12/6/15 ~ Live the Questions…

Given that the holiday season is upon us, I thought to share a blog post, and related tele-class, by a favorite NVC teacher of mine:

Join Miki Kashtan monthly to discuss the recent posts on her blog.

The next (free) Fearless Heart Teleseminar is scheduled for Sunday, December 6, 10:30am PT and Monday, December 7, 5:30pm PT

Read Miki Kashtan’s latest Fearless Heart blog:

MIKI’S BLOG — About | The Fearless Heart

Nonviolent Communication, Christianity, and Notions of Right and Wrong

Nonviolent Communication, Christianity, and Notions of Right and Wrong

DECEMBER 5 / 2015  ~  Recently, I received a question from a student about the compatibility of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) with Christianity given that the NVC worldview speaks of a world beyond right and wrong, and this person’s understanding of Christianity is rooted in those very notions.  Although I have often received and addressed similar … read more


You can find all of the call recordings for the 2015 calls here

What’s Up Next?


Sunday, December 6, 2015 ~ Live the Questions…

Inquiry:  How do you live the questions?


This blog post was inspired by a well-known passage by Rilke…

A favorite quote of mine:

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke — Letters To A Young Poet – #4

Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters To A Young Poet (with Dennis Hopper)

I once heard Elizabeth Lesser, author of The Seeker’s Guide, delineate between religion and spirituality — which dovetails nicely with Rilke — by defining religion as offering answers (sometimes beautiful ones) while spirituality is more about the questions.

To see someone else’s take on this idea:  Elizabeth Lesser Defines ‘Spiritual vs. Religious’

“The rose [is] tightly wound around itself… Like we all feel so much every day — tightly wound, anxious, shut down,” Elizabeth Lesser says. “In order for that bud to open and blossom into the flower we love so much, it has to break its shell. It has to break open.”

For practicality’s sake, on our call, we’ll experiment with a few possibilities, utilizing NVC, such that we may engage as a seeker, “living-the-questions”:

Image result for gift

  •  To question the gift —

    What potential gift-of-insight might be gleaned from any circumstance (i.e. how another’s irritating conduct might serve as a mirror for our own blind-spot/shadowy tendencies; in other words, once we’ve done the traditional identification our unmet needs, looking beyond to explore any insights that may further arise).

Image result for principle

  • To question the principle —

Identify the underlying NVC principle/intention (see also:  Key Assumptions/Intentions) which may be in play at any given moment:

Identify an NVC Orientation

Table courtesy of the work of Miki Kashtan:

Approaches to NVC:  What “is” NVC?  Below are some ideas people have of what NVC “is”.  Some may have combinations of these ideas or other ideas.  You might add some of your own.

Principle Related Needs Strategies
NVC as “life in the moment”, play, joy Joy Focus on what I want, is it joyful for me
NVC as self-empowerment & self-responsibility Choice and power Focus on my needs and finding strategies to meet them; mourning unmet needs; making requests of self & others to move towards the life I want
NVC as self-empathic, self-compassionate process Self-connection, self-acceptance, learning to live what is (even unmet needs) Focus on self-empathy; compassion for myself
NVC as a process for authentic connection with oneself and others Authenticity, vulnerability Focus on what’s most true for me and share from the heart
NVC as a way to embody compassion, connection Compassion Focus on responding with empathy
NVC as a way to hold everyone’s needs with care Harmony, peace, integrity Focusing on both people’s needs
NVC as a way to be present to joy and suffering:  to see ‘what is’ Peace, liberation, joy, understanding Focusing on the life of the moment in oneself and  the world, transforming only ideas of what ‘should’ be
NVC as inner freedom Choice, growth Recognizing and acting from true needs instead of impulse, habits, ‘shoulds’ or rebellion
NVC as non-attachment to the outcomes of interactions with people Learning, discovery, joy Freely offer our needs as gifts and focus on hearing others’ needs as a gift to us
NVC as a tool for living in line with my values and being true to myself Authenticity, integrity, transparency, honesty, care, courage Choosing actions that honor my values and needs
  • To question our thoughts/beliefs…

In the video clip beneath, Arnina Kashtan mentions self-inquiry — a process which allows us to question our thoughts/beliefs (a.k.a. ‘jackal show’) utilizing NVC and her unique blend of other modalities (such as the construct of the inner child along with The Work of Byron Katie, see compass diagram further down).

