Growing up in Argentina speaking Spanish, English and French and straddling cultures, I learned early to enjoy languages. I also saw how different cultures and classes interact and misunderstand each other.
I followed my love of languages graduating with a BS in Languages and Linguistics from Georgetown University. Subsequently, I pursued graduate studies at Stanford University where I received a Masters in Education. Later I added a license in special education from the University of California, San Francisco.
My two sons were born in Hawaii. I lived on the Big Island for 8 years working in our family tofu manufacturing business and teaching creative movement in public elementary schools. Inspired by Dr. Helen Caldicott, I became involved in the anti-nuclear movement and participated actively in the campaign to make the County of Hawaii the first US nuclear free zone established by majority vote of a county council.
When I moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1985, I engaged with Peace House, an affiliate of Fellowship of Reconciliation, as a volunteer, then as co-director from 1987 to 1993.
In 1987, thanks to contact with Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, I embarked on a path of Buddhist meditation practice which has continued to both challenge and sustain me. I have also developed, through personal investigation and particularly through my experience of Sufism, respect and admiration for teachings from many religions and traditions.
Dance and writing have provided channels for my creative expression. I bring a body-centered grounding to all my endeavors including the teaching of Compassionate Communication.
In 1993, I trained as a mediator and volunteered with the Small Claims Court mediation program for seven years.
I met Dr. Marshall Rosenberg in 1996. My passion for language, peace building, social change, and authentic connection came together in an avid dedication to learn and later teach Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication. I started teaching in 2001 and became a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication in 2006.
What inspires my work with Compassionate Communication is a life-long commitment to bring more peace to our planet. I deeply value the hope that Marshall Rosenberg’s teachings give me that it is possible to meet everyone’s needs in this world.
My experiences teaching these communication and relationship skills in such different places as Afghanistan and El Salvador have assured me that they are universally applicable and beneficial.
“The workshop I took with Selene helped me reconnect with my desire to be an agent of change and help others work better together.” E.B.Ashland, OR