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Keeping Cool in the Fire: Becoming More Skillful with Inner or Outer Conflict – A Two-Day Training with Donald Rothberg and Lawrence Ellis

Saturday, January 23, 2010, 9am to 5pm and Sunday, January 24, 1 to 5pm

How do we bring our spiritual practice into situations of conflict, whether inner conflict (“Should I stay in this job or relationship?”), interpersonal conflict, or conflict within an organization or community or society? By conflict, we mean a tension or contradiction between goals, intentions, or styles, which may or may not be connected with hostility. For most of us, conflicts are difficult and we often tend to the extremes of either avoiding conflicts or “acting out” when conflicts arise. This occurs particularly because in conflicts we typically have difficult emotions, and thoughts involving blaming and harsh judging of others (or ourselves).

In this two-day training, we will offer perspectives and tools to take home, brought together from Buddhist teachings and the work of mediators and peacemakers, that will help us to understand the nature of conflict; to see conflicts as opportunities for reconciliation, learning, and deepening relationships; to be more skillful when there are difficult emotions and polarizing thoughts; and to cultivate mindfulness and skillful speech in the midst of conflict. We will explore all of this through meditation, short talks, discussion, interactive exercises, and practicing

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