Image result for compass

Arnina on self-inquiry…

Arnina Kashtan’s Compass:

The Compass Scheme

See also:  Do The Work & Tools to Do The Work



Three potential ways to ‘live the questions’ (utilizing NVC):

  1. Discover any gifts (of insight) that identifying underlying needs has illuminated (Jim & Jori Manske’s Finding-the-Gift-in-Everything presentation in November via Compassionate Leadership);
  2. Become mindful of any particular focus/emphasis/orientation, as an NVC practitioner (Miki Kashtan’s principle-based approach);
  3. Engage with an exploratory process of self-inquiry (Arnina Kashtan’s compass).

Deep Relaxation: Meditation Music and Ranier Maria Rilke Letters

Living the questions (politically-speaking):

Have you ever had a climate moment?

Let’s share them. #MyClimateMoment

Mine was viewing:


Because Americans need this.

Climate change is simple: David Roberts

See also:  Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re … – Grist

One of the questions that we will live, as a species (as one species that shares a planet with myriad other species, now sadly rapidly dwindling), in the coming years, decades, even centuries is whether we’ll inhabit a 1.5/2 degrees warmer planet or something much more grave (pardon the pun, complete with its catastrophic implications).  And what’s happening in Paris right now, and what will unfold both on and under the ground in the coming handful of years, will likely be determinative of how this question will be answered.  Note, too, the consequential variable of Climate Change Denial Denial.

Draft Agreement for Paris Climate Negotiators

Nearly 200 Nations Agree On Climate Change Draft Plan –

As it’s currently written, the draft agreement lays out three broad goals:

  • “To hold the increase in the global average temperature [below 1.5 °C] [or] [well below 2 °C] above preindustrial levels by ensuring deep reductions in global greenhouse gas [net] emissions; (continues)


Congress Moves to Sabotage the Paris Climate Summit

“If you have time to read one book on this subject, I highly recommend the new “Big World, Small Planet,” by Johan Rockstrom, director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, and Mattias Klum, whose stunning photographs of ecosystem disruptions reinforce the urgency of the moment.” ~ Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times

Excerpt:  Table-of-Contents/Preface/Ten-Key-Messages


It’s a Through-The-Looking-Glass world. The Washington Post reports Sunday that ExxonMobil has a far saner view of global warming than the national Republican party.

Fred Hiatt, the paper’s centrist editorial page editor, drops this bombshell:

With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.

This is indeed basic climate science.


A Path for Climate Change, Beyond Paris

NYT:  Stuff Happens to the Environment, Like Climate Change

Friedman:  “We’re sitting on these planetary boundaries right now, argues Rockstrom, and if these systems flip from one stable state to another — if the Amazon tips into a savannah, if the Arctic loses its ice cover and instead of reflecting the sun’s rays starts absorbing them in water, if the glaciers all melt and cannot feed the rivers — nature will be fine, but we will not be.”

Mary Oliver — Listening to the World

Democracy Now: Climate Change

Paris Climate Summit 2015

NYT: Paris Climate Change Conference 2015

Nature:  Climate optimism builds ahead of Paris talks

Image result for paris climate change pledges

NYT:  The Climate Change Pledges Are In. Will They Fix Anything?

Paris 2015: Tracking country climate pledges – Carbon Brief

INDCs – Intended Nationally Determined Contributions

Image result for paris climate change pledges

By National Geographic

Video clips beneath are about two minutes in length, apiece:

2 Degrees Warmer: Ocean Life in Danger

3 Degrees Warmer: Heat Wave Fatalities

4 Degrees Warmer: Great Cities Wash Away

5 Degrees Warmer: Civilization Collapses

6 Degrees Warmer: Mass Extinction?

Documentary in its entirety (approximately an hour& a half):
Six degrees could change the world


That moment when climate change becomes deep, urgent, and …


Conclusion (via Grist.org):

So we got to thinking, what is it about certain experiences that makes you feel and understand something in a new way? Why do some things — articles, glaciers, conversations, ideas — hit you in a way that changes how you see? How is it that, after years of intellectualizing climate change, unpredictable bouts of clarity make it suddenly deep, urgent, and personal?

It turns out a lot of us at the office had experienced a climate moment: One person attended a conference that made her realize climate change was serious enough to consider not having children; another interviewed a farmer in Mississippi who told him the South would have to feed America when drought destroyed the West; and another is still haunted by the first image she saw of a stranded polar bear, back before it was cliche.

It seems like the moments that helped us understand the gravity of climate change have the potential to inspire others. If these moments sparked something within us, maybe sharing them can spark something too.

So, have you ever had a climate moment?

Let’s share them. #MyClimateMoment


FYI ~ Mine own:

Theme for May 2014 ~ Honoring Our Pain

Theme for June 2014 ~ Seeing with New Eyes


This entry was posted in Insight-oriented, Practice Resources - Kashtan, Principle-Based, Spirituality/Religion, What's Up Next? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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