Life can be overwhelming, making us unsure at times whether to even pay attention to who we are and what is happening (“be mindful”). We sometimes want to bury our heads in the sand (distract ourselves) and wait for something better. Unfortunately, ignoring life tends to cause more problems, creating more negativity and pain that makes us more anxious and prone to reactive habits. In these situations, we can learn to find and create “Green Zones” where emotions of anxiety, stress and self-doubt can arise in a container of kindness, dignity and safety. Green Zones can happen in solitude, or with others in ‘miniature intentional communities.’ These allow us to relax into our natural state and “make friends” with the subtle emotions that cause pain. Together, we will explore the teachings of “Mindful Communication” as taught by author, family therapist and mindfulness teacher Susan Chapman in The Five Keys to Mindful Communication, and especially the traditions of intentional friendship found in a variety of spiritual and secular traditions. No prior experience with mindfulness meditation necessary.
This retreat will introduce material from the The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Acharya Susan Chapman. It can function as a review to those familiar with The Five Keys, and will introduce unique material to help us create Green Zones in our own lives and communities.
Acharya Susan Chapman on how "Green Zones" help us to identify our projections
Excerpt: Susan references a story where she slipped in public, and a stranger reacted with unexpected kindness, and talks briefly about "the red light" (of reactive emotions).
Saturday 9am-5pm (with break for lunch)
Greg Heffron owns and manages Green Zone Conversations - a business dedicated to teaching the unique material of author and Buddhist teacher Susan Chapman. He is the only other certified teacher, and has been teaching Mindful Communication workshops since 2009. He began as a mindfulness meditation teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition in 2005. That same year, he apprenticed with senior Mudra Space Awareness teacher Craig Smith, and become authorized to teach this unique mind-body meditation technique. In 2007, Smith and Heffron taught this practice in a workshop for fourth year students in the Dance Division at The Juilliard School in New York City.
This interview with teacher Greg Heffron from winter 2013 talks about the natural way we open to communication, and how we end up shutting down.