Advisory Board/Board

Advisory Board

Susan Gillis Chapman
Founder/Guiding Teacher

Susan Gillis Chapman

Susan is a retired Marital and Family therapist who has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 35 years.  She is the author of the book The Five Keys To Mindful Communication.

Susan has a unique background that combines expertise in western relationship psychology with spiritual practice.  After receiving an MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology she spent ten years working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.  During that time she worked as the program director for a battered women’s shelter and as the clinical director for a counseling center that offered both prison and community based treatment programs for men who abused women and children.

More recently Susan’s focus has been intentional community building.  When their children reached adulthood, she and her husband Jerry joined a small community of 14 people and spent three years in a Tibetan Buddhist retreat.  From 2002 until 2008 she and her husband lived in the Shambhala Buddhist monastery, Gampo Abbey, under the mentorship of Pema Chodron.  Here the models that were born from working with domestic violence took their final form as examples of ‘a radically fresh approach to human relationships.’ The power of intentional friendship enables us to use conversation in a new way, bringing compassion to the parts of ourselves we’re afraid of and learning to unmask and open to who we really are.

Gregory Heffron MFA
Executive Director
Senior Teacher

Gregory Heffron

Greg Heffron directs 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 has taught Mindful Communication and Mudra Space Awareness workshops in Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and across North America. 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 CenterDechen Choling Buddhist Retreat Center and others.

Sabine Rolf
Mindful Communication Teacher

sabine-rolfSabine Rolf is authorized as Acharya in the Kagyu/Nyingma/Shambhala-Lineage and has been practicing meditation und contemplation since more than 20 years. She teaches extensively in Europe about Buddhism, Shambhala and contemplative psychology, as well as workshops on Mindful Communication.

She studied Philosophy and German Literature in Hamburg und worked in leadership teams in Adult Education and Preventive Environmental Protection.

She lives in Germany.

 

Elesa Commerse
Mindful Communication Teacher

Elesa Commerse

Elesa taught her first meditation class in 1975, at Smith College. Elesa has studied with her root teacher, the Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, for the past 30 years. She is a graduate of the Temple of Kriya Yoga Meditation Teacher Training Program; completed Yoga Teacher Training with Donna Farhi; graduated from the Tibetan Bowl Sound Healing School; and is certified by Dr. Mitch Nur’s 9-Ways Academia as a Himalayan Singing Bowl Sound Therapist. Elesa completed Yoga Nidra training with Dr. Richard Miller; is a licensed SoulCollage® Facilitator; and in 2017, was empowered by Acharya Susan Gillis Chapman to teach The Five Keys to Mindful Communication. Academically, Elesa holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Smith College.

Through Touching Earth, the mindfulness learning center Elesa founded and co-directs, free listening stations are sponsored throughout the city of Chicago, offering refuge to those who need to be seen and heard. In response to the national youth violence epidemic in America, she directed and executive produced the documentary, “All Rise in Search of Hope,” and established “Peace Officer Academy,” an initiative that works with young people, bereaved mothers and police officers alike to infuse mindfulness and peacekeeping strategies into daily life. Elesa lives in Chicago, where the rubber meets the road everyday.

 

Dr. Martin Ramstedt
Green Zone Leader

Dr. Martin Ramstedt

Martin Ramstedt obtained a Dr. phil. (social and cultural anthropology, social psychology, European ethnology) from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and a Dr. phil. habil. (social and cultural anthropology) from Martin Luther University in Halle/Saale, where he is now a member of the Faculty of Philosophy I (social sciences and historical cultural studies).

Martin Ramstedt joined the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Social Anthropology as senior researcher in October 2006.

From March 2014 until February 2015, Ramstedt was a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Law & Culture’ at Bonn University, directed by Werner Gephart. From June until August 2015, he was a fellow at the KITLV-Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. He is currently fellow of the Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Multiple Secularities’ at Leipzig University (until September 2016). He continues to be associate researcher in the Law & Anthropology Department of the MPI in Halle.

Dr. Ramstedt graduated from the 8-Month Certification in Mindful Communication in June 2019, as a “Green Zone Leader” trained to facilitate group practices in Mindful Communication.

 

Vicky Moyle
Green Zone Leader

Vicky Moyle

Vicky Moyle began practicing and studying Mudra Space Awareness in 2012 and was given authorization to teach Mudra in 2015. Vicky is a retired teacher of Mathematics, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a graduate of Karuna Training. In 2019, she graduated from the 8-Month Certification in Mindful Communication and became a full “Green Zone Leader,” She has taught meditation instruction in the Shambhala Lineage since 2016, and formerly practiced in a Rinzai Zen lineage for 13 years.

Korvus Liedke
Business Advisor

Korvus Liedke

Korvus Liedke is a self-taught “post-scarcity architect” and entrepreneur who brings to Green Zone Institute his systems-minded and deep mindfulness approaches, combined with a focus towards bringing Mindful Communication to audiences who would never otherwise encounter it. He was the CEO of Equinox Botanicals (2015-2016) and CSO of Telos Mindplex (beginning in 2017).

Board of Directors

Greg Heffron

See above

Korvus Liedke

See above