2012 Fall/Spring Practice Period • September 9th to November 25th
(Practice periods in many traditions coincide with the seasons. As our community will have people from both hemispheres we honor all seasons taking place simultaneously. The season named first reflects where Jesse and Catherine will be sitting for the practice period)
"In the shifting sands of life, it has been an anchor. When I'm in the midst of anger, ... I can take time to offer myself empathy and compassion. Sometimes I can do this and sometimes I can't but each time I get closer to the person I'd like to be."
- Ongo participant, March 2012
Traditional ango is a three month time of intensive Zen practice set in the monastery, an environment that supports the cultivation of wisdom and compassion. Today, many of us need this kind of support in our life at home, work, and in the world, where wisdom and compassion can seem most distant. ZENVC OngoWe call it "Ongo" both in respect to the tradition and as shorthand for "ongoing practice", for that is the essence of this intensive is a three month intensive that anyone can participate in using the phone and Web, offering direct, personal guidance from experienced teachers and compassionate support from a global community of practitioners. By bringing together teachings and practices from Zen and Vipassana Buddhism with those of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), we will develop our skillfulness, depth of compassion and awareness, both on-and-off the meditation cushion. You do not need to be familiar with Buddhism or NVC to participate.
- DEEPEN your awareness and connection to Self through meditation and applying Buddhist teachings to everyday life situations
- EXPAND your ability to respond and be present in the world by using the skillful means of Nonviolent Communication
- Cultivate SUPPORT from teachings and teachers who walk their talk, and companionship through a leader-full international community that shares your deep intention and commitment
- Through phone, email, and Web, we will bring the temple to you:
- Daily - Emails with specific practices and teachings for your day, including guided audio meditations and video examples.
- Weekly - "Wisdom Hall" tele-gathering with Catherine, Jesse and the community for teachings, connection, and practice (Sept.9-Nov.25, 5-6:30 PM U.S. ET/ 9:00-10:30 PM GMT)
- Weekly - Call with a fellow community member for support and practice.
- Monthly - One-on-one private phone consultation for deepening learning with Catherine or Jesse (scheduled individually).
- Anytime - Access to the "Tea Garden" online forum for discussion, support, and live chat with Catherine, Jesse, and the community.
Find out more about Ongo in this video message from ZENVC Ongo co-leader Jesse Wiens
The nature of a phone and email-based practice period is that it requires extra commitment on the part of the participants to give it the focus and depth found in traditional monastic environments. To promote this focus and depth, we ask that anyone considering ZENVC Ongo make a general commitment to the weekly calls, the monthly consultation, and minimally, thirty minutes a day to read and reflect on the daily practice. We make this commitment with full acknowledgement that there will be times in which we may "fall short", due to various life circumstances. Both the commitment to practice and the "falling short" are integral parts of ZENVC Ongo. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact us.
"As I've shared with friends several times now, the Ongo has been the best way to learn NVC [Nonviolent Communication] that I've found. The wisdom of integrating the learning of new communication with the deep personal work that it requires really serves the transformation. And, the "daily life" format is so effective as real, honest, challenging practice. I will continue to share that nothing I've done so far, with regards to NVC, has been as powerful."
- Ongo participant, June 2010
ABOUT JESSE AND CATHERINE
“JOTO” JESSE WIENS lived and trained in Soto Zen monasteries for seven years, practicing with such wonderful teachers as Tenshin Reb Anderson, Zenkei Blanche Hartman, and Toni Packer. During that time, he also encountered the teachings of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), studying with founder Marshall Rosenberg and participating in trainer Robert Gonzales’ NVC LIFE (Living, Integrating, Fully Embodying) program for three years. In 2006, Jesse founded ZENVC as a vehicle for bringing the teachings of Zen and NVC together. Today, he continues to study these teachings by living them in his work and play as a Center for Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer.
CATHERINE CADDEN has been an educator since 1987 finding alternatives to teaching, learning, and conflict resolution that work with the principles of nonviolence. Her journey led her to study with a number of renowned teachers, among them Jack Kornfield, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Sahn Nicole Hill, Ram Dass, Marshall Rosenberg, and Stephen and Ondrea Levine. In 1997, Catherine founded the TEMBA School, a visionary K - 8 academic program rooted in nonviolent philosophy, NVC, mindfulness, sustainable living, and artistic expression. In 2009, her educational philosophy and story of TEMBA, Peaceable Revolution Through Education, was published. As a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, Catherine brings over 13 years of experience practicing, living and teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) internationally to participants of all ages.
TOGETHER, Catherine and Jesse have worked on six continents with NGO’s, families, intentional communities, inmates, youth, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Baha’i, Hare Krishnas, atheists, activists, Democrats and Republicans. They hold an unwavering confidence that this work is universally beneficial.
A suggested contribution of $185/month for three months, covers the costs of the practice period, as well as offering support to the trainers and their work. For those who'd like to sign up with a friend, family member, or coworker to strengthen and build your spiritual support community at home, the suggested contribution is $175/month each. A reduced contribution of $500 is suggested for those who choose to make their contribution in full before the start of Ongo.