Compassionate Living Retreat

IMG_441130 October to 5 November, 2015

Welcome to a six day ‘Compassionate Living Retreat’ at Belipola from 30th October to 5th November, 2015. We will live together on this land which has been restored and rehabilitated from a long standing tea estate, now a mature forest ecosystem and ecological farm. A place where for last 30 years a community under the leadership of Dr Ranil Senanayake worked towards healing the soil. Here we come to see how we can make our souls sing while we learn innovative  and effective ways to connect with each other with authenticity and care as we live in this community.

It will be a living and IMG_0324learning retreat, where some of our time will be spent on structured learning while applying it in our day to day life at the retreat. We could also be working  in the kitchen garden, cooking our meals, cleaning the place, taking care of each other, singing or having lighter moments together.

Its an experiment in community living where we will be learning and living various modalities which support us to communicate and create effective decision making systems in our communities and organisations.

Some possible learnings from our time together:

  1. Fluency to express honestly while holding care and empathy for the others,
  2. Enhance our ability to hear difficult messages of others by seeing the beautiful need behind them.
  3. To create shared vision, mission and purpose statements in our communities.
  4. Ways to create conflict resolution systems in our communities and organisations, like for example Restorative Circles.
  5. To understand efficient and participatory decision making systems and processes like Sociocracy.
  6. To find ways to nourish ourselves and others while living in communities.

This retreat is largely inspired by the works on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) of Marshall Rosenberg and we will learn them as we go along in our retreat and implement NVC in our day to day lives in those six days.

NVC is a way of being that supports our connection to the ‘life energy’ believed to be present in all beings. It allows us to speak a language that helps us access this ‘universal oneness’ that all spiritual practices seem to point toward. It moves us away from the template of domination society which has taught us to speak a language of right/wrong – punishment/rewards to a need based consciousness where we are also connected to our hearts.

Interestingly, even when people feel that they don’t yet have shared vision and value system, NVC can even support them in being authentic and going  their our own separate paths. NVC can support us to even separate with more of11897024_10207363955640899_1857941766_n a sense of mourning rather than holding resentment.

The retreat will be facilitatDSC_0007ed by Shammi Nanda and supported by Ramanusha. Shammi has been deeply engaged with Nonviolent Communication for the last five years and enjoys sharing it especially with communities working on creating a sustainable world. To know about Shammi and his work go to Ramanusha has been working on NVC for about ten years and has been working with Center for Communication Training(CCT) in Colombo. She has been sharing NVC with various communities all over Sri Lanka.

Financial Contributions: We have kept a contribution of Rs 10,000 (Sri Lankan rupees) per participant, which will cover the bare cost of hosting the participants and travel for facilitators. This does not include an honorarium for the facilitators or any surplus income for Belipola. We have given the option of this amount so that the retreat is accessible to people with sufficient ease as well as we can be financially sustainable as we host such an event. In case you find it challenging to offer this minimum amount please write to us and we will see how we can support you to be here with our without money. You presence is valuable for us.

While we want to keep the minimum contribution to ensure cover the bare costs for the sake of inclusion of all, we would also welcome and enjoy if you want to nourish and nurture the facilitators as well as Belipola by your offering over and above this minimum amount. We are not asking you to see it necessarily as a payment in return for the gifts that your received from us but if you find what you receive as valuable and want to reach the rest of the world you can then offer your additional contribution to us so we can continue to spread our work. We see this as creating a world of gift culture where we are trying to move from transaction to trust and from scarcity to abundance.

You can also see more on Shammi’s experiments of dealing with money and in what ways your contribution can support his dreams at

Beliopla 1To know more about NVC go to  and

To know about Restorative Circles go to

To know about Sociocracy see

To see some videos around Shammi’s work see a video harvest and En-joy café

If you are interested in joining this retreat, please click on this link to register. Once you register, we will be in touch with you for further details.

To find where we are, please go to this link or search the main menu. You will find our contact details at this page too, in case you have any questions. Spaces on the retreat are limited, so we will offer space to those who come first.

We hope to see you at Belipola soon!

In community

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