“Surrender Your Data” @ Awakin.org

Child at the FireThank you to Awakin.org for publishing this piece (link below), born of my work with Hearthfire‘s men’s group and the Hero’s Journey Foundation. I feel grateful for the opportunity to share my words, and humbled by the wider community of inspiring minds and hearts. More and more, beings are dedicating themselves to the cultivation of wisdom and compassion for the good of life on this planet. Consider subscribing to Awakin’s weekly readings to feel the ripples.

http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=1056

Nonviolent Communication Training

Introduction to NVC: Thursday, October 16 @ 7:00 pm

 

• Workshop I: Saturday, October 18, 10 am to 5 pm

 

• Workshop II: Sunday, October 19, 10 am to 5 pm

 

Join us for a weekend devoted to the art and practice of Nonviolent Communication. Our beloved instructor, Jared Finkelstein, returns to Hearthfire this month to share his wisdom, passion, and experience at three unique events: an introductory talk on Thursday, October 16, followed by two, full-day workshops on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Please email us at: be brilliant [at] hearthfire [dot] org to reserve a place at the event(s) you wish to attend. For the most in-depth experience, please consider registering for the entire sequence. With advance notice, Hearthfire offers sliding scale tuition and work-study opportunities to make our programs available to all. We suggest an exchange of $20 for the Introduction, and $100 for each of the workshop days. We will send a you a detailed confirmation letter.

 

What is Nonviolent Communication (NVC)?

 

Also called Compassionate Communication, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has been described as a language of compassion, as a spiritual practice, and as a tool for positive social change. NVC is an embodied awareness practice that gives the practitioner very practical and do-able tools and perspectives to understand what triggers us, to take responsibility for our reactions, and to deepen our connection with ourselves and with others, for the purpose of creating a quality of connection where everyone’s needs are equally valued, and strategies to meet needs contribute to connection and peace.

 

NVC is based on a fundamental principle: Underlying all human actions are needs that people are seeking to satisfy, and understanding and acknowledging these needs can create a shared basis for connection, and cooperation.

 

Understanding each other at the level of our needs creates such connection because, at this deeper human level, the similarities between us outweigh the differences, giving rise to greater compassion. When we focus on needs, without interpreting or conveying criticism, blame, or demands, our deeper creativity flourishes, and solutions and healing arise that were previously blocked from our awareness. At this depth, conflicts and misunderstandings can be resolved with greater ease.

 

NVC was invented by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, an American psychologist. He is the founder and former Director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization whose vision is a world where all people are getting their needs met and resolving their conflicts peacefully.

 

In this vision, people use Nonviolent Communication to create and participate in networks of worldwide life-serving systems in economics, education, justice, health care, and peace-keeping.

 

I would like us to create peace at three levels and have each of us to know how to do it. First, within ourselves. That is to know how we can be peaceful with ourselves when we’re less than perfect, for example. How we can learn from our limitations without blaming and punishing our self. If we can’t do that, I’m not too optimistic how we’re going to relate peacefully out in the world. Second, between people. Nonviolent Communication training shows people how to create peace within themselves and at the same time how to create connections with other people that allows compassionate giving to take place naturally. And third, in our social systems. To look out at the structures that we’ve created, the governmental structures and other structures, and to look at whether they support peaceful connections between us and if not, to transform those structures.

 

~ Marshall Rosenberg

 

About The Artist

 

FinkelsteinJared2013x100Jared Finkelstein is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication who offers communication and conflict resolution training to Businesses, Community Organizations, Faith-Based Communities, Educational Institutions, Hospitals, Individuals, and Families. For 20 years Jared has explored ways to support deepening connection in and amongst communities. His experience includes workshop and retreat facilitation at conferences, camps, churches, and classrooms.

 

At the heart of the practice of Nonviolent Communication is the question how do we want to live with one another? Jared enjoys exploring ways to engage with that question. Collaboratively, and while modeling and practicing the form of Nonviolent Communication, he supports communities to invent and implement life-enriching whole systems, and practices for restorative justice.

 

Jared offers trainings in concrete skills of nonviolence that lead to reconciliation with ourselves, with our loved ones, and within and between our communities.

Nimo’s Empty Hands Pilgrimage

 

Love. Kindness. Faith. Gratitude. These are the collective values expressed by the music of our friend, Nimo, whose debut album, Empty Hands, is leading him on a six month pilgrimage from the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, across the United States and the United Kingdom.

 

Nimo will visit Hearthfire on Saturday, May 31st, at 7:00 PM to share the stillness, stories and songs of his journey. Please join us to experience and celebrate the special marriage of music and mission that is Nimo’s gift to the world.

