Tell us a bit about how your group was concieved
Center for Council began as an initiative of The Ojai Foundation, which was host to decades of seminars, workshops, residencies, and lectures by teachers and elders from a wide range of traditions and cultures. Council, as practiced within the programs and workshops offered there, evolved and was shaped in collaboration with renown teachers and elders over the course of many years, including Andrew Weil, Arvol Lookinghorse, Deena Metzger, Francis Huxley, Grace Spotted Eagle, Jean Houston, Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Jose Arguelles, Joseph Campbell, Pir Vilayat Khan, R.D. Lang, Robert Bly, Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, Terry Tempest Williams, Thich Nhat Hanh, Wallace Black Elk, and many others. We are deeply indebted to the generosity and insight of these and other revered teachers, and we are profoundly grateful for their care and partnership in helping the practice evolve. Incorporating strands from many dialogic traditions throughout North America and around the world, the practice was codified and popularized with the publication of The Way of Council, written by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle, in 1996.
Building on research and practice conducted throughout the 1990s and 2000s at The Ojai Foundation, Center for Council evolved and eventually launched as an independent project in 2014. While our base of operations remains in the heart of Southern California, our expanding team of Certified Council Trainers travel the world to support individuals, organizations and communities longing for compassion-based tools for developing more skillful communication, deeper connection, resilient relationships and flourishing communities. Center for Council has had a deep collaborative relationship with Zen Peacemakers for many years, supporting council practice in Bearing Witness Retreats and trainings for affiliated sanghas and communities around the world.