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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Krishna Center for Empathic Communication to Host Online Course
By Kulavati Krishnapriya Devi Dasi, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Jun 09, 2024

Bir Krishna Das Goswami; Workshop details.

The Krishna Center for Empathic Communication, an online platform under the guidance of Bir Krishna Das Goswami, is hosting an online workshop called “Seeking Harmony Within and Without” from June 16 to August 18, 2024, led by Madhuri Radhika Devi Dasi.

The workshop meets weekly for two hours, focusing on practicing Empathic Communication (EC) in small groups to promote harmony and cooperation through mutual encouragement and support.

Bir Krishna Das Goswami started EC seminars worldwide in the 1990s. He studied sociology and relationship strategies, and after attending Nonviolent Communication (NVC) workshops by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., developed EC, which is a tool that fosters compassionate connections and actions. He organized workshops for four months and trained devotees in how to become trainers of EC.

Currently, the center is providing online courses and has launched one-on-one support for those wanting to integrate EC into their lives. Nityananada Pran Das, residing in Cleveland, Yamuna Jivana Das, a Karuna Care certified Chaplain, certified mediator, and the chairman of ISKCON Naperville’s Devotee Care Committee, and his wife, Sri Radhika Devi Dasi, run the Atma Center for Empathic Leadership out of Naperville, and Madhuri Radhika Devi Dasi from Estonia (now residing in Sweden) are conducting these courses under the guidance of Bir Krishna Das Goswami. 

Madhuri Radhika Devi Dasi said, “Maharaj is firmly convinced that relationships are a million times more important than issues. The inspiration behind this is his keen interest in presenting EC for devotees with the aim of transforming relationships and helping the devotees develop a functional love-giving society.”

She continued, “Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura mentions that we have material as well as spiritual needs, and to progress smoothly on the spiritual path, both types of needs should be addressed. With this understanding in mind, Maharaj tried to understand why many devotees have problems with their spiritual lives and relationships.” 

The response so far is encouraging and inspiring. Madhuri Radhika Devi Dasi revealed, “With the help of EC, devotees report they have become more conscious of the reasons, intentions, and motivations behind their words and actions. They have learned to respond thoughtfully to difficult messages, developed greater sensitivity and respect for their own and others’ feelings and needs, and replaced criticism with deeper understanding and acceptance of differences. They have learned how to refresh their spiritual practice that may have become a bit ‘stale,’ and how to take their Spiritual Master’s corrections and instructions into the heart instead of becoming hurt and resentful.”

Madhuri Radhika Devi Dasi(left), Sri Radhika Devi Dasi (right)

Urmila Devi Dasi took the EC course, levels one and two, in two successive years at summer camps in Europe, where Bir Krishna Das Goswami was the instructor. She said, “While I found the first course interesting and intriguing, it was the second course that had a big impact on my life and service. By connecting with my feelings and needs, and then connecting with the feelings and needs of others, I found giving guidance and help to others energizing me instead of being depleting.”

Krishna Premarupa Dasa, Zonal supervisor for ISKCON Switzerland, said, “In his Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Goswami emphasizes the importance of loving exchanges between devotees and the need to interact appropriately according to each person’s position. This is crucial because our spiritual progress relies on the blessings of the Vaisnavas. Poor communication skills often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts, hindering our advancement.”

He continued, “Empathic Communication is a powerful tool for enhancing proper Vaishnava interactions. Simply expressing our observations and feelings and communicating our needs and requests can significantly improve our relationships. I find this approach invaluable in my personal life and especially in my leadership role, where effective communication is essential.”

The future plans of The Krishna Center for Empathic Communications include starting a newsletter with practical tips and guidance for improving devotees’ relationships. There are also plans to begin creating e-pocket-books. 

To discover more about EC, you can read the book Realizing Our Empathic Nature: Connected to Krishna, written by Bir Krishna Das Goswami, here.

To participate, contribute, or facilitate local or online EC support groups and help in various services, which include creating ebooks and teaching aids, setting up the newsletter, spreading the word, developing the website, managing social media channels, and more. For more information, you can send an email here.

To learn more about the course, visit their website here, watch previous content on their YouTube channel, and follow them on Facebook. To hear testimonials about the positive effects of the course, click here and here

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