Marshall RosenbergIn the Spotlight: Spirituality in NVC

Q: How do we connect with the Divine through Nonviolent Communication?

A: I think it is important that people see that spirituality is at the base of Nonviolent Communication, and that they learn the mechanics of the NVC process with that in mind. It’s really a spiritual practice that I am trying to show as a way of life. Even though we don’t make a point of mentioning this, people get seduced by the practice. Even if they practice NVC as a mechanical technique, they start to experience things between themselves and other people they weren’t able to experience before. So eventually they come to the spirituality of the process. They begin to see that it’s more than a communication process and realize it’s really an attempt to manifest our spirituality. I have tried to integrate the spirituality into the practice of NVC in a way that meets my need not to destroy the beauty of it through abstract philosophizing.

The kind of world I’d like to live in will require some rather significant social changes, but the changes that I’d like to see happen probably won’t happen unless the people working toward them are coming out of a different spirituality than what has led to the predicaments we’re in now. So, our training is designed to help people make sure that the spirituality that’s guiding them is one of their own choosing and not one they’ve internalized by the culture. And that they proceed in creating social change out of that spirituality.

--Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, Practical Spirituality, 2004
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