Compassionate Communication (105) (Fall 2016)

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.


When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

~ Rumi


Here Rumi describes poetically the First and Seventh UU Principles, emphasizing the interweaving web of worth, dignity, and interdependence that holds all life. These same principles are key underpinnings of Compassionate Communication. By engaging in Compassionate Communication during this course, practitioners “rewire their brains,” grow their consciousness of compassion, and increase the depth and effectiveness of an embodied response to injustice and suffering in the world. Participants gain expertise so that they can themselves be trainers and facilitators of these practices.

Rev. LoraKim Joyner is a Unitarian Universalist minister, having served in parish ministry for 10 years in North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas, and Florida. Currently she serves as a community minister in Multispecies Ministry and Compassionate Communication. She is also a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, and a wildlife veterinarian working actively in Latin American avian conservation where she emphasizes the human dimensions of conservation.



11 Replies to “Compassionate Communication (105) (Fall 2016)”

  1. PatSmith

    I answered some of the questions, not all.
    1. What is one specific thing you’d like to see be part of the Great Turning?
    The end of violence.
    1. What is your dream for your organization or community?
    That we can speak to one another with honesty, using compassionate communication.
    Drawing the Line
    1. Where do you draw the line between who has inherent worth and dignity, and why?
    People who are violent. People who are rude.
    2. Where do you not see beauty in yourself, or others?
    When we are rude.
    3. Do you have any requests of yourself or others regarding how you’d like to be in the world regarding seeing beauty, worth, and dignity?
    I would like to be more empathetic and compassionate.
    Final Check Out
    1. What were your most important learnings from this course?
    Connect feelings to needs. Examples given. How I must practice CC to be good at it. That it works. The request “Would you be willing to…?” And how CC applies to organizations, not just personal communication.
    2. Any aha moments?
    The DMIS slide on ethnocentric and ethnorelative.
    3. Celebrations? Gratitudes – What needs of yours were met?
    I continue to learn and add to previous understanding of this topic.
    4. How have you changed because of this course?
    Bolder in CC and trying it out.
    5. What will you do next or differently because of this course?
    I am talking with others. I would like to reread “The Great Turning” by Michael Korten.
    6. What else might you offer to the course facilitators so we can improve your experience and that of others?
    I like your enthusiasm and personal stories. I like having a copy of the slides so that I can take notes as we go through them. An additional helpful supplement would be to have the words on the slides in Word or pdf and in outline format. Then I can review the course quickly. One problem with some of the slides is that the different colored words on different colored background are difficult to read. I would like the poem by Christine Frey.

  2. Judy Keiser

    It would give me a sense of community if I had a list of who’s enrolled in this course.
    This is a first for me and I’m not sure exactly how to make the most of it. Is there an organized way to “go around the table” and share our reactions or eureka moments from each module? I’m about to start Module 2 but I feel a sense of incompletion about Module 1 without that chance to “share”.
    Assuming this is as good a forum as any to do that, here are my eureka moments and questions from module 1 – I invite others to share theirs as they are willing.
    1-I loved the UU peacemakers Intentions, particularly the one about moving toward conflict to understand it. I feel like that’s a novel concept for a “peacemaker” – not seeking to create drama but somehow being interested in the drama, not running from it. the statement “I don’t like what you did. Tell me why you did it” really resonated.
    2. How does listening to others’ stories help us get better at communicating and develop better ethics? is it by imitation? considering different perspectives? How does that mechanism actually work?
    3. “Every moment is a defining moment. The possibility of peace and healing arises in every thought word and action.” What optimistic and inspiring ideas!

    One final question: do these comments show in every module or do I have to check this module to see these comments?

  3. Carolyn

    I have never taken a course here before. I have paid for the course, can log into this site. Here are my questions…
    1. I don’t see what happens when the course starts. Did not receive instructions. Do I just visit the site here and then it will become clear?
    2. I assume I can simply log into the content any time after the courses are available. Is that true?
    3. Are there any times course participants meet together to discuss content or do we create our own discussion groups?
    Many thanks for response.

    • Renee Ruchotzke

      Thank you for your questions!

      1. The course materials for the first module will be available on Friday. The website will sent out a notice when they are available.
      2. Yes, the materials will be available for each module from when it “opens” until January 15, 2017.
      3. Ideally, you have others in your congregation who are also taking the course and can do the exercises together. You can also post in the comments section at the bottom of each page. The instructor will have a couple of live calls — stay tuned for the schedule.

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