Zeenat Potia, MA

Communicating with Mindfulness and Openness

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What You'll Learn

  • Explore how communication can be a mindfulness practice by bringing the skills of generous listening, presence, and curiosity to your interactions with others

  • Learn how to approach difficult conversations from a place of kindness and strength

  • Discover what it means to communicate mindfully from a place of response rather than reaction in everyday interactions

About Zeenat Potia, MA

Zeenat Potia teaches mindfulness in Boston, and is an instructor for Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and eMindful. She has also taught meditation at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center since 2014, and served on the Board of Directors from 2012-2019. She integrates a business career of over 20 years in strategic communications in her corporate offerings. As an immigrant and a working mother, her teaching stems from an aspiration to create a more inclusive and sustainable world. To learn more about Zeenat and her work, visit her website.

About Rona Wilensky, PhD

Rona Wilensky is Director of Mindfulness Programs at PassageWorks Institute where she teaches SMART in Education, a mindfulness program for educators. From 1992- 2009 she was founding principal of New Vista High School, an innovative public high school of choice in Boulder, Colorado. She is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute and was member of the Leadership Council of the Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplative Teaching and Learning. Rona holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and taught that subject at Williams College and the University of Denver in the early 1980’s.

Check out Rona's work at PassageWorks.

Enjoying the Summit?

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  1. Suzette Misrachi March 26, 2020 at 6:07 am

    Zeenat, I listened to your presentation and felt very inspired. Thank you for your kindness and wisdom.

    Suzette Misrachi, Melbourne, Australia
    Author of: “Lives unseen: unacknowledged trauma of non-disordered, competent Adult Children Of Parents with a Severe Mental Illness” and various brief articles I’ve been invited to write on grief and trauma aimed at mental health practitioners which I then offer for free to the general public (see

  2. Soniya Gurung March 24, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Grateful 🙏!

  3. Sakina. M .Potia. March 23, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Thnx. A Lot Zee.proud of U . DAD.

  4. becky March 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    that was beautiful. A perfect combination of dialogues
    Thank you

  5. Lisa Coburn March 22, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Zeenat – you have such a beautiful spirit. Thank you for all the gifts and tools you shared.

    In the interest of sharing, here are two tools I’ve added to my mindful communication.

    1.WAIT – Why am I talking?

    2. THINK before I speak. (similar to the Eightfold Path)
    Is it True?
    Is it Helpful?
    Is it Inspiring?
    Is it Necessary?
    Is it Kind? – How do I say it in a kind manner?

    Sending everyone light and love.

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you Lisa for both of these additions. Your wisdom and participation is much appreciated, and I’m sure will be of benefit to many. Warmly, Zeenat

  6. Nicole March 22, 2020 at 11:36 am

    dyad training in mindful listening and speaking is one of the most powerful things i’ve ever done. i highly recommend it! thanks for the refreshers today 🙂

  7. DOROTHY March 22, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Found this session to be very good but I’m conscious of hurrying because I don’t want it to disappear because it’s been up too long. Thank you Zeeta and Rona

  8. Rainy March 22, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Thank you. I listened to this information because mindful communication is a skill I’be been working on and I have a difficult and very important to me issue to deal with tomorrow.

    However, the discussion near the end of the video of a clear preference for in person rather than an email or written communication brought me to tears. I am wanting to get approval for a project at my house that is very important to my wellbeing. My homeowners association has denied the project.

    I have written a draft email to the 3 men who are in charge of this review.

    I realized I felt completely hopeless at the thought of trying to change their minds in a face to face conversation. My fear is that I won’t be able to verbally articulate what I want. I’m afraid I won’t be listened to. I am afraid because I am out numbered. I am afraid because there is a power differential as I am a supplicant and they have all the authority. They are men and I am a woman.

    As I’m writing this I realize my inner wisdom is telling me that in this case communication via email is the correct course for me.

