Robert Gonzales Bio

“There is an utter simplicity in cultivating simple presence and unqualified acceptance when meeting our own experience. And we begin to meet others that way. We enter into our own heart with openness, which is a form of fearlessness.  When we meet the life form in others, the life energy however it is expressed, with the same open fearless compassion, then more wonderful things than we can imagine will occur.”  Robert Gonzales

Robert’s passion is in the spirituality of compassionate communication. He sees compassionate communication both as a process that helps us connect more authentically with ourselves and others, and as a spiritual practice and a way of living.

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 PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1989, and was a practising therapist for many years, offering individual and couples counselling. He has taught psychology, counselling and communication at Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona.

He met Marshall Rosenberg (founder of Nonviolent Communication) in 1985 and has been teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) since 1986. He is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Robert’s work Living Compassion has 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.



“I have learned a huge amount from working alongside Robert. For me he
embodies the compassionate embrace that he
teaches. I recommend all NVC practitioners, especially anyone wishing to
train others in NVC, to attend his events and benefit from what he has
contributed, building on Marshall’s work.” Gina Lawrie, CNVC Certified Trainer, UK

“Robert Gonzales is a master at taking a seemingly complicated life issue and
dissolving it down to the root cause, and thus revealing the Truth.  Through
his presence and simple tools, lives are transformed and spiritual depth is
developed.  His workshops are a life-changing, experience – every time!” Mary Mackenzie, of the NVC Academy

“Robert Gonzales has impacted me deeply with the approach that he calls “Compassionately Embracing”. This is now at the center place of how I relate to myself: I now strive to welcome and hold space for any thoughts or emotions that comes in my awareness, before processing it.  This is life-changing.” Francois Beausoleil,  CNVC Certified Trainer, BayNVC Leadership Program

“The work I have done with Robert Gonzales stands out as the deepest, gentlest, strongest, most challenging and most long lasting, embodied emotional work I have come across so far in my life. I have done quite a bit of NVC training with various facilitators, touched on Hakomi and am currently in the midst of a 4 year Masters of Gestalt Therapy, and Robert’s work is still, for me, the most effective of processes when it comes to raising awareness of what’s happening within, and being able to work with that in ways that break habitual responses and create deep connection with another while holding one’s own integrity. It is exquisite to be in the presence of the balance of intelligence and heart in Robert.  He is a deeply inspiring living example of what it is to be uniquely fully human.” Jacinta Foale, Australia

“More than anyone I’ve encountered in three decades of deeply exploring spiritual, meditation and nonviolent communication teachers/trainings/retreats, Robert embodies profound presence, compassion, love. The processes he has synthesised over many years have given me simple and effective pathways to experience this embodiment in myself and in my daily life. I’m immensely grateful to Robert and his trainings – my life has been utterly transformed through them ” Tracy, Australia

Robert’s work takes connecting with human needs to a whole new level – to a sense of and an experience of the alive quality or vibration of the need. What I learned from Robert’s trainings is that when I’m connected to the beauty of the need (mine and the others) and I communicate from that place or that energy, having the words in the right order or in the form of the classic NVC model isn’t important because whatever I say is way more connecting.

Robert proposes “relating as spiritual practice”. It’s all very well to have a spiritual practice that has you be at peace whilst sitting on the cushion in solitude, but being able to be in the resonance or consciousness of compassion whilst actually relating and or communicating is where the rubber really hits the road.

I learned that all needs may not be met and it’s more about all needs mattering; that sometimes some needs will not be met and in that case what there is to do is mourn. That he values mourning (different to suffering) really touched me.

When I use Robert’s processes, communicating from that place has been effective in the sense that I felt empowered (strong) and compassionate (able to hear them without getting triggered).

Robert is both a powerful and strong presence, and at the same time he has a vulnerability and softness about him. He shares from his heart and he can be with others pain in a very powerful yet soft as a cloud kind of way. Cherie, Australia