November, 2017

Are we humans by nature selfish and aggressive, requiring some form of coercion to keep us from harming and exploiting each other ruthlessly, or are we generous, vulnerable, and tender-hearted, resorting to intense competition, control, and cruelty only because of structural conditions and individual experiences within them? ruth
If you've been following my work, you know where I stand, along with everyone else who's committed themselves to the study and deep practice of Nonviolent Communication. Marshall Rosenberg, the man who developed this practice, often referred to Ruth Benedict's groundbreaking comparative study about what she called "synergic cultures" and used it, along with his extensive experiences all over the world, as the basis for his bold claim that we are hardwired for care and generosity.
The bulk of Benedict's study was not found after her death, only notes from a lecture she gave about it. Her conclusion is unequivocal: 
From all comparative material the conclusion that emerges is that societies where nonaggression is conspicuous have social orders in which the individual by the same act and at the same time serves his own advantage and that of the group. ... Nonaggression occurs not because people are unselfish and put social obligations above personal desires but because social arrangements make these two identical.

IndiaI am writing this newsletter situated in India, a complex culture in which I experience so much more warmth, care, and surrender to interdependence than in so many other places I've visited, even as capitalism continues to erode the social basis of such communal orientation. I just finished eight days of deep delving into social change, visioning, collaboration, and Convergent Facilitation with a large group of people from India, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore, along with some European and North-American internationals. 

The physical conditions were difficult for many, and the spirits soared. Several times along the way, disconnections arose as we struggled with different approaches about how to address the legacy of colonialism. Each time, we managed to transcend the gaps through deeper layers of honesty and caring for each other. 

What made it possible in this context when so often such difficulties break groups apart? Could it be because we were aligning ourselves consciously with the principle of aiming for solutions that work for everyone?
in peace and hope,

P.S. If you want to hear more of what's been happening in the last couple of months, click here for both work and personal celebrations and mournings. 
Image credit:  Ruth Benedict, by World Telegram staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Free Teleseminars
Questioning Money - New Calls Starting in March! 
For years, Miki has been examining and questioning the assumptions of the global capitalist economic system in which most of us live and discovering and inventing other possibilities. These calls are for all people who want to grapple with all aspects of this economic system both external and internalized. Our hope in holding these calls is to grow our capacity to make choices within our sphere of influence, even if only internally, that challenge the norms of fairness, deserving, merit, economic security, material resources as measuring value, and everything else that is part of the modern economic narrative and structures.
More info and link to free registration.   

Sunday, February 25, 10:30am - noon 
Monday, February 26, 5:00 - 6:30pm 
Sunday, March 25, 10:30am - noon  
You are invited to join Miki and others in the next   Fearless Heart Teleseminars.  On these calls you can engage in conversation about her latest blog post, "#MeToo and Liberation For All ," earlier posts, or other topics of interest. 

Saturday, February 10, 9:30 - 11:00am
Tuesday, February 27, 6:30 - 8pm
Saturday, March 10, 9 - 10:30am
Friday, March 23, 5:30 - 7:00pm
The Facing Privilege Conference Calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the topic of privilege. 
Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Saturday, February 24, 10:30am - 12:00pm 
Sunday, March 11, 3:30 - 5:00pm 
The Principle-Based-Teaching calls are designed for people who have been integrating NVC for a while, who are now sharing NVC with others in various forms, and would like to engage with others and with Miki in deepening our collective capacity to bring NVC to the world in this particular way. 
Mobilizing for Nonviolent Global Liberation
These retreats are designed for all who want to take a next step in understanding, capacity for interdependent living, practice, service, and contribution to support the possibility of nonviolent global liberation.

Warsaw, Poland 
June 4 - 10 

Ben Lomond, California, USA
August 23 - 30  

Online at NVC Academy
Responding to the Call of Our Times
Fridays, February 2 - November 30, 2018 
(44 sessions)
Noon - 2:00pm PT
Whether you are an "official" leader or not, this ongoing program will support you in freeing yourself to fully step into leadership in all aspects of your life and work, and play your part in making life work for everyone. Info and register. 
Integrating Power and Love - San Francisco, CA 
Integrating Power and Love: Collaboration and Leadership in Difficult Times
Save the Date - May 19 and 20
This is a workshop for you if you are ready to explore what leadership that supports and deepens collaboration can look like and what this would mean in your own life, work, and organizations.
Nonviolent Communication Lab  
Eight-week on-line series 
led by CNVC-certified trainer Aya Caspi 
Select Fridays 12:00pm-1:30pm (PT)
2/2, 2/16, 2/23, 3/9, 3/23, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27
This class is designed for people who want to integrate the principles of Nonviolence into their daily living. Within a container of radical acceptance and exquisite care, Aya will work with live situations emerging from participants in the group, clarifying the principles they want to apply to the situation, and offering powerful coaching on how to embody a nonviolent response.  
For details and registration click here.  
Support a project for empowering  
Palestinian women leaders
Miki is donating her time and collaborating with Palestinian NVC trainer and former UN worker Amal Hadweh on a project to empower Palestinian women leaders in community-based settings to capitalize on their potential to create ripple effects that can shift power relations within the Palestinian
community. This project begins with 4 days of intensive training in Bethlehem.  
Would you support us to cover the costs of the training? We are aiming to raise $7,500 to cover transportation, accommodations, and fees for Amal and her assistant. To donate, click here and choose "Palestinian Women's Training" in the drop down menu for project designation.
We invite you to join with others and to consider being part of the Circle of Support. If you have the capacity and willingness to contribute, you can help build the foundation of sustainability for the future for this work to thrive.