There are printable versions also available.

The Tree is a way of understanding the 'Big Picture' of NVC, including the intention to connect compassionately and the specific skills of self-empathy, empathy and expression. It makes it clear that the intention to connect compassionately is the heart wood of the tree. Compassionate connection means connecting in ways that lead to everyone's needs being valued and met. And it also makes clear that self-empathy is the roots of the tree. The extent to which we have grown the roots of self-empathy corresponds to the extent to which we can reach out to others through empathy and expression.

I hope this helps further the spread of compassionate communication in the world :-)

Fundraising letter from Hagit Lifshitz, Israeli NVC trainer

Dear Friends,

Here's a short film of an NVC event for Israeli and Palestinian woman:

Interview with Shantigarbha, co-leader of Israeli/Palestinian NVC training

I was interviewed as part of a documentary about the 9-Day NVC training I co-organised and co-led in January on the West Bank.

More information about the training here:

If I look rather intense, I think it was the crying that I was doing. With love and respect, Shantigarbha


9-Day Residential NVC Training for Palestinians and Israelis

This is an international retreat with an international team of trainers. We plan to be 50-60 people, living communally for nine days. We wish to respect and accommodate all religions and nationalities, so special food needs, prayer time and observance of Jews, Moslems and Christians will be respected. This training will be accessible to you if you speak English, Arabic or Hebrew. If you wish to support peace building and peace activists from all sides – please seriously consider applying. And please tell your friends and colleagues too!

Shantigarbha (UK)
Roberta Wall (USA)
Hagit Lifshitz (Israel)
Tarek Maassarani (USA):
Sylvia Haskvitz (USA): and
Guest trainer: Nafez Assaily (Hebron):

9-Day Residential NVC Training for Palestinians and Israelis

EcoME - the venue

On this day of remembering, we'd like to invite you to a training that we are organizing near the Dead Sea for Palestinians and Israelis, plus others.

Shantigarbha, certified trainer (UK):
Roberta Wall (USA):
Hagit Lifshitz (Israel):
Plus other trainers to be announced.

29 December 2011 at 18:00 - Saturday, 07 January 2012 at 19:00.

Watch 'Empathy, what, why and how' - talk by Shantigarbha at the Buddhafield festival

This summer I had the opportunity to talk about empathy in a Buddhist context. I gave a talk entitled 'Empathy, what, why and how' at the Buddhafield Festival in the UK. It contains material from the book I've written on empathy (I'll let you know here when the book comes out - I'm currently negotiating with a US publisher). "Empathy is a compassionate understanding of another's experience. It's the basis of ethics and compassion. We develop it by expanding our 'natural' empathy through practise."

I'm delighted to have this record of a time when I was able to talk about empathy in a Buddhist context, in a way that I was happy with. Here's the link to the video

Mindful Communication

Mindful Communication participantsI've spent the past 25 years practising mindfulness and learning, sometimes painfully, how to communicate effectively with a wide range of people. It's helped me to ask: how do I harness the power of mindfulness and empathy to increase trust and connection with others and myself?

NVC parenting arcticle in The Times (UK) and available online

Hi Everybody,

I'm delighted to say that the article on NVC parenting I helped a journalist from The Times write last year has appeared in print - yesterday (Tuesday 20th). I haven't seen it yet. However, Heidi (the journalist) sent me a link to the online version. The online version features Helen Bone, who has been attending my parenting workshops in Bristol, and my friend Sarah Ludford (who is also an independent NVC trainer).

I'm sad that I don't get a mention in the final version - I would have liked recognition for the work I put into supporting Heidi (and training Helen). :-( And at the same time, I'm delighted with what I interpret as Heidi's straightforward enthusiasm for NVC, and presenting stories from Helen and Sarah that demonstrate its effectiveness.

Here's the link to the online version:

The Center for Nonviolent Communication
9301 Indian School Rd NE Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87112-2861 USA
Tel: +1.505.244.4041 | Fax: +1.505.247.0414 | US Only: 800 255 7696

NEW fundraising opportunity for US residents.

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