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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Franco-Indian connections deepen through Non-Violent Communication

Aniruddha, an Indian Order Member working in India as a trainer in NVC (Non-Violent Communication) writes -

"Hi. I would like to celebrate and share the article about ‘NVC and Anger’ which appeared in the Indian ‘Guardian Health Chronicle’ recently. This magazine publishes from Delhi and has a circulation of 125,000 readers. It's on-line at

"I am celebrating the way NVC consciousness is spreading in India. I am grateful to the NVC India team and all those people out there who are supporting our activities. Please check the article - I would love to hear your feedback.

"Much love, Aniruddha

What Aniruddha doesn't mention, in his modesty, is that he's the General Manager of NVC India, and just back from a major presentation in France to the first-ever NVC Festival in Paris in early May.

He has a website, reflecting their recent registration as the “Institute of Non-Violent Communication, India.” The new site is still being created, but on the old one you'll find an account of his visit - he writes:

"I was scheduled to make a two-hour presentation on the developments of NVC in India since my last visit to Paris two years ago. We had both imagined about 50 participants – and we realized the day before that there would actually be 200! The room was so full that we were asked to make the presentation on top of a table so that the participants at the back could see us!

"After the traditional and warm welcome à la française by François Dusson, ACNV’s President, I in turn offered a shawl to François as a gift of gratitude from NVC practitioners in India. We are rejoicing, through this symbolic gesture, our deepening Franco-Indian connection!

"The highlight for all of us, and the joy of living moment by moment, came when I shared that it was my wife Suchita’s birthday that day and that I was missing her. Someone in the audience spontaneously suggested we all make a call to India. In next to no time, 200 members of the audience were singing Happy Birthday to Suchita in English and in French through a mobile connection! Suchita, who was in bed, (it was past midnight Indian time) was in shock, as you can imagine!

"It was exciting to arrive at the Forum, with the buzz, the connections, the individual warm welcomes, the various stands set up to promote NVC for practitioners and non-practitioners alike. Several two-hour workshops were planned, including NVC Introductions, NVC and Aikido, NVC and Mediation, Drawing and NVC, and many more… As you can imagine, we were torn trying to decide which to attend!"

Aniruddha will be touring many UK FWBO Centres this summer, thanks to Karuna, who are organising his programme.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

FWBO People II: Aniruddha

This week’s profile in our new series of ‘FWBO People’ features Aniruddha, an Indian Order Member working in the field of ‘NVC’ (Non-Violent Communication).

His professional training in this and other areas has allowed him to make a crucial contribution to TBMSG’s work in India, especially in the areas of ‘capacity building’ and change management. He’s now moving away from this training work to focus on his NVC work – and we’re delighted to be able to celebrate him as he makes this move.

Aniruddha’s website is called ‘Connect to Life, you’ll find it at

His final report, detailing some of the successes (and challenges) in his work with TBMSG and other movement trusts can be found on FWBO Features here. The report focuses especially on what he calls ‘Social Change through Mind Change’, an area where Buddhism and NVC find themselves in especial harmony, able to offer something of great value to the world. He leaves behind a well-established ‘Capacity-Building Team’ to take his work with TBMSG forwards. The team is called ‘Sekho’, a Pali term meaning “One who facilitates learning”.

Coming next for Aniruddha is a major seminar in January up in the Himalayan foothills at Rishikesh. It’s for a wide spectrum of Indian NGOs and will explore ‘NVC and Social Change’. The conference flyer is also on FWBO Features, more details are on the NVC India website, also run by Aniruddha.

Aniruddha is especially keen to be able to offer bursaries to workers for grassroots and less-well-off NGOs, and we’ve set up a donations page to assist in this. He writes –

“I was going to make this request to you some time back but was feeling bit hesitant, may be now I have the courage to do so, as you might be aware that we are inviting NGO’s working for social change from all over india for this seminar at Rishikesh. There will be some NGO’s who cannot afford to pay the seminar fees which is around £30 GBP for 5 days, I would really like to see these NGO’s coming and benefiting from this conference; if you could help me do that, that will be such a great support for me, so that I can put more of my energy in making this conference a success..

£30 will allow someone to attend this conference, which, as Aniruddha says, may bring “about extraordinary transformation in thinking, speaking and acting around the world” If you’d like to donate please visit

We wish Aniruddha all the best in his future plans and work.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Feature article on FWBO News: NVC in the FWBO

A new article has been posted to FWBO News’ Features. Entitled ‘NVC in the FWBO: Heart-to-Heart Communication’, it explores Shantigarbha’s discovery of NVC, or ‘Nonviolent Communication’, and the many parallels he found between NVC and the Dharma. As he puts it himself, “for me this is the deepest connection with the Dharma – this compassionate intention to connect, with a view to enriching the lives of all beings”. And he goes on to say “I’ve found that when people are connected at this heart level, whether they live in a Buddhist community in the UK, the slums of India, war-torn Sri Lanka, or a US prison, they are only a short distance from finding a solution that honours the needs on both sides, where no-one gives in or gives up.”

A growing number of Order Members and others involved in the FWBO have trained in NVC, and Shantigarbha’s article concludes with a directory of those currently offering it in Britain, India, and elsewhere. Click here to read it on FWBO Features.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

NVC and Sociocracy in the FWBO

Shantigarbha is an Order Member living in Cambridge, UK, where he has founded a training business ‘Seed of Peace’. He specialises in ‘Non-Violent Communication’, or NVC, and has recently returned from a six week trip running NVC trainings in India and Sri Lanka, including a live interview introducing it on Sri Lankan TV. Several Order Members have qualified in NVC and are actively involved in training worldwide – Aniruddha and Kumarajiv in India, Locana in the UK, among others.

