Principles and Practices of Learning about, Integrating, Applying, and Sharing NVC from a Systemic Perspective
The following map represents work undertaken by Inbal Kashtan and Miki Kashtan starting in 2001, and continued by Miki following Inbal’s death, with more and more engagement with others over time, primary among them being Emma Quayle, Verene Nicolas, and Arnina Kashtan. The work to complete it continues and once completed, it is estimated that the total length of the packets will reach over 1,700 pages. Currently, the project is nearing completion and new packets are being added as they become ready. The current estimate is that 41 packets will be complete by December 2022, and the remaining 8 some time in 2023.
Only hyperlinked packets are available for download.
These packets are available to anyone on a gift economy basis. They are offered to anyone who wants them, without any expectation or requirement of money coming to us. We are participating, in this way, in re-seeding the flow of generosity in the world instead of continuing to uphold the exchange economy.
We are inviting you to ask yourself whether you too would like to step into this flow. It’s impossible to quantify the amount of labor that has gone into creating the packets, nor would we ever want to ask for money in exchange for that labor. Rather than acknowledgement of work put in, we ask: do you have a willingness to contribute money to us? This would mean that Miki, in particular, can support NGL’s sustainability with less intensity in terms of her working conditions: either by doing fewer working hours, and/or by having more capacity to hire support and reduce her workload that way. The net benefit will be taking less time to complete the remaining packets that are described below.
We recognize this is unusual and challenging for many people. For that reason, if you just want ease, when you click on a particular packet, you will find an amount with the description of each packet that we trust would support our sustainability sufficiently over time. The choice of that amount is intuitive, and not directly a function of the number of pages or the amount of labor that has gone into the packet being here and available.
We are hoping that many people will avail themselves of these packets freely, without giving us anything, and that many more will be moved by this experiment to give us much more than these somewhat arbitrary amounts. So far, this has been our experience: about half the people who download packets give nothing, and we have received up to $100 for any one packet.
Please consider your needs and ours, and read the above text to help you think through what you are able and willing to give.
Any amount given will support NGL’s sustainability and Miki’s ability to complete this work and bring it to the world now and into the future.
Using these packets in your own coaching, practice groups, etc.
Would you like to know more about using these packets and our materials as you share this work with others? This is an important way NVC becomes more accessible in the world, and we have some requests that will help us to keep making these resources available. Please read here.
Packets in this category are automatically sent to anyone who downloads any other packet. At present, they are not available directly for download.
Introduction to the Learning Packets (7 pages) – This packet includes an explanation of the thinking behind the learning packets project, an orientation to the map of the packets, an introduction to the place of power and privilege considerations within the packets project, and an introduction to the journey of learning, integrating, applying, and sharing that these packets lean on. This packet is included when downloading any other packet.
Nonviolent Global Liberation: A Glossary (not yet ready) – This packet includes descriptions or definitions of the main terms used in any of the packets so that anyone can read any of the packets without needing to read multiple other packets first. We plan to include this packet, when ready, when downloading any other packet.
From Patriarchy to Liberation for All: an Annotated Bibliography (not yet ready) – This packet includes a list of readings: books, articles, and blog posts from Miki that serve as a deep dive into the entire territory of the packets project. The packet also serves as a pointer both from topic to bibliography items and from bibliography items to topics. Each entry also includes a very short introduction about its content and relevance. We plan to include this packet, when ready, when downloading any other packet.
Restoring Choice: Socialization, Liberation, and Integration
Social structures and socialization (19 pages) – This packet provides a systemic context for understanding the way that patriarchal societies reproduce themselves through socialization. This includes an overview of how social systems operate; how collective messages reinforce them; how families serve as the carriers of the process; and how the brain functions within this. This packet also includes a basic description of the patterns, beliefs, and attachments that we form as a result, which explains, with great compassion, how most of us, most of the time, end up supporting the social structures that we are born into. It also includes a list of “needs” that have been distorted by patriarchal conditioning and what the true needs underneath them may be.
Liberation from socialization (18 pages) – This packet begins with an understanding of internalized patriarchy, how it affects us, and what we can do to free ourselves from the resulting deep patterning. Viewing internalized patriarchy as trauma invites us to look at specific tools to take on this task. Looking at how dividing us into groups with more and less power ends up reducing choice for everyone also supports us in grappling with what we can begin to do to grapple with where we do and don’t have privilege. This packet also looks at the shift from personal growth to personal liberation, and at the support structures we need to sustain our journey.