 

In the spirit of Nimo’s humble offering, all are welcome and admission is free. Please email us to confirm the number in your party or receive detailed directions. Contributions to our community snack table are always welcome (non-alcoholic beverages, please)!

 

np1

Nimesh Patel (a.k.a. Nimo) was born and brought up in Los Angeles and went on to live in Philadelphia, New York City and Pune, before settling in Ahmedabad, India. After passing through various phases in his life (academic, corporate, artistic, social, entrepreneurial, service) he has finally begun to understand what it means to align our head, hands and heart. Through his music and desire to serve the world in small ways, Nimo has embarked on an inspiring and fulfilling journey inwards.

 

He currently resides in the Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad, India, where Mahatma Gandhi spent 13 years of his life spreading the messages of truth, love and non-violence. There he works with underprivileged children using his heart and the arts, to plant seeds of love, creativity and confidence in their lives.

 

After almost a 7-year musical hiatus, Nimo has creatively “returned,” to share his debut solo album, called Empty Hands. He chose the title Empty Hands, because of the profound wisdom we all can gain when we understand this deeper truth:

 

We arrive on this planet empty handed.

We will all soon leave empty handed.

How then, and in what spirit, do we want to spend the time in between?

 

Please visit emptyhandsmusic.com to learn more about Nimo and his pilgrimage, to download the Empty Hands album for free, and see more inspiring videos like this:

 

Celebrating Connection in 2014

Nonviolent Communication grew from my attempt to understand

the concept of love and how to manifest it. . . .

Love is not just something we feel, but something we manifest,

something we give.

 

~Marshall Rosenberg

Founder of Nonviolent Communication

 

Please join Hearthfire early in the new year for a talk on the principles and practice of Nonviolent Communication presented by our friend and teacher, Jared Finkelstein, a passionate advocate of NVC, who believes that “in a connected world it’s all about the quality of the connection.” It promises to be an evening of community, learning and fun!

 

The Principles & Practice of Nonviolent Communication
An Introductory Talk by Jared Finkelstein

Friday, January 10th @ 8 PM

Admission $20

 

Please RSVP to reserve a seat. For anyone who wishes to deepen their practice of NVC, there are also a few spots open in our weekend immersion workshop (January 11 – 12th). Details available upon request.

 

More About NVC
Nonviolent Communication is a practical, learnable process that helps people put their attention on shared human values, which in turn connects us more deeply with ourselves and others.

 

NVC promotes congruency with one’s values in thought, speech and action.

 

The purpose of NVC is to create the quality of connection where everyone’s needs are equally valued, and strategies to meet needs contribute to connection and peace.

 

NVC was invented by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, an American psychologist. He is the founder and former Director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization whose vision is a world where all people are getting their needs met and resolving their conflicts peacefully.

 

In this vision, people use Nonviolent Communication to create and participate in networks of worldwide life-serving systems in economics, education, justice, health care, and peace-keeping.

 

“All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions.” ~ Marshall Rosenberg

 

For more on NVC, enjoy this video of Marshall Rosenberg teaching the basics.

 

More About the Instructor
FinkelsteinJared2013x100Jared Finkelstein is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication who offers communication and conflict resolution training to Businesses, Community Organizations, Faith-Based Communities, Educational Institutions, Hospitals, Individuals, and Families. For 20 years Jared has explored ways to support deepening connection in and amongst communities. His experience includes workshop and retreat facilitation at conferences, camps, churches, and classrooms.

 

A former filmmaker and media literacy instructor as well as an early childhood educator, Jared discovered NVC in 2007 while working in private schools. Struck at how beneficial this practice was in helping repair disconnection amongst disparate groups within the school system he pursued further study with the intention of distributing this training more widely.

 

At the heart of the practice of Nonviolent Communication is the question how do we want to live with one another? Jared enjoys exploring ways to engage with that question. Collaboratively, and while modeling and practicing the form of Nonviolent Communication, he supports communities to invent and implement life-enriching whole systems, and practices for restorative justice.

 

Jared offers trainings in concrete skills of nonviolence that lead to reconciliation with ourselves, with our loved ones and within and between our communities.

Hearthfire Presents . . . John Elliott

Good Goodbyes

John Elliott’s 8th album is slated for release this month — click to preview!

 

We are thrilled to announce our next house concert: a special evening with California-based singer and songwriter, John Elliott. Please join us!

 

Friday, November 1 @ 8 PM

 

Admission is $20 at the door; all proceeds go directly to the artist.

 

Please e-mail us to inquire or reserve.

 

[Warning: a kimono may be worn during this performance.]

 

 

 

John moves us with the passion and vulnerability of his voice, the playful seriousness of his poetry, and the sweeping panoramas he creates in the studio. His work is rooted in the American idiom in the coolest way, but John’s collages of love, struggle, discovery and longing reveal a spirit and guts that are all his own.

