Living Peace Retreat

January 17 – 22, 2020

Are you interested in developing skills to keep your heart strong in the face of the immense challenges of our times?

The tools of Nonviolent Communication can support us to keep ourselves healthy in turbulent times and to make a difference for everyone whose lives we touch.

Join us for this special residential retreat program where we’ll delve into NVC as an embodied practice for transforming our lives, relationships and world. During this five-day retreat, you’ll learn ways to:

  • Stay grounded and balanced in challenging moments
  • Enhance your ability to listen well and speak with clarity
  • Deepen intimate and family relationships
  • Develop insight and self-mastery

About the retreat


Each day at the retreat includes teaching sessions with the whole group, practice in smaller groups, empathy groups, participant-led offerings of arts and movement, and time for rest and enjoying the outdoors.

The retreat curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs and interests of participants, including flexible workshops focused on skill-building in a range of contexts. You will have the time, space, and support to work on the issues that matter most to you. Typical topics include:

  • Doing political or social change work
  • Being in a partnership or being single
  • Parenting or connecting with children in other contexts
  • Communicating across any kind of divide
  • Collaborating at work
  • Helping others work through conflict


Participants may apply to continue their learning in the BayNVC Immersion Program, an 8-month intensive program that meets in Berkeley one weekend per month in 2019, March through October.

“There is no replacement for working with this material in an interactive group field with a grounded and spiritually mature, capable instructors. It’s been invaluable!”

— Dawn Neal, Life Coach, Berkeley CA.



This retreat is appropriate for those new to Nonviolent Communication as well as for experienced practitioners seeking to bring their practice to a new level. Previous retreats have drawn therapists, activists, teachers, health care providers, parents, writers, artists, engineers, life coaches, and many more.


  • Understanding internal conflicts or “stuck” places
  • Making clear decisions
  • Collaborating more effectively
  • Resolving conflict with colleagues
  • Working with clients, patients, and customers
  • Growing communication skills with children
  • Embodying nonviolence in social change work


“Learning NVC has changed my perspective on communication… It has positively impacted my relationships with adults and with my students. I feel more space for compassion and understanding, even in stressful times.”
— Maria, Elementary School Teacher, San Francisco


The 2019 Living Peace Retreat will be held at the beautiful Ben Lomond Quaker Center among the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz mountains.

All meals are provided by our fabulous chef, starting with dinner on Friday evening and ending with lunch on Wednesday the 22nd. All meals include vegetarian options, and can accommodate most common dietary restrictions.

Ben Lomond Quaker Center: 1000 Hubbard Gulch Rd,
Ben Lomond, CA 95005
Arrival: Friday, January 17th, 3-5pm (retreat begins with dinner at 6pm)
Closing: Wednesday, January 22nd, 12pm (retreat ends with optional lunch)
Download a sample daily schedule.
Accessibility: The dining hall and main building are wheelchair accessible. There is a paved road on a large hill between them, with an option to drive and park.


The Living Peace Retreat will be co-led by Certified Nonviolent Communication Trainers Roxy Manning, Ph.D. and Oren Jay Sofer, and will be supported by a team of experienced NVC assistants. Our leadership team is designed to provide significant individualized coaching in small groups, with an average teacher to student ratio of four or five to one.




Roxy Manning, Ph.D., a CNVC Certified Trainer, has co-led various BayNVC’s depth programs since 2008. A passionate champion of social justice, she brings NVC to her work as a licensed clinical psychologist, and has supported groups around the world interested in causes from LGBTQ rights to equity and transformation of social structures related to race, ethnicity and social class.



Oren Jay Sofer, a CNVC Certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer, teaches workshops and retreats on meditation and communication nationally. His teaching emphasizes how awareness practice and communication training deepen one another in a synergistic manner. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma, and is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. Oren is also the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.



This retreat has a separate cost for Tuition and Room & Board. Both the BayNVC Immersion Program and the Living Peace Retreat offer the cost of tuition on a sliding scale. People who contribute at the top of the sliding scale support our ability to offer spaces at a cost below the bottom of the sliding scale to those who would otherwise be unable to participate.


Sliding Scale: $1400 – $750
Our sliding scale is intended to make this retreat accessible to people of a wide range of income levels. Please choose an amount that reflects your ability to contribute. Scholarships and youth rates (24 and younger) available. Details below.


Sliding Scale: $300-$625
When you register, please choose an available housing option (all options include meals).

Dorm: $475 Commuter: $300
Quad: $525 Camping: $425
Single: $625 Double: $565




“Roxy is a natural healer with a huge capacity to hold pain and and create space for deep healing. I love the way Roxy facilitates groups; there’s something about her energy and the way she leans forward that inspires me and gives me hope.”

— Martha Lasley, Founder and Certified Coach, Leadership that Works

“I was blown away by Oren’s ability to clearly, consciously, and potently articulate and bring to life so many teachings. The organization of his retreat was flawless, which made it much easier for me to see the connections between various ideas and practices. I would be thrilled to spend another retreat with Oren.”

— Retreat Participant

Being able to tune in to myself and become more fully present while in the presence of challenges with loved ones has been revolutionary. This training is making me more attuned as a therapist.”

— Kitty Costello, Author and Psychotherapist, San Francisco, CA

“This practice has brought me closer to my family and friends than any other life event. I see the world as a more beautiful place now.”

— Laura W., Middle School Teacher, Oakland, CA.