Restoring Choice Using NVC (43 pages) – This packet looks at what NVC principles and practices can support us to restore choice. Beginning with looking at how focusing on the basic four components of NVC practice (observations, feelings, needs, and requests) can each enhance choice, the packet reviews core practices for inner freedom and offers additional practices such as journaling, and support structures such as liberation buddies so as to anchor our commitment to liberation in a world that doesn’t support it.
Working with individuals for liberation (40 pages) – This packet offers tools, perspectives, and practices in support of those whose work in the world is in support of others’ liberation: the building blocks of how to support purpose-based healing; systemic approaches to healing; and supporting others’ relationships to align fully with liberation.
Parenting for the Present and Future by Inbal Kashtan (31 pages) – This packet lays the foundations of an approach to being with children that is dialogical and collaborative. The main article is available here for the first time, along with a few shorter pieces. With a deep awareness of how shifting the actual experience of children is an indispensable part of individual and collective liberation, Inbal’s writing combines radical vision with immediate practical applicability in the here and now of the immense challenges of parenting in our current societies. With great compassion and boldness, in this packet Inbal takes on and offers a way through challenging topics such as limits, parents’ needs, and power, that makes it possible for families to respond to life’s challenges while caring for everyone’s needs as they understand them.
Supporting the next generation – This packet is a minuscule version of one of the most significant projects facing humanity at this time: how to support the continued existence of humanity as a species exemplifying the biology of love by creating the conditions for at least some children to live their lives in a context of full awareness of their needs, including for multi-age community, choice, and meaning. It includes information about the maternal gift economy as our deepest species makeup and a path still available to us in how to engage with children; how to make decisions collaboratively with children; and how to create alternatives to schooling that can support everyone in learning and sharing knowledge freely.
Core Elements of the Compass by Arnina Kashtan – This packet contains all the elements of The Compass that have been translated into English. The Compass is an approach to individual liberation rooted in an understanding of how, within the context of patriarchal societies, the brain, the family, and society all combine in our socialization to create patterns, vows, and core beliefs that intefere with our capacity to live from the flow of our being. This modality has been integrated into the NGL approach, especially within the Vision Mobilization framework in its application to individuals.
Purpose and Values: Vision Mobilization, Collaborative Systems, and Seeding the Future
The NGL approach recognizes purpose as a key entryway into transforming individual and collective ways of being. As it applies to groups, communities, organizations, and movements, this approach focuses on creating systems that align with purpose and values as a way to support capacity instead of slipping into patriarchal training and norms.
Mobilizing toward Vision (39 pages) – This packet documents all the steps necessary, both for individuals and organizations, to orient toward vision, map current reality, derive values and purpose to anchor internal and external movement toward vision, assess capacity and identify a theory of change, and create agreements and systems to make tangible and support movement toward the vision. It is based on years of learning and application in the field by multiple people.
Organizational Systems Overview (33 pages) – This packet is an in-depth exploration of organizational systems and their relationship with vision, purpose, and values; the shifts that point each of the systems toward vision; the immense task of bridging the gap between capacity and commitment; increasing collective capacity; and a deep look at the impact of power relations within organizations.
Decision Making Systems: From Either/Or to Integration (31 pages) – This packet is an intensive introduction to decision-making systems that support the principle of integration. It includes the components of decision-making systems; the principles of integrative decision-making; tools and processes that support integrative decision making; and power considerations within decision-making systems.
Resource Flow Systems: From Incentive to Willingness (36 pages) – This packet is an introduction to resource flow systems that support the principle of willingness. It includes the components of resource flow systems; the implications of the principle of willingness and of the maternal gift economy for how resources flow, including material and non-material resources; tools and processes that support resource flow; and power considerations within resource flow systems.
Information Flow Systems: From Control to Transparency (17 pages) – This packet is an introduction to information flow systems that support the principle of transparency. It includes the components of information flow systems; the challenges of adopting transparency as well as approaches that support useful and meaningful transparency; key questions and methods that support the process of choosing and implementing information platforms and agreements; and power considerations within information flow systems.
Feedback Flow Systems: From Performance to Learning (31 pages) – This packet is a thorough introduction to setting up a feedback system designed for ongoing learning about how to work towards purpose in line with values and in progressively collaborative relationships. It includes both the systemic steps and the skills for giving and receiving useful feedback, as well as a section on power considerations related to feedback flow.
Conflict Engagement: From Consequences to Capacity (44 pages) – This packet is a basic introduction to understanding conflict at the systemic level, what it means to create a system for conflict as distinct from how to individually engage with conflicts, and some support in setting up a conflict system that explicitly and concretely challenges the avoidant and then punitive approach to conflict, focusing, instead, on increasing capacity within any conflict field as a way to engage with the conflict in service to purpose and values. The packet concludes with an exploration of the role of power relations in conflict fields and conflict engagement.
