Awakening to Life Intensive


Robert Gonzales & Robert Kržišnik

Postponed – new date in 2022 to be confirmed

Lake Perseverance Centre, Crows Nest (Toowoomba) Queensland

Fully booked – please register without payment to go on wait list or to be notified  about a similar event in future


We invite you on a journey of 7 Days Intensive Experiential Retreat 

  • direct experiencing, sensing and being
  • embodying our deepest authenticity
  • venturing beyond head-centered thinking to reclaim wholeness
  • witnessing the mystery of existence unfold

“We, the Roberts, are not only connected by our first names, but also by our core yearnings to let Life flow fully; by the work we do to support and enhance evolutionary processes; and by our spiritual histories that in both cases started off with Enlightenment Intensives, continued through various meditation practices and ultimately embraced the spiritual core of Nonviolent Communication.

We are both very excited and passionate about having created this intensive retreat, in which we, as a community, witness and support the embodiment of our deepest authenticity.” Robert Gonzales & Robert Kržišnik

Testimonial by Jacqueline - Hamburg 2019

Testimonial by Jacqueline – Hamburg 2019

Fully experiential retreat

The main focus of the retreat will be on direct experiencing primarily through dyad work but also through individual and group processes, including body movement and integration time in nature. Facilitators will be there not to teach, but to offer guidance and support. 

Intensity and dedication

This retreat will be held as a sacred time for our deepest Self.

By “intensive retreat” we mean that: 
– we will be working from around 7:00 in the morning to around 10:00 in the evening (this includes breaks, solo silent time, movement practices, dyad and group work);
– we ask you to refrain from using internet (including email & cell phone), unless absolutely urgent, for the duration of the entire retreat;
– we will be inviting you, during breaks and free time, to keep your intention and focus on conscious inquiry into your deepest authenticity (rather than engaging in casual socializing);

It is a full-time residential retreat – participants will stay onsite for the whole 7 day and 7 nights.

Embracing what is

This is not a self-improvement workshop, in which certain aspects of ourselves would be perceived as needing change, fixing, or healing. The participants will be continuously encouraged to experience and embrace the Whole, rather than move from an “imperfect” state to a “better” one.


While this is not a classical Nonviolent Communication training, basic Nonviolent Communication skills of honest self-expression, empathic listening and self-empathy are required.

Therefore, we would like the participants to have had at least four (4) full days of training in Nonviolent Communication with a CNVC certified trainer. 

If you have not completed 4 days of NVC training, please check the following websites for trainings, or talk to us about finding NVC trainers in your local area:

In Australia
Communicate2Connect Inc. 

NVC Australia

In Aotearoa New Zealand



Retreat Fees 

  • Retreat Fees all inclusive, with all food, and accommodation in shared rooms
  • $250 non-refundable deposit required with registration to secure your place
  • $2100 early bird if paid in full by 1st March 2020
  • $2400 full price if paid after 1st March 2020
  • Supporter Rate – If you’re able, please consider giving additional amount to support concessions for others who cannot pay the full price
  • Concession places by application
  • All payments due in full by 1st May 2020


Fully booked – please register without payment to go on wait list

For all enquiries contact
Tracy Adams
or phone +61 405 179 488 in Australia

THE VENUE – Lake Perseverance Centre,

854 Perseverance Dam Road, Crows Nest,  Queensland 4355

53 km north-east of Toowoomba.  Approximately 55 minutes drive from Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. Approximately 2 hours drive from Brisbane Airport. We will arrange airport shuttles and car-pooling for participants to assist in getting to our venue. 


We will gather in the clear mountain air of the Darling Downs west of Brisbane. This peaceful secluded venue is nestled in a large area of beautiful woodland, overlooking Lake Perseverance. There are plenty of walking tracks and places for solitude and reflection in nature on and off tracks. 

Our retreat space is a large airy hall with huge windows looking out to forest, with a large fireplace, other heating & air-conditioning. Accommodation is in large heated/air-conditioned timber cabins. As there is plenty of space in each cabin, retreat participants can spread out and have plenty of personal space. 

About the Roberts

Robert Gonzales’ work Living Compassion has emerged from a lifetime of inquiry into the intersection between spirituality and human communication. His influences include Dr. Marshall Rosenberg (founder of Nonviolent Communication), Stephen Schwartz (creator of Compassionate Self-Care), and other spiritual teachers. His first formal spiritual practice was Enlightenment Intensives, which he participated in and led for many years. Robert received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1989, and was a practicing therapist for many years, offering individual and couples counseling. He met Marshall Rosenberg in 1985 and began teaching NVC in 1986. He is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Robert’s work Living Compassionhas evolved as an integration of embodied spirituality and Nonviolent Communication. His trainings offer ways to cultivate daily practices for living life fully, grounded in compassion for one’s self and others. Robert has contributed to the work of the Center for Nonviolent Communication as a Certified Trainer, serving as a Certification Assessor, and as Board President. He continues to serve as a lead trainer for International Intensive Trainings (IITs). He was one of the Co-founders of the NVC Training Institute and in 2010, he founded the Center for Living Compassion, a nonprofit organization through which he shares his work.

