Marshall Rosenberg 1934 - 2015

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Marshall Rosenberg, a loving elder and key innovator in the world of process arts, has passed. We salute his memory, extend an offer of compassionate support to the worldwide NVC community, and mourn his passing. The following messages are from colleagues of his in the world of Nonviolent Communication.

February 11, 2015

Dear Brandon ,    

Yesterday I received the news from CNVC that Marshall Rosenberg died. I am passing along to you the email that came from CNVC's board president, followed by some of my own personal reflections about Marshall's life and what his death means to me. Also, if you receive this message before 11am Pacific time on Feb 11th, you can click here to find information about joining a live line to connect with others who are moved to be together at this time and share memories and teachings.  

From: Dominic Barter, CNVC board president

Dear all,

It is with great emotion that I write to tell you that Marshall Rosenberg passed from this life 3 days ago, on Saturday, February 7th.

It was recently discovered that he had late stage prostate cancer. He passed peacefully at home, with his wife Valentina - who shared the news with me a few minutes ago - and all his children by his side.

I know no way to describe the impact this man had on so many people - for his work and for his being, and for the extraordinary power the balance between these two unleashed. He was a beloved teacher to countless people on every continent, people whose hearts were touched and shone with the possibility his work made tangible.

To many of you reading he was also an inspired and inspiring colleague who changed the course of your lives and brought an inestimable sense of meaning and the potential for transformation to every area of your world. And who, at each moment, did this with utmost simplicity, humility and humanness.

In great mourning, and with the most profound reverence and soaring gratitude for the spirit he released in us, and whose light we carry forwards,

Dominic
President, CNVC Board 

I met Marshall for the first time in 1993, when a visit to Israel coincided with his leading a workshop there. From then and until his last visit to San Francisco in 2008, I was with him for dozens of days, listening to every word, imprinting them deeply in me, and then unpacking his sayings in my mind as part of finding my own way to pass along to others the once-in-a-lifetime gifts that I received from him. 

During one of his visits, Marshall sat with a group of trainers in someone's home and wept about how much he didn't want to be a "guru." That moment stays with me as a reminder of his profound commitment to a lived vision of radical equality. The other strong memory that stays with me is seeing him laugh, a frequent occurrence when he was connected with a group.

Although Marshall's biggest actual effect was on hundreds of thousands of individuals whose lives were transformed by what he taught, what he most wanted to accomplish was a systemic change that would bring an end to violence, exploitation, and all forms of injustice. His sight was on a future in which we humans reorganize systems and structures in all areas of life to align with the principles of Nonviolent Communication. 

Although Marshall had retired a few years ago, he was still there. With his passing, I suddenly feel like an elder, along with others from my "generation" of trainers, ever more deeply committed to the calling. I sense that I am not alone in this; that many of us are drawn to taking even more responsibility for carrying forth the extraordinary potential that we see in this body of work. 

In peace and hope,

Miki Kashtan
Co-founder, BayNVC