Restoring Togetherness: Interdependence, Dialogue, and Collaboration
Restoring togetherness goes against the basic form of functioning that patriarchy has established based on separation and control. It puts at the center needs and interdependence in establishing collaboration. Given the depth of separation, the practices of interdependence require a high degree of commitment and support structures.
Restoring Togetherness Using NVC (37 pages) – This packet includes both theory and practices in relation to transcending our collective disconnection from each other and the larger web of interdependence. The theoretical areas of focus are on interdependence and notions of self-sufficiency and lack of mattering. The core focus of the practices is to restore connection and learn the art of dialogue and collaboration.
Needs Choreography in a Fractured World (40 pages) – This packet is an intensive introduction to the art of needs choreography and dialogue. It provides theory, principles, and practices for creating togetherness with others, even in difficult circumstances, as the foundation for addressing challenges of all kinds. It is premised on the understanding that, within capacity, any of us can hold the whole in dialogue, put our own needs on the table, hold others’ needs empathically, and guide everyone towards a path that works for all.
Connecting across Differences (33 pages) – As difficult as dialogue generally is, it becomes even more difficult in the face of differences of all kinds. This packet provides basic principles and guidelines for how to approach such situations with humility, grace, and compassion. The variety of differences that this packet touches on are moral and political differences which challenge us to maintain togetherness; differences in power which make putting everyone’s needs on the table and looking at impacts and resources together exceedingly difficult; and cross-cultural situations involving different cues and norms about relationships.
Creating Relationships and Communities that Defy Patriarchy (48 pages) – This packet focuses on the possibilities that open up when we make purpose the key organizing principle of how we orient to all our intimate relationships, whether sexual or not, as well as to building community with others. Making purpose primary as a way to mobilize towards vision invites us to embrace choice within togetherness, progressively more shared risk in terms of resources, and collective decision-making that includes impacts on everyone. This makes it possible to dramatically increase our collective capacity to restore choice, togetherness, and flow.
Organizational Collaboration Principles and Practices (56 pages) – This packet takes a deep and wide look at what collaboration entails and how we can overcome the challenges that our patriarchal conditioning creates for us when we aim to restore our evolutionary capacity for collaboration. This applies both to collaboration in any context as well as as collaboration within the context of a shared purpose, including within an organizational context. This includes an introduction to organizational systems and a basic description of what interpersonal collaboration looks like within an organizational context.
Scarcity, Separation, and Powerlessness: Patriarchy, History, and Economics
This part of the NGL framework is the most intellectually dense and provides vital anchor points in understanding why we focus on patriarchy and systems, and how to bring sufficient tenderness to this legacy that we can begin to move anywhere without recreating it all the time.
Why Patriarchy Matters: Making Sense of how We Got Here (56 pages) – This packet contains an introduction to a particular framework about patriarchy. It addresses a host of questions such as: How did patriarchy come about? What really is patriarchy and how does it operate? What does understanding the history of how we got here give us in terms of liberation? How do scarcity, separation, and powerlessness, the building blocks of patriarchy, affect us to this day? What is the relationship between capitalism and patriarchy? And, finally, how do we begin the journey of creating a field of love large enough to surround the patriarchal field?
Annotated Bibliography – This packet includes a list of readings: books, articles, and blog posts from Miki that serve as a deep dive into this field, organized by topic, with a very short introduction to each piece named.
Restoring Flow: Nonviolence, Systemic Change, the Commons, and the Gift Economy
Our understanding of nonviolence spans the entire range from the most internal (seeing NVC and nonviolence more generally as a spiritual practice) to the most global (a detailed picture of a fully collaborative global governance design).
Embracing Nonviolence as an Orientation to Life (38 pages) – This packet includes a detailed and thorough introduction to the core principles of nonviolence as Gandhi and Martin Luther King practiced it and offered it to the world, as well as many practices that support integration of this orientation. Part of the process of embracing nonviolence is bringing in compassion for the difficulty of the journey by delineating the difference between commitment and capacity, and how often the latter lags behind the former. It also includes a section the relationship between trauma, patriarchy, and nonviolence and a section on experiments with truth, one of Gandhi’s core practices.
All-in: Fully Committing to a Life of Nonviolence (44 pages) – This packet is a thorough introduction to 34 core commitments that, between them, form one way of understanding what a commitment to nonviolence means for an individual living in a violent, patriarchal world. Each commitment is presented in a 500-word, one-page deep description that includes a specific practice. The packet also includes an introduction to the commitments and suggested ways of using them. (Jan 2021 note: we anticipate a revised edition of this packet, fully designed and with images, by early March. Feel free to come back here then and download the next version again.)
