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Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention: Workshops and Seminars

DORJE KASUNG Visit, March 1-2, 2013: "Working with Protection and Building Community"

Teachers Dapon Will Ryken and Dr. Paula Harris, members of the Shambhala community and the Dorje Kasung, practitioners of non-violent conflict management and security, will be visiting campus.  They will present a free, public lecture on March 1st, Surge Building 104B, and a registration-only workshop and training on Saturday, March 2, from 9:30-5:00 in Torgerson 1100.  Click here for registration info and more details!




It is during moments of crisis and conflict, large and small, that cultivating compassion, awareness, and precision is most important.  But it is also during moment's crisis that aggression, frustration and a sense of "us and them" arise most strongly.

This workshop will explore ways of engaging such situations with awareness, gentleness, and fearlessness, drawn from the techniques of Shambhala Buddhism and The Dorje Kasung a service organization that provides nonviolent security and crisis intervention to the world wide Shambhala community.

Since it is difficult to create peace with a chaotic mind, this workshop will start by providing practices to strengthen our own inner mindfulness and compassion.  From that foundation, we will move on to explore the transformative view of working with protecting and developing community from the point of view of enhancing the inherent goodness and wisdom in any situation rather than conquering through aggression.  Finally the workshop will present techniques for finding confidence, gentleness, and skillfulness in moments of encountering our own and others aggression.

These teachings were brought from Tibet by the renowned meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and first taught to western students over 37 years ago as a way to address conflict without fueling its root-the urge of one's own views and preferences to dominate.  Those students were organized into the Dorje Kasung, and continue to practice and study these teachings, and serve the Shambhala community under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's successor, Sakyong Mipham Rinpochhe.

Although drawn form the Shambhala Buddhist Tradition, the view and techniques presented in this workshop are not religious,  The workshop is accessible and relevant to people of any or no spiritual background.


Dapon Will Ryden

Dapon Will Ryken is a senior member of the Dorje Kasung and has been a member of the Shambhala community since the 1970s.  In 1983, along with Jim Lowery, he founded Shambhala Sun Camp, a leadership training program for young people.  Mr. Ryken is beloved throughout the larger Shambhala community for his wisdom, sense of humor and inspirational qualities.  He teaches extensively around the world and resides in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area with his wife, Paula.



paula Bickford

Dr. Paula Bickford is a member of the Dorje Kasung and has been a member of the Shambhala community since 1990.  She is the Directore of the Shambhala Meditation Center in  St. Petersburg, FL and has been a practitioner and leader of Shambhala for many years.  Dr. Bickford also enjoys working with Ikebana as a contemplative practice.  Dr. Bickford is a Professor of Neuroscience at the USF Morsani College of Medicine where she studies aspects of and neruodegenerative diseases.  Both Paula, and her husband Will, have worked as prison volunteers, teaching in Colorado and Florida.

> 3/14/12: Robert Holley visited the CPSVP capstone seminar and gave a talk on the refugee crisis in northwest Africa.
Bio:  Robert M. Holley has devoted his entire career to international affairs.  After Vietnam era service as an Army helicopter pilot, Mr. Holley joined the U.S. Foreign Service, where he devoted 21 years to a variety of assignments in Washington, Europe, Latin America and North Africa.  he retired from the State Department in 2002.  Mr. Holley is well-versed on North Africa and the Maghreb.  He is particularly knowledgeable about Morocco and the Western Sahara conflict, having served as the principal U.S. Government interlocutor between the Moroccan Government and the Polisario from 1998 to 2001.  Mr. Holley is the recipient of an impressive variety of military and civilian awards for his service to his country with the United States Army and the Department of State, including the Secretary of State's Career Achievement Award and the Silver Star.  Currently, Mr. Holley advises the Government of Morocco and is the Executive Director of the Moroccan American Center for Policy in Washington, D.C.


> Honest, Compassionate Communication, 12-Week Workshop Series, Spring Semester 2010
The workshop will be facilitated by Patricia Bevan; a Virginia Tech alumna who is an Educational Facilitator for the local non-profit organization Circle Toward Wholeness.  The content of the workshop is based on the principles and concepts of Nonviolent Communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. Tuesdays February 2 through April 27, 5:15-6:30 PM
Download Flyer for more information.  NOTICE: This workshop has been cancelled.


Archived Workshops and Seminar

Archived Workshops and Seminar (PDF | 76KB)