Green Zone Institute: training in mindfulness and communication for individuals, couples, families, businesses and organizations

All communication is a conversation. Our unique mindfulness-based training approach brings out our best — allowing us to be clear, compassionategenuine and effective. Our courses and retreats are based on The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by author and mindfulness teacher Susan Gillis Chapman.

Greg Heffron: What is Mindful Communication?

for more video samples, click here.

Susan Chapman: Open and Closed Communication

From the live (2013) online class “Boundaries and Barriers.”

for audio interviews and samples, click here

Our Programs

susan-lecture-holland2-lightenedutilize mindfulness meditation and the techniques of Contemplative Arts & Psychology. Mindful Communication goes beyond communication skill building. While learning new skills is important, if we don’t identify and relate to the emotional states we inhabit during challenging communication, following “correct” rules or patterns will still produce harmful results. In contrast, if we learn to recognize and take advantage of our natural open state of mind (‘The Green Light’), communication can be genuine, fresh and lively. This allows for creative and unexpected solutions with connection and precision, honesty and care. Click to see our full list of programs.

Featured Upcoming Programs

This class is so practical and I have been using things I’ve learned with my wife.
C.C.Parent of 6



Click to hear interviews with Susan Gillis Chapman and Greg Heffron (and others) about The Five Keys to Mindful Communication and the different programs we offer.



Learn about The Three Lights in Susan Gillis Chapman’s article in the Shambhala Sun’s Mindful Living.



Download the Mindful Communication poster.

Core Principles of Mindful Heart Training

In the present moment, communication is always in a state of being open, closed or in-between. The simple metaphor is a traffic light: green is open, red is closed and yellow/orange is in-between. In each of these states, different approaches are helpful or unhelpful. What is helpful in one can be harmful in another. Mindfulness is the key to stay oriented in each new situation.

These five basic methods for approaching communication remind us how to respond in a genuine and effective manner in any moment of communication. Far from a ‘magic solution,’ these are core skills anyone can learn.

Two common strategies for avoiding one’s own sensitivity are to create distance by suppressing empathy (Heartless Mind), or to create a false-intimacy by suppressing the awareness of our differences (Mindless Heart). These strategies create cycles of drama that fit together like a lock and key, disconnecting us. The Mindful Heart method helps us let go of these patterns and return to our natural, open state.

A desire to flee from our experience of pain can produce artificial and unnecessary conflict. In each part of this four-step process, we have an opportunity to opt out and choose to reconnect with the Green Light of genuine communication.

All communication comes through our basic faculties. As living human beings, we are born with a Natural Communication System of our senses (“Awake Body”), our emotional sensitivity (“Tender Heart”) and our mental awareness (“Open Mind”). While this system can’t magically solve all our problems, it is reliable, realistic and trustworthy — but only if we learn to tune into the signals it’s sending us.

The Mindful Heart method is simple enough to be taught to children, yet captures the complexity of life’s most challenging situations. Join our Programs to find out more.

Susan Gillis Chapman and Greg Heffron teach at the Center for Mindfulness (Amsterdam)

Susan Gillis Chapman and Greg Heffron teach at the Center for Mindfulness (Amsterdam)

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