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Compassion Camp Instructors & Classes

We live it. We do it. We teach it.

We’re excited to bring you these local teachers and community activists, who are dedicated to compassionate consciousness. You too can offer your gifts through the Open Space technology. What will we co-create together? Join us to weave the magic.

Check back periodically to see new additions to page. More bios coming soon!


Classes and Instuctors

NVC for Couples with Terrie Lewine
Shadow, Compassion and Intimacy with Steve Torma
Inner Presence Inquiry with Jerry Donoghue
Constellation with Janell Kapoor
Finding your Voice with Jon Handelman
"Truth Mandala" from The Work That Reconnects with Mana Vermeulen-McLeod

Finding Your Voice as a Storyteller with Eric Wolf
Addiction as an Attachment Disorder with Alan Muskat


NVC for Couples

In this session we will explore using Nonviolent Communication concepts and skills to create long-term, satisfying intimate relationships.  We will look at some of the most common pitfalls that couples struggle with and the ways NVC can address them. Some of the topics we will explore are: healing old wounds (relationship repair), how to handle repeating patterns, the role of gratitude in partnership, and the mourning process.  Bring your partner or come on your own.

Dr. Terrie Lewine focuses her work on deep self-awareness, communication and relationship work.  She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where she owns and manages her private teaching/coaching practice and the Back to Life Urban Sanctuary.  She offers classes and workshops for individuals and couples, private coaching sessions, and supports organizations by developing and supporting best practices regarding collaboration, team building and effective conflict resolution.

Terrie has trained with Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, The Center for Nonviolent Communication, The Human Awareness Institute, Restorative Circles, Brad Blanton of Radical Honesty, Bruce Lipton, PhD and Donald Epstein, founder of EpiEnergenetics. Her education includes an exploration of eco-psychology as well as quantum physics. She has a personal commitment to sustainable living practices.


Shadow, Compassion and Intimacy

In this session we will explore the integration of three of the most important aspects of human consciousness: Shadow, Compassion, and Intimacy. We will blend the practices of Nonviolent Communication and shadow work to deepen our capacity for self-awareness, self-love, and loving relationships.

The ability to create loving relationships flows from our capacity to be compassionate with ourselves and each other. That in turn depends on knowing ourselves well enough to connect with our feelings, discern our needs, and work through our blockages to intimacy. And those blockages are often things we unconsciously repress or deny, that is, the Shadow Self.

Topics will include how to:

  • explore and integrate our Shadow Self
  • identify who we are projecting our disowned self onto
  • learn how to reclaim our projections
  • find the gold in our shadow projections
  • integrate those reclaimed parts to create more aliveness
  • use honesty to reveal vulnerable feelings, needs, and desires
  • use empathy to elicit deeper expressions of truth from others

For over thirty years, Steve Torma has gently guided our culture toward cooperation and regeneration. He is the former President of Earthaven Ecovillage, where he continues to live his passion for community and sustainability. He co-founded The REAL Center in 2007 and was a core faculty member for The Asheville Tantra School. Steve is trained in Nonviolent Communication, Radical Honesty, Body Electric, Cuddle Party, Restorative Circles, Permaculture, and Creation Spirituality. Through his compassionate presence and guidance, Steve has helped countless people to find healing, direction, and meaning in their lives.


Inner Presence Inquiry: How to Use NVC Internally for Deep and Lasting Change

NVC is not just an effective interpersonal tool, it also supports deep psycho-spiritual work. Many of our important unfulfilled needs reside in the subconscious and pull the challenging strings in our daily life. How can we change what we can’t see? Come explore the Inner Presence Inquiry work which combines NVC, depth psychology, and the eastern enlightenment traditions. You’ll learn about the deep healing power of presence…what the Eastern Masters call the ultimate medicine!

Jerry Donoghue founded the Asheville Compassionate Communication Center. Since 2004, Jerry has been supporting people to compassionately connect more deeply to themselves and others through a series of 8-week courses and private coaching sessions. He also founded the Inner Presence Coaching Institute which offers 8-week courses and 9-month coach training program. The Inner Presence work is a facilitated inquiry method that uses NVC, depth psychology, and the wisdom from the eastern enlightenment traditions to inspire effortless transformations.