Restoring Flow Using NVC (57 pages) – This packet includes both theory and practices in relation to transcending our collective loss of trust in life and flow. The theoretical areas of focus are on money, notions of deserve, accumulation, exchange, and more aspects of scarcity consciousness. The core focus of the practices is to restore generosity and flow.
Practical Aspects of Restoring Flow (41 pages) – This packet starts with how to use the Vision Mobilization framework to anchor the journey of restoring flow. It includes need-based financial agreements, design principles for a global gift economy, and how principles of flow can support visionary leadership.
Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past (73 pages) – This packet contains a thorough introduction to both theory and practices about how to apply nonviolence, and specific NVC practices, in the context of social activism. It spans the whole gamut from the inner shift towards nonviolence through how to engage in constructive program and all the way to designing campaigns that fully embrace nonviolence.
Indigenous Wisdom for the Western Mind – This packet emerges from deep reverence for the ways of being that humans developed before the patriarchal turn and which some cultures have managed to preserve despite colonization and other forms of exposure to scarcity, separation, and powerlessness. It is a humble attempt to engage with written work and relationships with specific people who are still carriers of the principles and orientation to life that are essential for realigning humanity with life.
Creating Shared-Risk Communities – This packet provides tools, frameworks, and templates for how to approach the transformative task of creating a shared risk community. It includes different elements of risk ranging from life decisions to material resources; ways of discerning how far to go along which dimension of shared risk; and much that is gleaned from previous experiments in creating such communities.
Caring for the Whole: Leadership and Facilitation
Collaborative leadership and group facilitation are based on reweaving the fabric of togetherness through an ongoing commitment to caring for the whole, beyond self, beyond this or that specific group. Given how deeply committed to control patriarchy is, this focus requires rigorous relearning about how to use power with others instead of over others or rejecting power and leadership altogether, as many committed to transformation tend to do.
Leadership as a Way of Life (26 pages) – This packet includes both theory and practices to prepare for the transition from focusing primarily on individual integration to taking on an orientation to life as leadership, caring for the whole and serving life through the quality of our being and through bringing our skills and consciousness to bear on how we engage with our environment, leaning on feminism and nonviolence as sources of inspiration for the depth of transformation of both caring and leadership.
Principles and Practices for Collaborative Leadership (9 pages) – This packet engages provides support in navigating the transition from collaboration and leadership existing as challenges to each other and into integrating principles of collaboration and leadership, especially in terms of the shift towards using power with others when collaborating across power differences.
Nonviolent Facilitation as a Path to the Future (22 pages) – This packet includes many principles and practices for how to facilitate in alignment with the paradigm of nonviolence, which essentially means bringing courage, truth, and love to facilitation. This includes how to focus on purpose in each moment to guide choices; how to choose when and how to be transparent, and about what; how to track what unfolds in the group moment by moment; and how to use the full range of our humanity, own our power, and make decisions about process while leaving content mostly to the group. The packet also includes support for co-facilitation, facilitating from the sidelines, and engaging with challenges in groups.
Convergent Facilitation Primer (34 pages) – This packet is a basic introduction to Convergent Facilitation for anyone who works with groups, without any prior knowledge of group facilitation.
Learning, Integrating, Applying, and Sharing NVC
NVC is a tool of liberation, a set of principles and practices that supports movement towards restoring individual and collective capacity to live in choice, togetherness, and choice, and a lens through which we can make sense of all life. At the heart of NVC is the understanding that all actions are attempts to meet needs that are shared by all humans.
Learning about NVC
NVC Basics (29 pages) – Want to understand the basics of what Nonviolent Communication looks like and how you can begin your own practice? This is the one for you.
NVC Expression as Honesty, Responsibility, and Care (24 pages) – How can we express all what is in us to other people while caring for connection and impact? How do we know what to express, for what purpose, and how? This is what this packet explores.
Requests, “Yes”, and “No” (25 pages) – So many of us have been trained not to ask for anything that we rarely know how to ask, what to ask for, what to do when someone says “no”, and how to respond to other people’s requests of us. All this, in this packet.
Empathy for Self and Others: a Compendium (45 pages) – This packet is a thorough exposition of everything you ever wanted to know about empathy: why we do it, when to do it, how it changes in different contexts, and so much more. The packet includes a section about empathy for ourselves and a section about how we can increase our capacity to receive empathy from others.
