Monday, March 16, 2009

Greetings, Marshall, Valentina, Margo, Board and LT members, CNVC Staff,
Trainers and Candidates,

Back in April, 2006, I felt on fire with inspiration and gratitude to be
involved with CNVC. Jori and I had moved to California a few months before
so she could become the interim director. Although I had great admiration
(and trepidation) for her willingness to take that on, I had more interest
in cooking her dinner than doing the work of an ED.

One way I did contribute was by helping out answering the phone during
office staff meetings. I especially enjoyed connecting with folks in our
network, even when they were unhappy. That experience really helped me to
sharpen my skills of presence.

Once, I listened to someone who reported feeling very angry about some
things that had transpired in the past between them and CNVC. It seemed
hard for this person to connect with any gratitude for anything that CNVC
had done. I remember feeling confused and sad about this.

Connecting to my need for acknowledgment and gratitude inspired me to write
a blog post entitled “More than 50 ways CNVC has contributed to me”. In
light of Glenda’s recent request to inquire about our Appreciation, I dug it
back out, dusted it off, revised it and offer it again in the Spirit of

Thanks, Glenda, for making your request to connect to gratitude around my
relationship to CNVC. Although the past couple of years have offered me
challenges to keeping my heart open in my dealings with CNVC, number 1 on my
current list of gratitudes is the growth and liberation that those
interactions have inspired in me.

Right now, when I think of Marshall, The CNVC leadership and staff, and the
network of Certified Trainers, candidates, practitioners and Friends, I'm
savoring warmth and appreciation...

“More than 50 ways CNVC has contributed to me”

1. Co-sponsored the mediation training where I first met Marshall (a golden
oldie!) (and a life transforming event!)

2. Organized the first IIT I attended in Puerto Rico (another golden oldie)

3. Offered Special Sessions that included NVC practitioners from around the
world to work directly with Marshall, inspiring social transformation

4. Provide a website with a listing of me and my training offerings,
accessible by anyone anywhere with a computer

5. Give me a logo and a "brand" with ever increasing recognition

6. Give me a community wherever I go in the world

7. Open doors for me because of Marshall's reputation and the inspiration
his work continues to engender

8. Answer the phone whenever I call for support

9. Answer an email whenever I need support

10. Act as a warehouse for my book and material sales

11. Ship me books and other materials whenever I want, at a discount that
helps to support me

12. Certify me as a trainer, and thus open doors for me

13. Offer me the opportunity for a tax deductible donation to a cause I
believe in

14. Make and keep agreements to protect the Nonviolent Communication service
mark and copyrights

15. Make and keep agreements to provide me with an ever-increasing number of
materials: books, cds, videos, cassettes, pamphlets, newsletters, puppets,
ears, etc

16. Give me a list of skilled people in every part of the world to help me
connect my friends and family with NVC

17. Give me a network of people to support me in growing myself, my
practice, my training offerings

18. Give me a source for inspirational stories, testimonials, etc

19. Provide me with sound bytes of Marshall wisdom

20. Built a network and community of 200+ Certified trainers of which I am a

21. Built a network of hundreds of local NVC supporters around the world

22. Organize and implement Marshall's schedule which continues to be a
primary way NVC is spread throughout the world

23. Offers scholarships to folks to assist them to attend training when they
do not otherwise have the means to do so

24. Act as a central clearinghouse for information and other resources.

25. Offers and provides supportive services to a Board of Directors to guide
the mission and vision of CNVC and NVC

26. Maintains tax exempt charity status in the USA

27. Offers free materials to those who have a need but not the ability to

28. Offers open board and other meetings to contribute to transparency and

29. Offers access to provide blogs on

30. Offers resources for my students to access on the website

31. Fosters connection through promoting e-groups

32. Offers a feedback mechanism through the CNVC website to collect
appreciations and mournings related to CNVC decisions

33. Fosters worldwide community through the Global Community Circle.

34. Struggles to create a life serving system within a domination structure

35. Offers ongoing training to CNVC staff

36. Offers IIT's in Europe and the USA

37. Offers a mechanism to connect trainers with requests for training
throughout the world

38. Offers a community of trainers connected through yearly reports and our
yahoo group

39. Does fund-raising to continue to support the work

40. Is beginning to live the dream of a multi-lingual organization

41. Protects the copyright and service mark for my use as a certified

42. Provides resources that I can use to make my own materials in my

43. Provides resources that I can use to continue to deepen my practice of

44. Re-opened the Certification path for folks near completion while
continuing to work on revamping the system

45. Provides inspiration and support to spiritual seekers in many
traditions, and those who are hungry for spirituality "outside" a tradition