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      Dear Rainy,

      I feel for you in the difficult position that you find yourself in. Sounds like you are practicing because your inner wisdom is guiding you forward. I’m sending courage and strength your way. May it be resolved swiftly. And yes, safety first. If it’s safer for you to communicate via email, then please do that.

  9. Ariella March 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Thank you so much! Found this extremely helpful and encouraging. An excellent reminder on how to communicate in difficult situations and to allow for a break when needed! Really love this!

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      Thank you for your generous and kind feedback Ariella. Gratitude for you.

  10. Mike March 22, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Rona embedded herself to the detriment of the guest

  11. Lindsay March 22, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Wow! Thank you Zeenat for your thoughtful teachings. Very relevant for connecting in these divisive times. Thank you for your generosity and compassion in sharing with us. Thank you Rona for your questions.

  12. Yvette March 22, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Zeenat, what an amazing workshop! Thank you so much. I am new to Mindfulness and I appreciate knowing that in my journey I am to become aware of my feelings in a conversation. I will give myself permission to stop a conversation that is not going well at that moment. Thank you again. It certainly has been a beneficial informative Summit for me.

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you for your generous and kind feedback Yvette. Gratitude for you.

  13. Sal March 22, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Beautifully expressed and taught. As a primary care provider, we often get trapped into finding solutions and reassuring and miss out on the powerful healing of listening and the spoken word. Thank you for reminding us to listen and speak with our soul.

  14. Layla Pankhurst March 22, 2020 at 4:10 am

    Zeenat and Rona thank you both so much. This has been the most powerful and wonderful talk so far for me. I feel truly blessed listening to this and know that this topic requires a lot of further research for me. You worked so well together and it was a pleasure to listen and really try and listen and realise when I wasn’t. Thank you again.

  15. John Shearer March 21, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Well comunicated! Be Mindful… Pause… Connect! 🙏💗

  16. Marty Ostrow March 21, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    What a clear eyed, gentle guide to mindful communication. A beautiful articulate doorway to the practice. With wisdom and great feeling Zeenat offers a respectful peaceful way to be in the world at this time when we need it so greatly. Thank you to the The Mindful Living Summit for including this helpful compelling dialogue.

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:16 pm

      Dear Marty,

      Thank you for your generous and kind feedback. Gratitude for you. Sending love from next door!

  17. Gwynn Ann Cross March 21, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    This was so helpful to me. We are having major disruptions in our lives right now, with this terrible disease. Zeenat helped me relax for a time and rd the stress from my mind. Thank you so much!

  18. Jaimie Cahlil March 21, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    simply…🙏🏽…thank you

  19. Sierdje March 21, 2020 at 10:35 am

    I feel that Zeenat gave me a gift that has to marinate. Everything expressed resonated and I understood in my core being. I believe in myself enough to know the truth and I usually feel that everyone else comes from the same place. I live with an open heart, so this is always a given. I usually try not to make any judgments about people because I don’t know their story.,My feeling is that I can speak to the truth as I see it and now feel more empowerment to do so. I need to begin giving myself more of the love I give to others . We all need our dignity to be checked and treat one another the way we want to be treated..with loving kindness.
    Zeenat, thank you for restoring a part of my being that i lost along the way.
    Peace to all

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Thank you for your generous and kind feedback Sierdje. Gratitude for you. I’m so glad that you connected to the talk and found it helpful. I see and appreciate your being. You are dignified and beautiful!

  20. Vivian March 21, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Very informative. Excellent descriptions of mindful communication practices

  21. Shilpa jain March 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

    It was so extremely helpful. Im going through a tough time here in India with people holding extreme opinions on political topics. Hope this will be of some help in navigating difficult conversations with some people i care.

    • Zeenat Potia March 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      Thank you for your generous and kind feedback Shilpa. Gratitude for you. Things are very difficult in India right now. It is my home country, and makes me very sad. I am with you.

  22. Esperanza Suarez March 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Great explaining of the foundations for practicing mindful communication.

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