green zones

Working with Green Light vision leads us to challenge the basic assumptions of Me-First belief systems, which occur when the light turns red and we cut ourselves off. The green light is a paradigm shift in which the happiness of others gives us personal joy. To fully engage with this view, we need to adjust our behavior, conversation and mental attitude.

Green Zones are emotionally safe places where we gently encounter our habits of mindlessness and heartlessness in an environment of acceptance, empathy and insight. Here we can shift out of the culture of fear into a new culture of open heart and mind, awake and connected to the people and environment around us.

Friendship with others begins here and now with ourselves. In our program we introduce two kinds of green zones: alone and together.


I. Alone: Creating an Inner Green Zone

Meditation: practicing the art of listening to our awake body, tender heart and open mind means learning to be still and not getting caught up in our own thoughts. We can open up to the magic of the world around us.

Contemplation: with the workbooks provided, we can reflect on our unrealistic beliefs and expectations, developing our critical intelligence in a warm, accommodating environment.

II. Together: Creating a social Green Zone

In small groups we practice five kinds of mindful communication skills and provide “a cradle of loving kindness” for each other with a balance of insight and empathy.

After the training, people are encouraged to form similar groups among friends and co-workers so that as many people as possible can have the opportunity to be listened to and cared for.

SUSAN CHAPMAN: from the Online Class “Yellow Light Reactions: A Case Of Mistaken Identity” 

How the creation of a “green zone” or protected space in which to contemplate our experience allows us the safety to identify our “projections” (i.e. the bias we overlay on our experience). Here, Susan refers to a story of slipping in public, and how a stranger came towards her with kindness, instead of judgment.