NVC Theory (24 pages) – This one is the nerdy packet. It’s designed for those who truly love ideas and want to understand the bits and pieces of what makes NVC what it is.
NVC as a Path of Liberation (52 pages) – This packet includes an introduction to why the choice of “nonviolent” in the name of the practice; understanding the impact of the patriarchal paradigm of scarcity, separation, and powerlessness; and how NVC can be used as a set of principles and practices to support us in restoring choice, togetherness, and flow
Naturalizing the Language of NVC (10 pages) – If you are like many people, you like the idea of what NVC makes possible, and are worried that using a formula can interfere with the results. This packet walks you through many practices and ideas for how to stay authentic, in high integrity, and committed without turning off other people.
Applying NVC in the World
Introduction to Applying NVC in the World (36 pages) – This packet includes basic information about the variety of ways that NVC can be used in the world, with basic pointers about each of them: leadership, engaging with children, working with individuals, working with groups, working within and supporting organizations, nonviolence and social change, and liberation from social oppression. It contains pointers to other packets and references to additional materials
Principle-Based Teaching of NVC (44 pages) – This packet contains information needed to approach the sharing of NVC explicitly with others from a perspective of principles. This means that all practices and specific forms are rooted in an understanding of why they are done, linking it to the specific experiences and challenges of the people who are learning about NVC. It is designed to be used by people who have already had deep integration of NVC and significant experience with applying NVC in the world first, before sharing it with others.
Practical Aspects of Sharing NVC (61 pages) – This packet contains a host of tips, bits of theory, and activities that can support the sharing of NVC with others. It’s based on years of running the BayNVC Leadership Program.
NVC in the Body (79 pages) – This packet contains three processes developed by Inbal (Miki’s sister) and one process developed by Miki. All of them are designed to support integration of NVC at a deeper level through engaging the body. They are primarily intended for use by people experienced in NVC who are applying and sharing it with others. The first is called “NVC Tree of Life” and is a visual format for introducing NVC. The second is called “BodyNVC” and is a process for exploring feelings and needs in the body, with instructions for several applications. The third is called “Self-Integration” which is a process for working with ourselves when we are pulled in different directions. The fourth and last is called “Gesture-Based NVC Activities” and includes many examples as a well as a methodology for developing more such activities for consciousness milestones.
Inner Work for NVC Trainers (27 pages) – This packet includes an introduction to what it means to live as an NVC trainer, beyond simply knowing how to teach. It includes both reference materials as well as a major collection of journals and reflection questions to solidify the inner commitments that such a life entails.
Power, Privilege, and Liberation
All patriarchal societies have profound divisions between people rooted in the extraction of resources from the many for the material benefit of the few. Such divisions are kept in place through systemic violence and through being internalized in all of us, regardless of our social location. Developing unconditional, unilateral, and universal solidarity from wherever we are on the power map of the world towards everyone else requires immense capacity and is pivotal to being able to come together to create the conditions for humanity to realign with life.
Liberation for All, Part One: Understanding Liberation, Power, and Privilege (47 pages) – This packet is a deep introduction to an approach to the study of power and privilege from a perspective that incorporates love, NVC principles and practices, and a core understanding of the enormous challenges that entrenched and semi-invisible power differences bring to us.
Liberation for All, Part Two: Walking towards Individual Liberation – Liberation, as defined by Erica Sherover-Marcuse, “is both the undoing of the effects and the elimination of the causes of social oppression.” This packet focuses on what we can do as individuals to understand the systems that keep us divided and powerless, how we can walk towards individual liberation, and what we can do, along the way, to support each other on this journey and to choose the path of liberation for all.
Liberation for All, Part Three: Walking towards Collective and Systemic Liberation – This packet continues from where the second part left off to take on the extremely difficult questions that arise when we branch beyond individual liberation and into the territory of how we can move towards liberation together with others, including people who are not, themselves, on the liberation journey. This includes, in particular, how we conceptualize and engage with sharing impacts across power differences and how we can begin to attend to the systemic level of the challenges by creating agreements that are anchored behaviorally within everyone’s capacity and willingness. Liberation for all is an exacting practice, especially when we make no exceptions.
Integrating Power, Privilege, and Liberation into Sharing NVC with Others
(43 pages) – This packet includes information about how to speak with others about the often charged topics of power and privilege from within a needs lens, how power differences influence what we each observe, what feelings are available to us, what needs of ours are more or less likely to be attended to, how easily we can make requests or respond to others’ requests, and how we offer or receive empathy. In addition, it includes practices that can be taught even within introductory NVC workshops, that can support people in attending to power differences.