Speaking in the Bardo: The Four Dignities of Good Communication

with Christian Gregory

October 13th

Date details +
  • $50 Program Price
  • $75 Patron Price
Room: Main Shrine Room

This course begins with the view that speech is a locus of energy that can be an access point for embodied wisdom. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught this view as a way to introduce us to the intelligence that runs like a thread through our being: basic goodness.

Acharya Susan Gillis Chapman, whose book The Five Keys of Mindful Communication serves as a touchstone and a resource for (the longer version of) this class, classifies speech situations according to 3 lights, or zones of fluency. The “green” and “red” light situations, while having their own challenges, are accompanied by clear signals. Green means go; this is a zone of safety for communication. Red means stop; this is a zone where we need pause, lest we hurt ourselves or others.

The most difficult of these situations, however, are “yellow light” situations. They express uncertainty, the need for caution, curiosity, open questions. They are the bardo spaces of our lives as communicators.

It is hoped that this course will give us some vocabulary and practices for connecting with and utilizing speech – and the communication principle more generally – in ways that foster confidence in basic goodness – especially in difficult “in-between” zones. This course does not aim to make us “better communicators,” but to draw attention to the ways that we speak that express social, cultural, personal wakefulness and fear.

Above all, this workshop will seeks to be engaging and fun, to build and nurture friendship, group confidence, and fellowship.

This 1-day workshop does not require any previous meditation experience. There will be meditation practice, instruction, conversation, contemplation, and group exercises.


Chogyam Trungpa, Transcending Madness
Chogyam Trungpa, Secret Beyond Thought
Chogyam Trungpa, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior Susan Gillis Chapman, The Five Keys of Mindful Communication Oren Jay Sofer, Say What You Mean