Creating Emotional Green Zones – Bellingham, WA Nov 23-24
How do we find our way in a world which at times can seem profoundly confusing and challenging? Feeling overwhelmed, we can act out with negative patterns, leaving us disappointed with ourselves and wary about interacting with others. Because we’re in pain, we are (secretly) not sure that we want to pay attention to our minds and emotions (be mindful). Perhaps we should just bury our heads until the whole situation blows over. Unfortunately, burying our heads tends to produce more reactivity, and life becomes more painful, triggering further fears of waking up to who we are and how we feel.
In these situations, we need support in order to return to our experience and regain confidence in our ability to handle ourselves. A powerful way to do this is to create a Green Zone where our real emotions can arise in a safe container. This support allows us to become mindful of subtler, trickier emotions, and helps us to “make friends” with them, thereby feeding them less and less of our energy.
Green Zones can happen in solitude or with others. In either case, care needs to be taken to find or create a nourishing environment. Together, we will explore the traditions of intentional friendship, using spiritual models from the Christian and Buddhist traditions, and investigate ways that these models can be adapted to bring greater authenticity and a sense of sacredness to our personal relationships. This allows us a potent way to work with painful emotions without harming relationship.
This retreat will introducce material from the The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Acharya Susan Chapman. It can function as a review to those familar with The Five Keys, and will introduce unique material to help us create Green Zones in our own lives.
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)
Location: Bellingham Shambhala Center
2825 Meridian, Suite 201 (2nd floor, across from Haggens grocery) Bellingham, Washington
Greg Heffron owns and manages Green Zone Institute – 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.