Students of the Connection Practice meet at Unity Spiritual Center of San Jose on the 1st Tuesday of the month from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
About the Connection Practice®:
In 2004, Rev. Rita Marie Johnson created the Connection Practice, a scientifically based, social-emotional practice that eliminates unnecessary stress and suffering. After learning the Connection Practice, individuals can acknowledge feelings of anger, resentment, loneliness and depression and authentically shift into feelings of compassion, peace, joy and freedom. Consequently, it is an invaluable tool in a wide variety of situations, from stress management and conflict resolution to addiction recovery and enriching relationships. Ultimately, the Connection Practice facilitates a deep, spiritual connection to self and others.
The Connection Practice is a simple process that gained international renown when it received the Ashoka Changemakers Innovation Award: Building a More Ethical Society, chosen from 79 projects in 32 countries. It is endorsed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, and by Eileen Rockefeller, leading advocate for social-emotional learning in US schools. Rev. Johnson has taught the Connection Practice for credit at the United Nations University for Peace, a graduate school for international leaders, and it is spreading rapidly within the US, Japan and other countries.
Whether at work, in school or at home, the Connection Practice results in:
- Efficient, effective conflict resolution, resulting in a safe and more productive environment
- Achieving maximum brain function for creative problem solving
- Releasing negative feelings resulting in greater clarity
- Developing deeper self-confidence leading to higher performance
Use of the Connection Practice liberates individuals to perform at higher levels of engagement, leading to a more cooperative and productive culture.
The basic Connection Practice steps include naming feelings and needs, guessing the feelings and needs of others involved in an issue, achieving heart-brain coherence and accessing an insight. Identifying feelings and needs is the fast track to empathy while achieving heart-brain coherence is the fast track to reliably accessing insights. This synergistic combination of empathy and insight yields exceptional outcomes.
Research studies have shown that when an individual is upset, the amygdala of the brain is triggered – the part of the brain that sounds an alarm in time of danger. By naming one’s feelings, the amygdala’s response is reduced – step 1 of the Connection Practice.
In another research study, when subjects had a context for understanding another person’s needs, it enhanced their empathic responses – this is step 2 of the Connection Practice.
Additional research demonstrated that when participants in the study were in positive affect (a good mood), insight was increased before and during the solving of a problem, as indicated by differing brain activity patterns. Heart-brain coherence changes an individual’s mood to one of positive affect, which results in the insights that are discovered in the last step of the Connection Practice.
After having taught the Connection Practice throughout the United States and abroad, Rev. Rita Marie Johnson wrote Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results, releasing it in 2015. She had lived in Costa Rica for 23 years, where she brought the Connection Practice into the public schools and impacted the social-emotional intelligence of over 100,000 students. She also initiated a bill in the Costa Rican legislature for a Ministry for Peace, which passed in 2009. Later that year, she founded a U.S. nonprofit, Rasur Foundation International, which sponsors Connection Practice courses in spiritual communities and in secular settings.