Turning Conflict into Creativity

Open Circle Training Series: Workshop Two

Programs Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center


Miriam Jones

Adam Rumack

Gala Narezo

Date & Time Details:

April 2024


Program Fee:

Generosity Price - $1000

Tuition - $850

Room/Meals Fee:

This will be added in during the registration process.
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Contact Us:

Karmê Chöling
(802) 633-2384

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Using Tension and Conflict as a Transformational Tool

The second workshop of the Open Circle Training Series

This sort of whole person learning is not theoretical. Open Circle have important transformative value for leaders of all ranges of development, and particularly those feeling stuck or confused by transition. In all this, Open Circle helps organizations resource themselves by providing a foundation for those who came to make the changes that were calling them.

Ingrid Ammondson, PhD ,Licensed Psychologist

Change, transformation, and evolution depend on the tension between what is, and what will be; between our current state and our future state; between present reality and our hopes and visions for what could be.

This second program in the Open Circle Training series presents ways to work with this tension, both in our life and at work. Through it we can foster generativity, overcome interpersonal challenges and transform stagnant relationships into the fertile ground of creative new growth.

We will learn to work with tension & conflict by:

  • Developing self-awareness of intrapersonal and interpersonal patterns that contribute to unhealthy relationships dynamics
  • Identifying and assessing the roots and causes of tension and struggle within self, group, and organization
  • Transforming conflict in self, groups, and others
  • Understanding group or organizational dynamics that cause or maintain emotional tension
  • Practicing in working with emotional tension for more generative outcomes
  • Having more confidence in navigating difficult situations that arise
  • Assessing and communicating blind spots and areas of avoidance for transformation

Technical Solutions vs. Adaptive Tensions

Turning Conflict into Creativity focuses on the psychological dynamics of groups in relationship to tension and conflict.

Tension creates the impetus for change, in individuals and groups. Sometimes these tensions can be resolved with technical solutions.

Technical solutions fail when the tensions are interpersonal, ideological, and/or psychological. We call these more difficult tensions, "adaptive." They require deeper exploration and lead to systems change.

Applying technical solutions to adaptive tensions is like applying a band-aid to heal a chronic illness. It denies the underlying causes of the tension and misses a potential opportunity to greater systemic health, well-being, and potential.

In this training you will learn to:

  • Assess technical vs. adaptive tensions
  • Identify group and individual responses to tension
  • Cultivate pro-tension teams and groups
  • Facilitate the exploration of tension for creative solutions
  • Work with emotional tension in groups for to cultivate greater trust and group cohesion
  • Build confidence in leading through tension
  • Compassionately communicate blind spots (both positive and constructive) for group and individual empowerment

Whatever you are considering with Open Circle, just do it! Whatever has driven you to consider something like this, take the leap. You will NOT regret it!

Mark Johnson, Commercial Engineering Executive

Program Overview

There are two components to this course:

  1. Introduction to theories and concepts: This is 6 modules of online content - videos, keynotes and reflective exercises. This needs to be completed prior to the Practicum and can be done online in your own time prior to the Practicum. It is around 4-6 hours of content exploration. There are also additional resources such as articles, podcasts and books to look at pre or post course. This course comes as part of registration.
    Preview On-demand Course
  2. Practicum - This live training over 2 days of experiential learning sessions. Practicing and applying the foundational concepts for leading groups through conflict towards learning, creativity and and cultural transformation.


Listening Circles, the first workshop in this series, is the prerequisite for this second workshop.

If you have not attended a Listening Circle Training with Open Circle, you can do this prerequisite on demand. Please register here: (

For questions regarding prerequisite requirements reach out to Miriam,

Arrival/Departure Schedule

  • Friday, April 19th: Please plan to arrive between 3-6 pm to check-in and settle into your room.
    Dinner is served at 6:30 pm
    The program will start at 7 pm and finish at 9.30 pm
  • Saturday, April 20th, the program goes from 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Sunday, April 21st, the program goes from 9:30 am to 2 pm
    Please plan to stay through 2pm Sunday.

Who is Open Circle?

The mission of Open Circle is to transform organizations and communities into thriving ecosystems for the greater good of humanity.

Open Circle has an integrated approach to personal, professional and organisational development which is adaptive depending on the current challenges and environment.

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Karmê Chöling values its commitment to making programs affordable and available to all who wish to study with us. To support this commitment we provide two program price options.

Generosity Price: $1,000.00
You're able to help us with this commitment by choosing the "Generosity Price". The money above the basic tuition cost goes into a scholarship fund for those who might not be able to attend a program otherwise.

Tuition: $850.00
This is the price of the program, it does not include housing options or material fees.

Please Note:
Price does not include accommodations, which will be added during the registration process.


Payment Policies:
Please read the payment policy before proceeding with registration.

Financial Aid:
Karmê Chöling offers full-time student discounts, scholarships and other financial aid.

Program Credit:
If using existing program credit to pay for a program, you must pre-register for this program at least two weeks prior to the program start date by calling the front desk (802-633-2384 x3000). Program credit may not be used to pay for housing or practice materials and may not be used on or after arrival day.


Miriam Jones
Miriam Jones

Co-Founder Open Circle and Open Circle Foundation
LinkedIn Profile

Miriam is known as a thought leader in the area of transformational education, cultural change, and leadership. After developing a dual interest in business and education, Miriam began designing and delivering leadership programs and change efforts for organizations across the globe. Miriam is an experienced entrepreneur who has founded and led several organizations, from not-for-profits to corporations to co-operatives.

In efforts to look for new forms that could inform her organizational work and the changes she was witnessing in the world, Miriam turned her focus to learning forms influenced by indigenous nature-based cultures and societies: circle listening and healing practices, circle governance and rite of passage, and nature-based rituals.

Miriam has worked with clients across industries and right across the Globe, including The Ojai Foundation, Esalen, PWC, Bank of America, Snapchat, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Coates, Coca-Cola Amatil, Ernst & Young, PWC and Westpac.

Adam Rumack
Adam Rumack

Co-Founder Open Circle and Open Circle Foundation
LinkedIn Profile

Adam is an entrepreneur, wilderness guide, educator, facilitator, and organizational consultant with a background in executive leadership. He is passionate about creating communities and organizations that thrive through the wisdom of the natural world (both human and more-than-human)

He has worked widely in California State prisons, training group facilitators; helped develop an on-boarding and wellness program for Snapchat and Sunny & 72 in Los Angeles; has offered training for Canva, The Rites of Passage Institute, and the Centre for Men in Australia; and worked on a wide variety of cultural change projects for organizations including: Bluegreen, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Illuman, Born and Bred Brands, Wilderness Torah, Kalmiopsis Wild, and Kinfolk Properties.

He has a strong business development focus with a MBA focused in International Leadership and Management from Monterey Institute of International Studies, Fisher Graduate School of International Business. He is a Minds at Work Certified Coach candidate, National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Responder. He volunteers as a Curry County Search and Rescue Team Member and as Vice-chair of the Curry Watersheds Council Non-profit.

Gala Narezo
Gala Narezo

Consultant & Facilitator
Gala Narezo is a facilitator, educator, activist and mindfulness instructor who is committed to mindful change-making. In her groups she uses storytelling, mindfulness, art and circle practice as guiding principles. She has collaborated with a variety of amazing partners on transformational education through awareness campaigns, public art, curricula and transformational media. She has degrees from Yale University and Art Center College of Design. She recently completed an M.A. in Art Education at City College of New York CUNY. She has done extensive training and practice in circle based facilitation running weekly groups online and live retreats in the USA and Mexico.

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