Constellation with Janell Kapoor

Family & Systemic Constellations are like entering an alternate reality, a more true reality. Stepping beyond the veil into this breathtakingly gracious, participatory, embodied practice allows our connective, collective intelligence to release deep-seated shadow entanglements. Within 90 minutes, perfect strangers can step into roles that help reveal that which has been waiting to be seen, heard, expressed & released. Perhaps for generations. One cannot know exactly what will surface, but what does will help loosen the foothold of our most mired challenges in service to the individual & their entire family system (or we can work with organizational systems). Our work ripples into the collective. When you heal yourself, you inevitably help heal the collective. [Note: This work is hard to explain in words. It becomes potent when you participate & experience it for yourself.]

Janell Kapoor is a family & systemic constellations facilitator. She works with changemakers to help clear ancestral, soul, personal & interpersonal blocks so we can live our most passion- and pleasure-filled lives while doing great work in the world. Janell lives at an eco-urban residential homestead in Asheville, NC, tucked in the oldest mountains on the planet of Southern Appalachia.


Finding your Voice

Singing is one of our most joyous expressions as humans, but we have stepped away from this for fear of being judged, and many of us believe we cannot sing. In truth, singing is your birthright, and the depth of your voice presents an amazing opportunity to connect with others, and explore your own courage and vulnerability as well. We will have personal group shares mixed in with creative and engaging songs and activities, as we intimately share the music inside of us.

Jon Handelman is a life coach in Asheville who's enthusiasm for learning, sharing and growing has taken on many adventurous forms, from bicycle caravan circuses to traveling peace theaters. He teaches classes and workshops on empowerment, goal setting, forgiveness, compassion, and trauma at various festivals and gatherings around the world. He has trained school teachers on how to build more meaningful connections with their students and facilitates a weekly men's groups called "Men's Lives".


"Truth Mandala" from The Work That Reconnects

The Truth Mandala is a ritual exercise that provides a simple, respectful, whole group structure for owning and honoring our pain for the world. Being alive on this Earth right now demands of us to be our best selves. Honoring our relationships with each other and the planet.  And these human and planetary relationships are in need of healing. Being a compassionate communicator involves witnessing ourselves and others in the full spectrum of emotions. The Truth Mandala comes from The Work That Reconnects by Joanna Macy.

Mana Vermeulen-McLeod has been an Earthaven Ecovillage resident and member since 2007. She is an advocate for The Work that Reconnects, mother, natural builder/carpenter, conflict mediator at her village and social activist. She has served on the staff at the Southeast Wise Women’s Herbal Conference since 2009, has worked as a student adviser for Gaia University and she is now a Life Coach based in authenticity. She is committed to Witnessing her Whiteness as a process to become a less fragile white woman.


Finding Your Voice as a Storyteller

Build confidence in your ability to tell stories. We will be focusing on building a positive feedback loop for the performing artist. Through one-on-one and group work we will build confidence in your ability to perform. We do this through gentle and relaxing exercises that will help you to see your natural storytelling gift. This class will help you to better see your natural tendency as a storyteller.

Eric Wolf is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing in Black Mountain, NC specializing in children ages 7 to 14. He uses a post-structuralist form of mental health practice called Narrative Therapy. These conversations help folks examine their lives, make new discoveries, and remember their ethical guideposts. He is enthusiastic about hearing people find new meanings about themselves, the world, and their lives.

He is winner of a 2009 National Oracle Award for Service to the National Storytelling community from the national storytelling Association for his work on the Art of Storytelling with Brother wolf podcast.


Addiction as an Attachment Disorder

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection. And in this culture, we are all in recovery because we are all, to some extent, disconnected, whether from each other, from nature, or from ourselves. This class will explore SeekHealing's approach to addressing addition as an attachment disorder, largely through authentic relating.  SeekHealing, a local, community-based nonprofit recovery program addressing addiction as an epidemic of disconnection: to others, to nature, and to ourselves.

Alan Muskat is an author and educator focusing on nature and nondualism. He has been taking people “out to eat” for over twenty years. In 1995, he founded No Taste Like Home, now one of the largest foraging education organizations in the world. He is also the co-founder of The REAL Center and is a board member of SeekHealing. Books Alan has written include Wild Mushrooms, The Haggadah Vita, and Coming Home. He lives in Asheville with his partner and at least one very fast chipmunk.

Check out Earthaven Experience Week

Join the homesteads, farms, and businesses of Earthaven Ecovillage for a hands-on, skill-building immersion in sustainable and climate-resilient community life. The learning journey weaves large-group discussions and classes together with intimate hands-on experiences in the village and farms alongside community members.

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