Program Time: 7pm-9pm Pacific on Mondays
NOTE: this course is being offered online via Berkeley Shambhala Center. The five classes will be offered live over the Zoom software, facilitated by our Green Zone Leader graduate Elvia Garcia. More information is available if you click the registration link, which will take you to their website.
The sense of trust, kindness, discipline, open-heart, honesty, curiosity, generosity, support and joy that is present, makes doing “the work” incredibly potent, meaningful and beneficial.
This class is so practical and I have been using things I’ve learned with my wife.
I found myself stopping the video and replaying it numerous times, trying to listen deeply to all the interesting and revealing information.
The container Susan and Greg created resulted in a lovely connection among the group.
Highly profound and practical tools.
While I came for the professional skills, I’m seeing big changes to my personal life as well.
I feel like I learned more in the Green Zone Leader course than I did in my Masters program in Counseling. And my counseling program cost me $100,000.
Wonderful tools for every aspect of our daily lives.
I want and need to explore my questions and communication and this has given me valuable tools for the journey…
Great experiential skills that could be used right now. Very realistic.
Good communication is essential to any healthy relationship, whether it’s between spouses, family members, friends, or co-workers. Mindfulness—the practice of nonjudgmental awareness—can help us communicate more effectively and meaningfully with others in our personal and professional lives.
You’ll learn five key elements of mindful communication — silence, mirroring, encouraging, discerning, and responding — that make it possible for us to listen more deeply to others and to develop greater clarity and confidence about how to respond. Other topics include:
- identifying your communication patterns and habits;
- uncovering the hidden fears that often sabotage communication;
- staying open in the midst of difficult conversations so that we can respond wisely and skillfully;
- and learning how mindful communication can help us to become more truthful, compassionate, and flexible in our relationships.
How Much Time Does it Take?
The class sessions (including videos) will be 2 hours. Allow yourself time to do the readings, meditation practices and other assignments.
About the Instructors
Susan Gillis Chapman, LMFT
teaches part time for Green Zone Institute and for Karuna Training. 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 Communicationand a contributor to The Mindful Revolution, edited by Barry Boyce. Her website is: http://www.susangillischapman.com.
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.
“Going into the shadows of our society I realized that our unrealistic expectations about love end up causing us to punish ourselves and each other. I could see this pattern in my own mind and heart. But meditation also showed me the opposite: how friendship towards ourselves can open us to others in a new way. Creating these models enabled me to bring what I was learning in my mindfulness practice back into my work with others”.
During those years, Susan began developing educational models for healthy relationship that were based on her training in mindfulness and the teachings she received from Shambhala Buddhist masters. She also drew from her education in the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a school with a gentle, progressive vision of enlightened society. Susan refined these models for her later work with healthy couples and tested their genuineness over her the past twenty years of her own marriage.
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
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 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.