a multi-year green zone community in poland

a multi-year green zone community in poland

Thanks to guest blogger Piotr Witkowski — one of our new Green Zone Leaders as of April 2019. Piotr and Klara Galant (another GZL graduate) have kept this circle of kindness going for several years — the longest running Green Zone in the world. We at Green Zone Institute offer our sincere gratitude for their dedication and leadership!

My adventure with Mindful Communication started in May 2016, when I attended the weekend program The Five Keys to Mindful Communication taught by Sabine Rolf in my home town of Szczecin, Poland. [Editor’s note: in the West, near the German border.] After the program, Sabine suggested that I could continue this topic and lead a Green Zone group in Szczecin Shambhala Center. So, knowing almost nothing about Mindful Communication, I started to lead (guide) such meetings. Quite a few people came for the first meeting and to my astonishment they wanted to continue. We decided to meet twice a month. And we are still meeting and practicing together (6 to 8 people) until now — almost three years later.

We were constantly experimenting with the meeting format – each lasted 2-3 hours and we were doing “dyads,” (partner conversations), speaking in the circle, writing a diary, different sorts of movement exercises, short presentations of the material and meditation.

There was one very diligent participant, Klara, who was very passionate about Mindful Communication, so after a while I suggested that we could lead together. And we were a very good team – I was focusing on creating a peaceful structure and she was filling this structure with her spontaneity and warmth. Both of us were constantly improving our knowledge, and participated together in two online courses: the 5-week “Five Keys to Mindful Communication” and the 8-month Advanced Certification program for Green Zone Leaders.

In 2017, we had Greg Heffron lead our Green Zone meeting during his teaching visit. During that meeting, I learned from him a lot — and the most powerful skill Greg was showing us was inviting space to communication and trusting that space.

I have a feeling that I reached (as a GZ leader) my personal limits, and would like to gain more skills and knowledge, so I am considering taking part in the Teachers’ Training. Hopefully I will not hesitate.

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Senior Mindful Communication Instructor Gregory Heffron MFA owns and manages Green Zone Institute. He was the first certified teacher of Mindful Communication authorized by Susan Gillis Chapman. He has been teaching Mindful Communication workshops since 2009, and has been a mindfulness meditation teacher since 2005. In 2005, he apprenticed with senior Mudra Space Awareness teacher Craig Smith, and became authorized to teach this unique mind-body meditation technique — included in nearly every workshop. In 2007, Greg co-taught with Smith to fourth year students in the Dance Division at the Julliard School in New York. Greg teaches Mindful Communication and Mudra Space Awareness primarily in North America and Europe. In 2003 Greg graduated with an MFA in Nonfiction Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. He coaches individuals, teaches workshops, and consults with businesses and organizations like Shambhala Mountain Center, Dechen Choling Buddhist Retreat Center and others.