 

John Elliott

About the Artist

 

Last year, John Elliott made one of those radical life-changing decisions. It was the moment after a long time coming. The next week, he started recording an album. He was house- sitting for a friend in Los Angeles at the time because he had nowhere else to go. The house happened to have Pro Tools, an SM58 microphone and a midi keyboard. John happened to have an album’s worth of songs ready to record.

 

And that’s how Good Goodbyes began.

 

Moving to San Francisco while the album was in progress inspired a new round of songs and provided new recording tools – along with some very old ones, like the Fostex 4-track recorder he’d had since high school. The one he’d almost thrown out a hundred times.

 

Armed with some blank tapes and a borrowed Casio keyboard, John continued working in a 70-square-foot studio space in San Francisco, where he also lived intermittently between tours. Eventually, John was able to upgrade to a new digital recording set-up. What followed was a painstaking process of marrying the digital and analog sessions. Good Goodbyes is the product of that union.

 

Good Goodbyes will be released on John’s own Garland Lane record label on October 22nd, 2013. Pre-release copies on cassette are already available. The decision to pre-release the album on an analog format is a conscious attempt to create a shared listening experience, if only for a month. It presents the album as a complete work that tells a story with a beginning, middle and end, a format frequently lost in a digital culture.

 

Good Goodbyes is John’s eighth release. Recording alternately under his own name and with a loose cohort dubbed The Hereafter, John has arranged, performed, recorded, produced, and released seven albums over the past decade. Ranging in scope and sense from folk to pop to post-Garfunkel eyebrow rock, John’s music is as indelible as it is indefinable. Asked for influences, he creates a guest list to one amazing dinner party: Bruce Springsteen, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Michael Jackson, Wilco, Radiohead, and fellow Minnesota native Bob Dylan all passing the hotdish.

 

John remains a proudly independent, unsigned and unaffiliated artist. He’ll tour the United States and Europe in 2013 and 2014 supporting Good Goodbyes.

Good Goodbyes Cassette

 

Spring Mandala: A Soul Tavern with the Hero’s Journey Foundation

 

Hero's Journey FoundationCome, Come, whoever you are, wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving . . . This is not a caravan of despair!

 

To celebrate spring, we have invited our brothers and sisters from the Hero’s Journey Foundation to drink deep with us at the soul tavern. HJF founder Michael Mervosh and his band of ordinary heroes will share songs and chants from many traditions, from Rumi to rock ‘n’ roll. Come raise your voice with us two weeks from tonight!

 

In addition to music and laughter, this mandala gathering is a unique opportunity to learn about the diverse, soul-driven programs the HJF offers men and women seeking to deepen their life journeys.

 

We will gather on Friday, May 10th at 7:30 PM. There is no cost for admission, but please RSVP for further details: bebrilliant [at] hearthfire [dot] org.

Fire & Ice

Photo by Shannon Algiere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearthfire is pleased to share these words from our friend David Wagner, who sent them in response to a recent Sacred Partnership retreat. “The Block of Ice” is a vital dispatch from the inner front: heart work that becomes artwork. It demonstrates the power of our own images and experiences to move us, and, when shared, the power of that expression to move others. To honor and continue that circulation, and with kind permission from the author, we share these words with you in a new category of post we will call Sparks.

 

The Block of Ice

 

I came upon my heart, trapped in a massive block of ice. I could see it, buried deep within. It was beating. It’s my heart and I became furious that it was being kept from me, outside of me. I chipped and slashed and pounded my way to it. Hands raw and broken, breath steamed and rapid, I stepped back, cold and shivering to see my progress. There wasn’t much and worse, there were cracks and gouges now that made it impossible to even see my heart. I had lost all connection.

 

So I sat, spent of physical energy and I glared at this formidable foe. Eventually my breath slowed and my glare softened. I imagined my heart slowing down in there. The sizzle of my fury had settled and questions gently rose.

 

“Why was my heart in there anyway, who put it there,” I wondered?

 

I inched closer to the face of one side of the block. My slow, steady breath began to melt a tiny layer from it. I reached out to gently touch it. I began to smooth the chips and gouges with the heat from my hand. In this manner of perception I was able to see how impressive and beautiful this block of ice was. I was mesmerized by the way the light bounced off and through it.

 

As its transparency grew, I began to see my heart again. It was calmly beating now, healthy and consistently. It was safe inside this great block of ice. I saw how vulnerable it really was and became grateful for the protection the ice afforded it.  Even though I still deeply longed for it, I felt fortunate to have such an awesome protector of my most valuable and precious possession. I looked upon and caressed it gently and lovingly and all the while it was slowly melting . . .

 

Melting.