46. Sponsors the gratitude project

47. Provided me the opportunity to volunteer in meaningful projects, like
the GCC, staff training and LT

48. Contributed to my financial sustainability and opportunities for
community by inviting me to organize several IITs and Special Sessions

49. Provided me with the opportunity to meet and make life-long friends
among the CNVC board and staff, especially Danielle, William, Dot, John
Buck, The Wileys, Stefan, Dee and Miguel

50. Introduced me to open space, sociocracy and many other valuable tools
and technologies

51. Created and fostered a training network that fulfilled my need to learn
NVC by providing me with quality trainers and collaborators (especially
Marshall Rosenberg, Christa Morf, Jorge Rubio, Eva Rambala, John Kinyon, Wes
Taylor, Robert Gonzales, John Cunningham, Towe Wildstrand, Sura Hart, Sylvia
Haskvitz, Lucy Leu, Rodger Sorrow, Anne Bouritt, Kirsten Kristensen,
Karsten, Schact-Petersen, Marianne Gothlin, Liv Larson, Andreas Basu,
Dominic Barter, Gary Baran, Miki and Inbal Kashtan, Gregg Kendrick, Mary
MacKenzie, Bridget Belgrave, Gina Lawrie, Catherine Cadden, Myra Walden,
Jeff Brown, Susan Skye, Liv Monroe, Barbara Larson, Jacob Gotwals, Jack
Lehman, Hawkeye Landis, Rita Herzog, and last but from least, Jori

I’m guessing if I tried, I could come up with 50 more!

Would you be willing to say how you feel, right now, connecting to this with

With Celebration,


*It was massively fun for me to make this list of my teachers. I'm sad that
it is likely that I inadvertently left someone off the list. This means
more about the state of my memory that the impact you all have had on me!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Greetings, friends,

I recently received the online newsletter for Upaya, a Zen center in Santa Fe.

I felt touched reading the following Declaration. It also stimulated sadness in me, because I care about transforming systems in a more life-serving, life-enriching way. So, below is the response I wrote to the declaration...

Text of a card that you can carry in your wallet to express your principles regarding the death penalty:

“I, the undersigned, being of sound mind and memory, do hereby in the presence of witnesses make this Declaration about the preciousness of life. Should I die as a result of a violent crime, I request that the person or persons found guilty of homicide for my killing not be subject to or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumstances, no matter how heinous their crime or how much I may have suffered. The death penalty would only increase my suffering. 

I request that the Prosecutor or District Attorney having the jurisdiction of the person or persons alleged to have committed my homicide not file or prosecute an action for capital punishment as a result of my homicide. 

This Declaration is not meant to be, and should not be taken as, a statement that the person or persons who have committed my homicide should go unpunished. 

I request that my family and friends take whatever actions are necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this Declaration and request them to take no action contrary to this Declaration.

My response:

Dear Ones,

I'm touched by the Spirit of the wallet card you all offer in the latest newsletter, because the preciousness of Life is dear to me for it offers an opportunity to awaken.

Although no one can argue with the effectiveness of the death penalty (the offender is guaranteed never to offend again!), the cost of state-sponsored violence and retribution is too great for me to bear. Retribution and vengeance almost always stimulate fear and submission to external authority, and even 21st century forensic science cannot guarantee the elimination of the chance that an innocent person is killed by the state.

I am also deeply saddened reading the line, “This Declaration is not meant to be, and should not be taken as, a statement that the person or persons who have committed my homicide should go unpunished”, because I see that punishment of any kind reinforces the thinking of vengeful duality that perpetuates so much suffering. Until we heal from the thinking that any one of us deserves to be punished, none of us will be truly liberated!

Study after study consistently shows that punishment does not increase the likelihood of an "offender" refraining from taking actions that do not contribute to mutual well-being. In fact, punishment, from shaming to spanking to punitive imprisonment, all increase the likelihood that future offenses will occur. The death penalty is the only exception, at least in the current incarnation! If punishment works, why are our prisons and jails increasing their populations faster than we can build new cells?

For me, it calls into question what our reasons are for requesting the behavior we would like...Do we want submission out of fear of retributive punishment or would we prefer respect for authority because it is easy to connect with the good reasons (protection of life, clarity, safety, etc.) that motivate rules, laws and the like?

So, if I carry a card in my wallet, I intend to replace the text in the third paragraph with the following:

"This Declaration is not meant to be, and should not be taken as, a statement that the person or persons who have committed my homicide should go without an opportunity to restore their place in society. Likewise, it does not indicate that society should go unprotected from persons who behave violently or without regard to mutual well-being. I encourage both the protective use of force (including state custody) and the implementation of restorative justice strategies to bring society, my family and the offender back into wholeness."

I would enjoy receiving your responses to this letter.


Jim Manske