February 2020

07Feb(Feb 7)10:00 AM09(Feb 9)5:00 PMKeeping Cool in the Fire: Transforming Inner and Outer Conflict10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (9) Community Meditation Center Teacher(s): Donald Rothberg, PhD No prerequisite

Event Details

Dates: February 7 – February 9, 2020; 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Sliding Scale:
$270 – 600. Code DR1M20.
12 CE credits available for $120, for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, and nurses.
Note: The average cost per person, per day to Spirit Rock to offer a program is $160

We are living at a time when conflict and insecurity are increasingly pervasive, whether in close relationships, the workplace, political polarization, or relationships between ethnic groups. Conflicts may be the source of much frustration, despair, anger, and burnout, and for those engaged in spiritual or psychological work, they may be a major challenge. How do I deal with friction in my job or relationship, or should I leave? How do I respond to injustice? How do I communicate with those with different political views? How do I reduce the tendency to automatic reactivity?

In this retreat, we will suggest some core principles and practices for working with conflict and reactivity. We will be guided by a vision of non-dual “conflict transformation,” rooted in the Buddha’s Middle Way and the contemporary work of peacemakers. A starting point is seeing conflict as simply a difference, tension, or contradiction between goals, intentions, or values, which may or may not be connected with hostility and aggression. Our hope is that we can better approach conflicts as opportunities for learning, reconciliation, steadiness, trust, and compassion. During the retreat, there will be guided meditations, short talks, discussion, interactive exercises, and work with conflict scenarios.

Continuing Education (CE) credit available. Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients. See below for attendance requirements and more information.

Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-
At the end of the program you will be better able to:
• Demonstrate to clients a conflict transformation model to clarify the dynamics of repetitive conflicts;
• Describe how mindfulness of conflictual dynamics is key to working skillfully with conflicts;
• Describe how skill in working with difficult emotions, such as fear and anger, is key to skill in transforming conflicts;
• Describe how compassion practices may be used when working with challenging people or situations;
• Describe how working through attachments to one’s views is key to skillful work with conflicts;
• Describe how conflicts can be opportunities for learning and transformation;
• Describe how conflicts can helpfully be defined in terms of differences of intentions, goals, and values, rather than necessarily involving hostility or aggression
• Describe some of the reasons why conflicts are hard for many people, and how knowing this is a step towards resolving discord.

Continuing Education content level: Introductory

General Information

Online registration for our programs is available until 12 noon of the last business day prior to the day of the event (e.g. online registration for a Monday program ends at 12 noon on the prior Friday). There is an additional $5 fee for registering at the door. If you can’t attend an event you registered for, please see our Cancellation Policy.


Visit our Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing to find or offer a ride.


Volunteer/Work Exchange opportunities, as well as full or partial Scholarships, may be available for this program. For more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteering@spiritrock.org.


Even if you have been to Spirit Rock before, please review our Non-Residential Programs FAQ for useful information about what to wear, what to bring, how to get here, and more.

Continuing Education

This program offers 12 CE credits for $120 for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, and nurses, licensed by the APA, CA BRN, or BBS. If you have a different license and are interested in CE credit, please check with your licensing board to see if credits from APA or BRN approved providers are accepted.

Continuing Education credit is co-sponsored by Spirit Rock and the Spiritual Competency Resource Center.

– CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC). The Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
– Spirit Rock is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16905 for 12 contact hours.
– The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association..


Attendance Requirements:
– Register and pay for CE credits before the program begins.
– Sign-in at the CE table within 15 minutes of the start of the program, every day;
– Stay until the end of the program, every day;
– Sign out at the end of the program, every day;
– Partial credit for partial attendance is not permissible by Board regulations. Complete attendance is required to be eligible for CE credit.

CE Credit Attendance Required Sessions
February 7
10:25-11:30 Session #1: Overview and introduction to the approach
12:00-12:15 Guided meditation with instructions
12:15-1:00 Session #2: Examining attitude and conditioning around conflict
2:15-2:35 Guided Meditation on Lovingkindness
2:35-3:10 Session #3: The Ladder of Inference
3:40-5:00 Session #4: Non-dual conflict transformation

February 8
10:10-11:30 Session #1: Working with difficult emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations
12:20-1:00 Session #2: Practicing with difficult states of body, emotions, thoughts
2:30-3:20 Session #3: Wise speech and empathy practice
3:50-5:00 Session #4: Positions, interests, needs

February 9
10:25-11:30 Session #1: Working with social conflicts
11:45-1:00 Session #2: The work that reconnects – core perspectives and practices
2:20-2:50 Session #3: The work that reconnects – exercise and discussion
3:20-5:00 Session #4: Connecting with real-life conflicts. Integration of the 3 days.

*Continuing Education Credit is awarded for instructional time only. Programs held in Noble Silence, including Residential Retreats and Extended Non-Residential Retreats, will include lectures, guided meditation and practices, and group exercises. Credit will not be awarded for extended silent sessions. For more information about CE credit at Spirit Rock, please visit the CE Credit information page.


Cancellation Policy:
If you are unable to attend a program, or fulfill the attendance requirements for CE credit, you may offer your CE credit fee as a donation to Spirit Rock, or you may request a credit to be used towards a future non-residential program. If you would like a credit, you must cancel by 4:00pm at least two business days prior to the program. For more information, please see our Cancellation Policy for Non-Residential Programs.


  • Donald Rothberg, PhD

    Donald Rothberg, PhD

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