Continuing with the theme of education and training on peace, this week I’d like to highlight the Peacemaker Institute. This organization is quite different from formal university degree programs. It offers workshops and trainings in peacemaking from a spiritually grounded Buddhist perspective, combining personal transformation with techniques and strategies for creating social change. On the website, it describes the workshops as:
…transformative, holistic (body, mind and spirit balanced), experiential, and inclusive. Each training is delivered with a focus on community learning, peer relationships, and respect for the background, experience, and needs of each participant.
They offer a certification program called the Integral Peacemaker Training, which they describe as follows:
The Integral Peacemaker Training™ is a professional certificate program in which we train leaders and community activists in a non-polarizing, reflective and wisdom-based approach to creating positive social change in support of a more just, peaceful and sustainable global community. Our training program is both integral and deeply transformative, balancing the inner and outer dimensions of leadership and activism. Our participants optimize their effectiveness and impact by cultivating resilience, emotional intelligence and mental fitness, while building strong communication, leadership and conflict transformation skills.
The certification requirements are to complete each of their four core workshops, as well as a non-violent communication workshop and an intensive personal transformation workshop called The Event. The four core workshops are titled “Transforming Self,” “Transforming Relationships,” “Transforming Groups,” and “Transforming Systems.”
Although I am not a Buddhist, I am intrigued by this approach to peacemaking, and I am seriously considering taking one of their workshops and possibly doing their full certification program. The cost is affordable for me and I would not have to travel, as they are located in my own town, Boulder, CO. However, before I decide for sure whether to do a workshop, I feel as if I need to clarify what I hope to get out of it. I know that I want more formal training in non-violent communication, conflict resolution, and peacemaking, but I’m not sure what I hope to do with those skills. I am drawn to the Peacemaker Institute in part because I feel that their trainings may help me clarify my goals at the same time as giving me new skills and confidence.