 

“What if it melts completely away,” I panicked, “Who will protect it?”

 

I looked for a cold, dark place to move it, but it would not budge.  All I could do is wait.

 

Perhaps while I sit here, calmly and compassionately, I can hold my gaze upon my heart, learn its ways, get to know it from afar, so when this block that has protected it for so long finally melts away, I will know more about how to protect it myself. Perhaps I will learn a whole new way of life as I sit and learn from this mysterious part of me that I have longed to connect with all my life.

Hearthfire Presents . . . Jane Siberry

As part of an ever-deepening, always surprising series of community concerts, Hearthfire is pleased to present an intimate evening with Jane Siberry!

 

Event Details

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Doors will open at 7:30, for a concert at 8PM

UPDATE! Jane’s Opening Act: Kai Macauley & Jonas Tauber

Admission $50. Reservations required.

 

Hearthfire Presents Jane Siberry in Concert

Jane Siberry is celebrated for a voice that can sing both heaven and earth, the passionate devotion of her songs, her evolutionary musical vision, and the expansive spirit of her performances. She is visiting Hearthfire for one night only, so please join us for “an uplifting evening of songs about being alive on this beautiful planet,” with a reception and CD-signing to follow.

 

Admission is $50 and reservations are required. Children and elders may pay-by-poem at the door. Please reserve early by email, as there is sure to be a waiting list! You will receive a detailed confirmation email. Doors will open at 7:30 PM for a concert beginning at 8 PM.

 

About the Artist

When I Was A BoyJane Siberry has released 18 albums to date, the last three of which, Dragon Dreams (2008), With What Shall I Keep Warm? (2009), and Meshach Dreams Back (2011) comprise the trilogy Three Queens, released by Siberry’s independent label, Sheeba Records.

 

Her career of over three decades has been an experimental pilgrimage of artistry, industry and identity informed by her study of microbiology, her poetry, painting and personal questing. Along the way she has traversed the musical spectrum from folk to high art rock and beyond, wending her way among pop, gospel, jazz, Celtic and classical genres to infuse her songwriting and performance with elements of each.

 

Prior to founding her own label, Siberry was signed by several major record labels, and collaborated with the likes of Peter Gabriel at his Real World Studios, as well as Brian Eno and k.d. lang, who appeared on her most commercially successful record to date, When I Was a Boy (1993, cover photo above). That album featured the single “Calling All Angels.”

 

More recently, Siberry has been cited as a pioneer of independent music promotion and distribution for offering her entire catalogue in a pay-it-forward or gift format through her website, and offering salon performances and workshops at intimate venues and private homes. Siberry is currently tourning North America. For more information, please visit her web-porch.

The Mastery of Practice

You might think arranging to have the foremost banjo player in the world give an intimate concert at Hearthfire would be a challenge, but all it took was making the invitation. The transporting, solo banjo music we experienced on Friday was the result of some delightful synchronicity, and moreover, the artist’s desire to engage ever more fully with his own creative practice. Béla Fleck wanted to come try something new. His model of devotion, as much as the music itself, inspired and moved me. He reminded me that mastery is not a destination or result. His virtuosic playing and the compositions which themselves seemed to bend time and space were born from an ongoing process of exploration and discovery–not to mention fun! Much gratitude to Béla for his willingness to share it all with us.

 

Music of the Heart

Over the weekend, Hearthfire continued exploring the power of sacred music by hosting an intimate concert and ceremony offered by  new friends from Ojai, California, Rafael Bejarano and Beth Leone. The private audience was a circle of thirty people, ranging in age from four to seventy years, some of whom traveled from as far as California and Ohio.

 

Colorfully dressed in traditional, hand-embroidered Huitchol garments, Rafael wove together stories and lessons from his life and travels with traditional song, and original music and poetry. His enthusiasm and sense of humor were palpable and invited us into his journey of spiritual exploration — which began, he explained, on a revelatory and blissful twenty-hour bus ride through Mexico! Beth accompanied Rafael’s storytelling and music by gracing the space with her voice and Qigong Temple Dancing. (We should also note that Hearthfire steward, Jack Algiere, made an impressive guest appearance playing the melodious Hang Drum — an instrument he had picked up only once before!).

 

Rafael’s large repertoire includes mostly indigenous instruments, many of which he has crafted and decorated  himself, to generate a unique environment of openness and sharing. He played his Didgeridoo and Huaca — a three-chambered, ceramic flute, the name of which translates to “sacred relic” — directly to the heart of each audience member.

 

Of his work, Rafael says: “Through music and sacred movement, a bridge is formed between ancient cultures and the modern world, bringing us into a state of awareness of oneness.” For more information about Beth or Rafael, click on the photos above, which link to their websites.