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The Five Keys to
Mindful Communication

Susan Gillis Chapman's method to uncover the goodness of every interaction
and protect us from frozen patterns which perpetuate harm

"The skillful design of this program offered a safe ground for a personal journey of inquiry with a richness of material and common sense tools to support a lifetime. These teachings met me where I was, and supported engagement on the path of rediscovering who it is we really are."
C. P.
Therapist, L.A. sangha

Karuna Training Graduate Michaela Nowak (Vienna sangha) — on what this material offered her beyond her decades of training in Shambhala.

We are excited to be bringing back our popular online program, The Five Keys to Communication, in a remastered and updated version

This course is based on the book by retired Marriage and Family Therapist and Acharya Emeritus Susan Gillis Chapman. Chapman developed this unique material over decades of practice and contemplation, by combining the Contemplative Psychology teachings of Chögyam Trunpga Rinpoche (including The Five Buddha Families) with her own accessible metaphors and models. This allows the wisdom from the vajrayana traditions to blend seamlessly with a modern Western psychological orientation towards relationship, intimacy and community.

“But I Already Know How to Be Mindful in My Relationships”

Many of us hold this exact vision of ourselves. We’ve spent months and years and decades meditating. Of course we’re mindful. 

Until the exact moment when we get triggered. 

In these moments, we either collapse our confidence of our own goodness, OR we react with our old nemeses — grasping, aggression or denial (the Three Poisons) — towards those who triggered us, losing our confidence in their goodness. Far from allowing us to draw boundaries, this makes us poor at drawing adequate boundaries, and instead creates mindless barriers between ourselves and others.

“There Must Be A Way”

The deep-but-simple metaphors in this Chapman’s approach apply to every interaction in life. They allow you to relate better to overwhelm and being triggered, using your own mindfulness training as a basis. Chapman’s method transforms chaotic emotional dynamics into a direct and workable practice. This ‘living experience of relationship’ offers you a path back to confidence in the goodness of yourself and others — which then allows you to be more truthful, compassionate, and flexible in interactions with:

  • sangha
  • friends
  • family
  • work colleagues
  • and beyond 

And that means you can be: 

  • kinder
  • clearer
  • more effective
  • and more helpful

What is the Course Like? (Sample Clips)

In this clip, co-teacher Greg Heffron comments on the Controlling Pattern and how it leads to us being blindsided.

In this clip, Susan Gillis Chapman touches on the Four Seasons of a conversation.

This five-part class series (1hr each) is particularly important for:

✅ Therapists

✅ Mindfulness Trainers

✅ Hospice Workers

✅ Meditators/Buddhists

✅ Medical Professionals

✅ Coaches

✅ Tantrikas

✅ Karuna Graduates

Those You're Working With Will Feel You Will Feel
More relaxed and natural More relaxed and natural
That you’re more present That you’re more present
That you’re more compassionate That you’re more compassionate
Deeply listened to A better sense of timing
Trust in your connection More willing to take a risk

IMPORTANT: enter the coupon code GREENZONELEADER at checkout to receive a special, time-limited price of only $49.

NOTE: This course will appear in your cart as “The Indispensable Guide To Effective Communication”.  This is the new name of our remastered version of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication.

Reviews of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication

"I could see in action how the Five Keys [material] offered so much practical wisdom that almost immediately enhanced my relationship with my children and partner and friends and family.”
E. B.
Psychotherapist, Vancouver sangha

In this sample clip, Greg Heffron uses tango as a metaphor for the kind of real, living dialogue we can have with another person.

In this course you will learn

  • The five key elements of mindful communication — Mindful Presence, Engaged Mirroring, Encouraging Listening, Unconditional Friendliness, and Spontaneous Responses;
  • How to consciously identify complex communication patterns and habits;
  • How to uncover the hidden fears that often sabotage connection;
  • How to stay open in the midst of difficult sessions so that you can respond more confidently and skillfully;

The course is pre-recorded, so you can view the videos on your own schedule. You will have access to a course discussion forum where you can interact with others in the course and course facilitators and teachers. Following completion of the course, you will receive 2 months free in our online community, The Green Zone Connection, where you can continue to learn and dialogue with other like-minded individuals about how to apply Mindful Communication in your everyday life.

IMPORTANT: enter the coupon code GREENZONELEADER at checkout to receive a special, limited time price of only $49.

 In your cart this course will appear as “The Indispensable Guide To Effective Communication”.  This is the new name for the remastered version of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication. 

“The material was so rich with things we can take back to our lives and practice…”
G. M.
Hospice Worker, Berkeley sangha

These testimonials for our 8-Month Advanced Certification include sangha — including tantrikas, teachers and Karuna Training graduates — from Davis, Hamburg, Zurich, Bellingham, Vienna, and others, as well as dharma practitioners, teachers and mindfulness trainers from other traditions.

Susan Chapman, LMFT
Founder, Guiding Teacher

Susan is the author of The Five Keys To Mindful Communication and developed the revolutionary — yet accessible — approach to communication we teach at the Green Zone Institute.

Susan’s background as a Marital and Family therapist (retired) and a senior Buddhist teacher provides her with unique and invaluable insights — in particular, working in the shadows of society with victims and perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence.

“I realized that our unrealistic expectations about love cause us to punish ourselves and others. But meditation showed me the opposite — that we open more fully to the experience of others when we are more loving toward ourselves.”

Working under the mentorship of Pema Chodron at the Buddhist monastery of Gampo Abbey, Susan developed models to convey ‘a radically fresh approach to human relationships’ — the seeds that would blossom into Mindful Communication.

“Creating Mindful Communication translated the insights from my work — and the wisdom traditions I’m drawing from — so that anyone, in any culture, can benefit.”

Gregory Heffron MFA
Executive Director, Senior Teacher

Greg is the Executive Director of the Green Zone Institute and teaches Mindful Communication throughout North America and Europe.

“Through the years, I have been privileged to witness how effective Mindful Communication is — whether I’m teaching basic mindfulness to newcomers, or diving deep with advanced meditators and those in the helping professions. Everyone benefits.“

In addition to an array of introductory courses, Greg has developed and teaches Green Zone Institute’s Advanced Certification and Teacher Training courses across three continents, and in countries with cultures as diverse as Ukraine, Canada, Austria, Chile, United States, Switzerland, Poland and Holland.

“For me, it has been humbling and inspiring teaching across cultures, feeling each person’s uniqueness and our shared humanity. Regardless of who we are, we ALL struggle with disconnection, and we ALL long to feel connected.“

“In my own life, I have experienced a groundswell in my capacity to navigate life’s communication challenges, and feel more and more connected to myself — and to humanity as a whole.”

Special Time-Limited discount

IMPORTANT: enter the coupon code GREENZONELEADER at checkout to receive a special, time-limited price of only $49.

For those that want to continue into our 8-Month Advanced Certification in Mindful Communication, we’ll apply your tuition from this course to that, meaning this course will be yours cost-free.


NOTE:  In your cart this course will appear as “The Indispensable Guide To Effective Communication”.  This is the new name for the remastered version of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication. 

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here is a short sample from a recent live webinar

Live Webinar - "Alone-Together: Joining The Heaven Of The Dharma With The Earth Of Your Relationships"

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