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Robert Kržišnik, MSc. Psych., has been working for 29 years with individuals and groups as psychotherapist, trainer, team coach, complex meeting facilitator and conflict mediator in a wide spectrum of environments: from corporate to educational to personal and spiritual retreats. Robert is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication and serves as a trainer at International Intensive Trainings (IIT’s) around the world.
In 1986, Robert experienced his first Enlightenment Intensive (out of 45, which he either attended or facilitated), and his passion for the exploration of the essence of Life has never stopped since. The most meaningful and transformative processes on his journey have been Enlightenment Intensives, Soto Zen meditation, and Nonviolent Communication. Website:



Testimonial by Ulli – Hamburg 2019


Testimonial by Oliver – Hamburg 2019







This is what participants from the previous Awakening to Life Intensives say about the experience:
The retreat helped me come closer to myself, I feel more connected to what life is “really” about. It is an invaluable help on this path and I will be there soon again!
Marcus Thies from Germany
The retreat helped me to authentically connect with myself, it has broadened  my sense of identity and was a catalyst for significant development in several areas in my life.
Sietse Sterrenburg from The Netherlands
The Awakening to Life intensive process allows one to flow with life as it is while avoiding obstacles one might encounter with other transformative work.  Feel deeply into my own presence! Wonderful.
Michael G. from the USA
The ongoing dyads with rotating questions offered such a diverse range of experiences. The process of going through this day after day led to a shedding of old layers and an opening to new insights and a deeper relationship and understanding of myself. Also the time in nature was very nurturing and felt essential to my integration of what I was experiencing
After the retreat I notice that I bring a greater level of acceptance to my experiences, which feels profound for me. I am allowing myself to open to all feelings and thoughts with more curiosity and compassionate understanding. I feel more trust in myself
Karl Smerecnik from the USA
Now being back home I am experiencing the flow from my essence to everybody and everything. I am experiencing deepest connections with every person I meet; my friends, my children, my partner and hard to admit, even with my mother. And I feel freedom, the grasp of mind being released, no need to think about anything, no need to decide, no need to develop countless scenarios of what can happen in future; and all the fears are gone. Its like sailing on the perfectly still sea, with the perfect wind, being in perfect balance with all the forces of nature, not knowing where I am going and enjoying the journey tremendously.
Rok Praprotnik from Slovenia
The intensity and structure supported me enormously in learning that structure can be very life-serving, and helped me to move out of tightening behavioural patterns. It gave me the chance to really pierce through a lot of layers of illusion. I experienced divine love and oneness on such a high level never felt before. Your trust in the processes, the structure and in the group was so immense, that it gave space for me to open up and to restore the qualities of trust, companionship, gentleness, care, love, being seen, being heard, being important within me – that were all pretty “damaged” before. And the inclusion of the body really opened a door for me to reconnect with my body and to body contact with others, which was quite an issue for me before. I loved how body/ emotions/ and spirituality connected and came to life together. The Concrete connecting with the Abstract.
I seem to have changed a lot, at least according to my husband. I am more open, more authentic, more direct, have less fears, more in my body, more in the flow. I keep the habits of going into nature. I stay in contact with my new companions. I feel happy for no fucking reason! My senses are very sharp, I get touched by small things much easier. I can enjoy with a lot less stimulation, tolerate a lot more disturbance without losing balance.
Sonja Kulkarni from Germany
It was really meaningful for me to (re)connect to my vulnerability and see the beauty of this open, hyper sensitive heart. How alive it is when it’s naked. And also to find the confirmation (within myself) that being one with Life is my life, its core and essence and that’s all I want from this life – with deep, very deeply rooted, fundamental passion and fire. It confirmed that my journey is to keep on opening space within myself in order to create a space where others can just be, heal, transform and open – according to their needs.
After the retreat I feel a lot of inner space, a more open heart, as if I had been fed highly nutritious food (which I have been) and could now relax and have no demands.
Aurelie de Lalande from Switzerland
The retreat was a gift for me to connect with more of my essence and stay connected with most of it afterwards. My intuition is now ‘working overtime’ and my inner power activates me every day with increasing force, resulting in showing myself. The real me.
I look for the ‘yes’ in my body, my heart, as much as I can. It guides me and keeps me in my flow.
From this point onward, my life started to move forward… I cannot hide from my truth anymore. I act out of and speak up from my essence more and more and am open and sincere to myself and others.
Mireille van Bremen from the Netherlands