Compassionate Listening 
November 2016 e-News:
  • Introducing 3 New Facilitators
  • Articles and Interviews
  • Upcoming Workshops & Events
  • New Phone Class w/ Leah Green
Dear Friends, 

There's a lot of hard work ahead, and Compassionate Listening was made for these times. It is a critical skill set to help us bridge the divides in our families and communities and open the doors to healing and collaboration. As evidenced by recent events, now is the time to learn to listen deeply and speak from our hearts to people that we vehemently disagree with.

We're ready. Compassionate Listening has been going through a growth phase this year, with seven new facilitators coming on board from the U.S., Canada and the U.K., bringing the work to their communities in powerful ways. Thank you to CL Facilitator Yael Petretti for interviewing three of them for this newsletter (stay tuned to meet more in our next e-news) Some of our N. American facilitators are planning listening delegations here at home, for connection and healing across the divides.  

May we all find ways to be of service, stay sane amidst the intensity of these days, do what we do with love, and may we remember to dream. With gratitude for all of the goodness in the world, and for the blessings of compassionate community.  

     ~ Leah Green, Founder/Director
Workshops and Events 

C.L. Introductory Intensive, Joanie Levine, Nov 19/20, New York City

Susan and Andrea, Seattle, Washington, December 3rd 

C.L. Introductory Intensive , Joanie and Yehudah, Portland, OR, Dec 10/11

C.L. Introductory Intensive , Therese Charvet, Bainbridge Island, WA, January 28/29 

CL Phone Class with Leah Green, winter dates TBA;   email for info

C.L. Introductory Intensive, Yael Petretti and Andrea Cohen Kiener, Concord NH, Winter 2017
(coming soon to our  calendar)

C.L. Introductory Intensive, Sharon Gubbay Helfer, Montreal, Winter 2017 (coming soon to our calendar)

Introducing Three New CL Facilitators!  
Sharon Gubbay Helfer has always been drawn to dialog. Growing up in Montreal, Sharon’s Jewish roots stretched to Calcutta, where her father’s parents had emigrated from Baghdad; and to Alexandria, Egypt, where her mother’s parents had emigrated from Turkey and Georgia. The search to untangle the complexities of her ancestral roots and to discover the meaning of Judaism in her own life led Sharon to Israel, where she met her husband. Back in Montreal as they raised their three boys, Sharon felt the need to provide her sons with a rich, textured background in Judaism which led her to earn a PhD in Jewish Studies. Delving more deeply reignited Sharon’s interest in dialogue. Both the Canadian and the Quebec governments funded her postdoctoral research in the area of “difficult dialogues.” (read full article)
Gil Bar-Sela of Seattle, Washington, was born and raised in the Tel Aviv area of Israel. After serving in the army, he came to the US to pursue a career in acting. While experimenting with various avenues in this field, he thought a lot about a question which had always plagued him: why do people fight? This question was his focus for his degree in international relations. And he searched for a way to become actively involved in finding the answer. 

He met CL facilitator Susan Partnow while working with Seattle Restorative Justice, and learned about Compassionate Listening. It was exactly what he had been searching for. 
(read full article)
Will Osmun  got an early start with learning to listen empathically when he volunteered to work on a suicide hotline in the 1980s. Since then, he went through mediation training twice and the Compassionate Listening Basic and Advanced trainings. When Will took part in the CL Journey to Israel/Palestine in November 2015, he felt that, as an atheist, he had no religious framework or justification for the conflict. This allowed him to be a neutral witness. Will says, “When I closed my eyes, it didn’t matter which side of the border I was on – I heard the same thing – deep love of country and deep pride – a desperation to own their space and fit in. It’s kind of baffling when you boil it down – pretty much the same argument.”  He will be part of our 32nd Journey in Israel and Palestine, during which he will assist with facilitation. (read full article)
Gil Bar-Sela on "The Power of Compassionate Listening"
Listen to Gil Bar-Sela, one of CLP's newest facilitators, in a powerful 20-minute talk on Compassionate Listening that he gave at Burning Man this past August, hosted by Burners Without Borders.

Click on the photo of Gil to watch the video.                                                    
Interview with Leah Green on Reconciliation: My Healing Journey with Germany
In this 4-minute audio interview, CLP founder Leah Green discusses her personal healing journey with Germany, the creation of the Jewish-German Compassionate Listening Project, and Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.                                                               
Click here to listen to the interview. 
(photo: Leah with the first Jewish-German delegation at Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany.)
A Vignette from Prison
by Yael Petretti

More than a handful of CL facilitators have worked in prisons over the years. Several are certified in a powerful Quaker-based program called "Alternatives to Violence", and weave CL into their AVP workshops in prison, including seasoned CL facilitator Yael Petretti of Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Yael writes: "Compassionate Listening has served as a wonderful foundation for my work with the Alternatives to Violence Project in the Osborn men’s prison in CT. Our exercises are often interchangeable as we work together to change their way of being in the world from one of pervasive violence and isolation to one of human connection and caring. (read full article)

The Jewel at the Heart of Being
 by Andrea S. Cohen
“By bringing people back to themselves you are spreading love to the world!!”
 ~ Participant, 2016

As we work to bring compassion to those who suffer, both close to home and in troubled areas around the globe, we often fail to attend to the suffering that lives within our own hearts. Self-care, a critical component of self-compassion, is frequently tainted with the judgmental labels of self-indulgent, wimpy or selfish. Many of us have grown up in a culture that supports denial, “toughing it out” or serving others as the highest priority – which means that granting ourselves the same loving care we grant to others often requires an extra measure of courage.

How do you say no to others’ requests without feeling guilty? Or step into your own shoes with love and compassion when we experience that harsh voice of self-judgment arising? ( read full article)
Blessed are the Peacemakers -   Our 32nd Journey
to Israel and Palestine is Complete! 
Our 32nd Journey to the Heart of Israel and Palestine ended today in Jerusalem. Endless gratitude to Andrea Cohen Kiener, Journey leader, Will Osmun, Gil Bar-Sela and Joel Berman for their assistance, and all of the participants for this holy work. The 12-day Journey included a full CL training and practice on the ground in East and West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 5 days in the South West Bank. Stay tuned for news from the Journey in our next newsletter. Blessed are the Peacemakers! 
Telephone Class with Leah Green
Have you wanted to learn Compassionate Listening but haven't been able to make it to a training? Or perhaps you'd like to deepen your practice, start a practice group, or start your journey to become a CL facilitator? 
Join Leah Green, CLP founder and director for an 8-week telephone class. The skills will be taught within the framework of a practice group - with exercises, listening and coaching sessions, and group discussion. The 2-hour classes will take place this winter - dates and times TBA. For more information, please send an email to Leah. 
  Global Citizen Journey India, Jan 2017
~ by Susan Partnow, Facilitator
Global Citizen Journey (GCJ) shares its roots with the Compassionate Listening Project in that both projects were inspired by Danaan Parry’s many years of citizen diplomacy work with Earthstewards Network.  GCJ delegations are carefully designed as a living learning lab - for personal growth and inter-cultural group learning. This January, we will bring 12 delegates from the U.S. together with 12 Indian delegates to live and work together at Maher in the rural outskirts of Pune, Maharashtra. ( read full article )
Donors are our champions! 

When you donate $50 or more by November 30th, we will send you a free copy of "Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening" as our gift to you. If you already have a copy, consider gifting one to a loved one and spreading the work. All donations are tax-deductible and any amount is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your support! 
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