Next in his schedule is a weekend introduction to ‘Sociocracy’, which is a system for designing (or redesigning) organisations that he feels may be particularly suitable for groups such as the FWBO.

Shantigarbha writes -

“We've arranged for Philip Seligmann, a Sociocratic consultant from the Centre in the Netherlands, to come over to lead a weekend at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre. Philip is on the Board of the Sociocratic Centre, and has brought Sociocracy into several organizations, including the Dutch Buddhist Broadcasting Corporation. The dates are: February 22-24; the Friday evening will be a free Introduction, open to all, and will form the first part of the training for those who stay on for the Saturday and Sunday (10am to 5pm both days)”.

Sociocracy was first introduced to the Order last summer on the biannual Order Convention, after which this report appeared in the Order’s journal ‘Shabda’:

“Sociocracy is a structured way for groups to make decisions & interact with other groups. As such it may be relevant to many situations in the F/WBO and we were interested to hear the NVC community are considering adopting it for much of their internal organisation. It is particularly suitable in situations where everyone needs to be taken into account and where each person needs to be valued equally. More specifically, it is suitable for groups which are interacting regularly and united in aim.

Sociocracy started with an attempt to bring Quaker principles into a Dutch engineering laboratory. Hence the language is technical and the procedures fairly precisely structured. It is something which needs some effort to learn but which, once learned, becomes more and more fluent and flexible. It was noteworthy that Sociocracy can work alongside any conventional leadership system and can be introduced to only one part of an organization or for only one issue.

Some of the basic governing principles are –

• In meetings, some people are elected to temporary roles eg a facilitator
• All organizational processes are seen in terms of circles, with discussion proceeding in 'rounds' eg rounds for clarification/nominations/objections/consent
• All decision-making is by consent (with consent defined as the absence of 'paramount objections' ie no absolute "Nos", ie, a solution which is within everyone's “range of tolerance”)
• Different levels of the organisation are 'double-linked' to ensure smooth information flows up & down & across.

There’s lots more information available on the sociocracy website Personally we were impressed with the clarity of the process and the care taken to ensure everyone has a chance to be heard. However everyone involved in a sociocratic meeting would need to make a significant investment to learn how it works, and while this is happening, meetings could seem slow or cumbersome. Since Shantigarbha wanted us to have some real experience of sociocracy in action, our session could be summarised, not unfairly, as nine Order Members taking an hour to discuss who was going to make a report into Shabda!

Anyone interested in the Cambridge weekend is asked to contact Shantigarbha as soon as possible.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Deepening links between TBMSG and Non-Violent Communication

Marshall RosenbergMany readers of FWBO & TBMSG News will remember the reports a year ago on the 3,500-person ‘Dhammakranti Retreat’, led by Subhuti, which saw Marshall Rosenberg (right) leading many sessions on Non-Violent-Communication (NVC). One year on the event is still remembered with great emotion. Aniruddha, a senior Order Member from India, gives an update -

“It was such a joy to see so many thousands of people from different backgrounds, caste, creed, culture, region and continent, coming together; sitting in silence and practicing meditation to train their mind; learning the art of Nonviolent Communication to train their speech. This retreat was very rightly named “Communication for Change”. In the history of the Buddhist movement in India this Dhammakranti (Revolution of the Dharma) retreat was a big step forward towards creating a casteless society,. In the years to come this will bring about a big social change in India.

“There are only two certified NVC trainers in India, both Order Members. Kumarjeev and myself. We are both now working with NVC in India and internationally. Recently, we were invited by Marshall Rosenberg to his house in New Mexico to participate in a special session dedicated to social change. In this we were declared as assessors for the process of Nonviolent-communication certification in India. As a result we’ve been invited by many organizations to mediate and do conflict resolution and reconciliation. And as a result of that, NVC itself is spreading amongst significant numbers of people associated with our movement in India (TBMSG).

Aniruddha goes on to give an example of his work in India – “Once, I was offering a basic NVC Workshop to around 300 people, when all of a sudden a man stood up and said “I don’t believe that Nonviolent-communication works in present situation, because the place where we live people carry the pistol with them, and when the people standing in front of them know about it they automatically become Nonviolent”. He said to me, “You have to prove me that the Nonviolent-communication really works”. So I instantly did a small role play, where the person concerned came out with his violence and I was able to receive his anger non-violently, and after few transactions of dialogue, the person standing in front calmed down and said - yes now I am convinced that Nonviolent-communication works and gave me a hug. As he was hugging me, I felt as if something was pricking in my abdomen, so I asked the person what’s that? The person took out his pistol which he had tucked under his trousers! I was shocked to see that people come to Nonviolent-communication workshops with pistols tucked under their trousers. But, as soon as I came back from the U.S, the same person invited me to his city in north India to offer an NVC Workshop for his people, and when I went, around 350 people came to my Nonviolent-communication workshop”.

Aniruddha concludes – “One year on the links between the Nonviolent-communication organisation and our Sangha continue to strengthen and deepen. Marshal has been several times to India, and whilst there, has become increasingly aware of the phenomenon of caste and the enormous amount of human suffering and injustice caused by it – as well as increasingly determined to use the resources of NVC to contribute to its abolition. In the recent special session on social change in the U.S. it was decided to set up a NVC project in India, which will support and help to bring equality, self respect and dignity to the oppressed class of India and to eradicate and abolish the caste system from India.

“It is interesting to note that how NVC began as a simple 'language of the heart' to facilitate non-violent communication between individuals, but recently has been employed more and more to work with very difficult conflicts between different communities, tribes, and even countries – and now, the caste system in India.

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