Compassion, Connection, Understanding
Whether we are speaking, listening, texting, emailing, or just plain thinking, most of us spend our days communicating. Language is one of our primary ways of connecting with others and understanding our lives. Communication habits run deep, yet patiently bringing attention to specific aspects of our words and thinking can have profound and far-reaching impacts.
The more we understand and transform our own communication patterns, the more care, clarity and flexibility we are able to bring to all of our life’s relationships. In the classroom, in particular, our skill in speaking clearly and listening empathically is vitally important. It helps us connect with students at a deeper level, enabling us to better meet their academic and personal needs.
“This is the most powerful and significant course I’ve ever taken in terms of supporting my mindfulness practice. I am pleased to have participated and am confident that I will reap the benefits of this course forever—with practice!”
This eight-week online course* offers an opportunity to deepen your mindfulness practice by exploring the realm of interpersonal communication in all aspects of your life: personal, social, and professional. In it, long-time Mindful Schools teacher and communication expert Oren J. Sofer draws upon the tools and insights of mindfulness practice, the internationally used system of Nonviolent Communication, and the science of nervous system regulation. Videos, exercises and detailed lecture notes guide you through a step-by-step, integrated approach to understanding and transforming your communication.
This course (view the syllabus) covers the basics of communication practice, and is specifically designed to help you:
- Reduce the stress associated with interpersonal differences and conflict
- Find creative and effective tools to handle student behavior issues
- Learn ways to build stronger relationships with students, parents, faculty, and administrators
- Develop skills to create more trust, cooperation, and collaboration
- Hear the genuine concerns and real needs of others regardless of how they’re speaking to you
Mindful Communication is generally not a beginning level course, and can be more rigorous than other Mindful Schools trainings. You can expect to devote 2-4 hours per week, and are strongly encouraged to pair up with another participant as a “practice buddy.” Buddies talk once per week for 20-30 minutes (often via video chat or phone) to practice course material.
* Before taking this course, we strongly recommend that participants to have a background in personal mindfulness practice, either through our intro course, Mindfulness Fundamentals, or through one of these approved trainings.
“Oren created a course that was well-paced, flowed meaningfully from week to week and was well executed in an on-line format. Oren was so knowledgeable and caring throughout the course. His responses on line were an extended part of the learning process.”
Oren J. Sofer
Oren J. Sofer
Oren has had a dedicated mindfulness practice for nearly twenty years, and has taught classes, workshops and retreats for youth and adults nationally since 2008. In the early 2000s, he developed a deep interest in the relationship between mindfulness practice and communication. A graduate of the BayNVC North American Leadership Training, he began teaching Nonviolent Communication in 2006 to individuals and organizations both locally and nationally. Oren has extensive experience with mindfulness-based programs for children and adolescents; he was one of the first generation of teachers at Mindful Schools and made significant contributions to the development of the Mindful Schools curriculum. Oren is also trained and certified in Somatic Experiencing – a modality developed by former NASA-trauma specialist Peter Levine that emphasizes the role of nervous system regulation in the trauma healing process. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University.
Oren J. Sofer has practiced mindfulness since 1997, and teaches mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and somatics. In the early 2000s, he developed a deep interest in the relationship between mindfulness practice and communication. A graduate of the BayNVC North American Leadership Training, he began teaching NVC in 2006 and has taught classes and workshops to individuals and organizations nationally. Oren has extensive experience with mindfulness-based programs for children and adolescents; he was one of the first generation of teachers at Mindful Schools and made significant contributions to the development of the Mindful Schools curriculum. Oren is also trained and certified in Somatic Experiencing for healing trauma. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University.
Meet the Guiding Teachers:
Daniel Yoel Cohen
Daniel Yoel Cohen
Daniel Yoel Cohen (Danny) has a deep and abiding passion for practices that help people live with greater intimacy, joy, emotional balance, and connection. His experiences while finishing a degree at the Wharton Business School led him to spend the better part of a decade exploring the inner life, largely through NonViolent Communication and Mindfulness. Danny has benefited from intensive retreat and training with teachers in the United States, Nepal, India, Mexico, and Israel, where he was the founding director of a center for spirituality and meditation. Today he works as a psychotherapist and teaches mindfulness and communication courses and retreats for individuals, groups, and organizations. He is a life-long learner who loves people and teaching.
Ali Miller is a psychotherapist in private practice, where she integrates mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication into individual, couple, and group therapy. She is the creator of the website Befriending Ourselves: Resources for Inner Peace and Compassionate Self-Care. She has been practicing mindfulness since 2001, studying with various teachers and attending silent, intensive retreats annually. In 2006 she discovered Nonviolent Communication and has been learning, practicing, and sharing this work ever since. Ali is a graduate of BayNVC’s Immersion Program and has been a member of that program’s leadership team for several years. She collaborates with the founder of the Communication Dojo, co-leading communication classes in San Francisco. Additionally, she provides “NVC in the Therapeutic Setting” trainings to mental health professionals at conferences, agencies, and out of her office in Berkeley, CA.