Difficult Conversations: Listening and Communicating from the Heart

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Sundays  – six sessions 10:30 am – 12:00 noon. New participants always welcome.
8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/8, 9/15  Note: no meeting on Sunday, September 1st.

Genuine Listening, especially in situations of conflict, is grounded in loving kindness. Skillful communication is not possible without first truly listening. It all begins with letting go of ego-centric habitual patterns of response and opening our hearts and minds to others. This course starts with listening both as a general skill and in the context of conflict before providing practices and methods of mindful speaking. This presentation draws from a variety of sources including the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, verbal de-escalation techniques used in law enforcement training, mediation between incarcerated criminals and their victims, non-defensive speaking techniques, and research on the benefits of apology to resolve legal disputes.

We learn that practicing skillful listening and communication requires first working with our minds to transform habitual patterns and confusion into loving kindness and compassion. These sessions include formal practice instruction, small group exercises, open and honest discussions and opportunities for questions. This course falls into our Path of Mindful Activity which helps us integrate our study and practice into our lives off the meditation cushion.

Deborah Calloway has engaged in study and meditation practice in the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism since 1996, primarily under the guidance of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. In 2005 she brought the benefits of this study and practice to the world of legal education, teaching law students formal and post meditation practices to help them interact skillfully with others in the often contentious and challenging world of law practice. This teaching experience provided the foundation for her book, Becoming a Joyful Lawyer, Contemplative Training in Non-Distraction, Empathy, and Emotional Wisdom, as well as for these sessions onListening and Communicating from the Heart. 


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