Blake Poland
HS 618
  • March 16, 2017 from 4:45pm to 6:00pm
  • March 16, 2017 from 4:45pm to 6:00pm

Theme 1: the State of the World
February 16, 2017, 4:45-6:00 p.m in HS 618

Theme 2: Stress in Graduate School
March 16, 2017, 4:45-6:00 p.m in HS 618

Complex problems in a fast-paced and increasingly unpredictable world require collaboration based on open-hearted dialogue, capacity to listen deeply (inside, to others, to life), co-creation, and working with emergence. There are few spaces to do this in our lives. Most of what passes for ‘dialogue’ in our culture is talking at, trading opinions, or waiting for others to finish so you can make your point. In the tradition of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) from which they derive, Empathy Circles are intentional spaces of presence and non-judgment we create together in order to hear and be heard differently.

In an empathy circle, participants connect deeply to what is alive in them and share from the heart into the circle. The rest of the circle holds this in silence until the next person is moved to speak what is there for them. Slowing down, and connecting with ourselves and each other in this way allows us each, and collectively, to access thoughts and feelings from a deeper place than our recycled thoughts of what we already know about something. In a speeded-up world swirling with opinions and recriminations, manipulated by fear and reactivity, Empathy Circles allow a safe space to attend to our emotional reactions to what is happening in the world around us, as well as the quality of our connection to ourselves and each other, rather than simply retreating into ‘rationality’. Open-hearted listening (inside and to others), it turns out, is one of the most transformative tools we have for positive change. Come experience it for yourself!

Click here for event poster.