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One Day Course in Dent Meditation Centre

By |April 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on One Day Course in Dent Meditation Centre

Child and Parent/Teacher Based Continuous Personal Development Training in Mindfulness

Children don’t react to what we say and what we do, they react to how we leave them feeling. How children want to feel is safe and loved. What they want is to be seen and heard. Children spot phonies a mile off.
What this means for people working with children is that ‘doing stuff’ won’t help but ‘being what is needed’ will.
With all of the best will in the world, many people have only passing experience of self-realisation and struggle with authenticity especially when dealing with young people. We are inclined to pass on personality habits that we inherited from our parents. We tend to lack skills and ability to truly empathise with young people and struggle with finding compatible communication techniques of authenticity.
Mindfulness training can radically empower us with a strategy of deep and lasting loving kindness enabling us to offer a gesture of care and support to those in need, one that won’t be rejected.
Learning some easy to use skills and techniques of mindfulness to engage with young people is vital for personal development. This ancient practice has modern foundations in the most recent and exciting science. Now supported by and developed for psychologists and therapists, mindfulness is one of the few proven methods for creating long lasting positive change for young people, their parents and their carers.

By |March 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Child and Parent/Teacher Based Continuous Personal Development Training in Mindfulness

Taming Amy

My new book; Taming Amy: One man’s journey from fear to happiness’ is now available to buy on Amazon and all good on-line suppliers.

‘Between the pages of the light-hearted and humorous fiction there are plenty of my own faults and failings, plus many of the practices that have kept me sane over the years – and still do.’
Taming Amy is a captivating modern tale of mindfulness and enlightenment, which will have you sniggering in recognition one minute and scrabbling for your journal the next.

By |February 26th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Taming Amy

Are you being mindless?

As our minds get overloaded, over worked and over stressed we tend to un-plug and become mindless – not mindful.

Our awareness of where we are and what we are doing can vanish as we place our attention outside of ourselves. Often we drift into self-reflective fantasy, comparison or float into an imagined future or past event.

When was the last time you were travelling somewhere, maybe even driving when suddenly you realize that you have no idea how you just got here. Maybe simply walking up stairs and when you get there you realize you have forgotten what you were going to do. How often have you left for work, college or school to have to turn back, sometimes more than once as you realize you have left your keys, phone and bag?

We all do it and mindfulness practice will help to not miss out huge chunks of our lives, not have to repeat mindless mistakes and stay in the present fully empowered and refreshed.

It’s easy to practice, and you can practice almost anywhere. Simply become aware of your breath and place your attention on the cool sensation on your nose or relaxing your tummy. Now keep remembering to do it.

You will find your mind hops off and dives into one of its concerns. The moment you notice this happening, let go of the illusion and return to your breath. The moment you notice the mind has hopped off is the moment you are reconnecting with mindfulness.

Awareness – Attention – Remembering

By |February 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Are you being mindless?

How to lose weight at Christmas

How to lose weight at Christmas: Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a wonderfully relaxing process that also helps you monitor and even maintain a healthy diet. Of course the healthier our diets are, the more likely we are to be healthy and remain at a weight that is beneficial for us.
A quick guide to this meditate practice is:
 

Drink water first.

Remain silent whilst eating

Put your attention on the food

Chew the food slowly savouring each mouthful

Do not put another mouthful on your fork until you have swallowed the last mouthful.

As you eat reflect on your connectedness to the food – your ‘inter-being’.

Notice how your body is truthfully responding to what it is consuming.

Notice if it suggests any alternatives to your diet, any needs that it might have.

Notice the moment that you feel full.

Stop eating.

My practice usually begins with my breakfast. I break the fast of the night with a slice of wholegrain toast with butter, marmalade and a banana on it. Okay – maybe not everybody’s idea of a great breakfast but it’s mine of choice.
I connect with the world as I reflect on the wheat fields rippling in the wind that provide the grains for the bread, the oranges ripening in the sun, the bananas under an African sky, the sugar cane being harvested, the salt from the sea or mines, the yeast, the rain and soil that nourishes and makes it all possible and of course the multitude of human beings that work to make all of this possible.

All of the time, under the watchful eye of my dog, who expects my last mouthful, I find peace and connectedness through this simple practice. I find that when I practice mindful eating I eat better, I […]

By |December 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to lose weight at Christmas

Wide Awake Schools

Mindfulness in Schools

Following from the training and retreat session with Thich Naht Hahn and the monastics of Plum Village I want to encourage schools and education organisations and authorities of the real and long-lasting value of early mindfulness training.

Young people can suffer from a range of mental health issues from very early on and these can greatly affect their lives and their employment opportunities.

We all deserve peace, and a calm mind. No matter what young people are facing, meditation is a great and healthy way to start the day at school, to finish the routine at home and also to think about our own actions. We discuss social emotional learning within the school. We encourage teachers and parents to learn and practice meditation and mindfulness strategies with the children so that everyone will greatly benefit from it.

The aims of the Wide Awake programme of mindfulness are at the core of the Working for Wholeness courses and workshops. Created by Diana Winston in 1995 the gentle, flexible and easy to use techniques of mindfulness help young people discover a stronger, more joyful and resilient version of themselves.

As part of the process young people are guided to stop judging themselves and learn to accept their realities whilst working with complex emotions through the art of mindfulness and meditation. This in turn helps them to formulate good and healthy choices for their lives as well as empowering them through positive communication.

Reading: Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens. Diana Winston

ISBN 978-0-399-52897-2 www.penguin.com

 

 

By |October 29th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Wide Awake Schools

How to meditate in the city, at work or on the bus.

The first rule of meditation is that there is no meditation.
Sit or stand or walk with your back straight.
Make your posture relaxed. Relax into a straight back position.
Now become aware of your body as you sit still, stand still or walk slowly.
Relax your body. Relax from the top of your head, your face, and your torso all the way to you toes. You can do this and still sit straight, stand or walk slowly.
Now, just as you might do if you flopped onto a big old comfy armchair at the end of your day, breath out once, nice and slowly, and let your mind relax. Let go of your mind: simply and without any effort. Relax. Be lazy. Unwind.
Within this relaxed and chilled state you will experience a new awareness and state of mindfulness.
That’s it: simple, easy and a lovely gift to yourself.
If you have to think about something challenging, maybe a technical or logistical problem, then begin with meditation and then reflect on this problem. Think about it for maybe 20 minutes and then give yourself a mediation break. Keep repeating this process. This will deliver greater clarity and deeper insights into whatever it is you need to think about.
Within the deeply relaxed, meditation state you may notice all manner of ideas, thoughts, reflections and projections arise. However you may choose to reflect on them, remember to keep on returning to your relaxed state.

How to cope with anixiety and panic attacks.

How to cope with anxiety and panic attacks.
Anxiety attacks, or panic attacks, can happen to anybody, old or young. They can occur without warning for professionals at the top of their game as much as for teenagers and students feeling the pressures of exams. Anxiety attacks often accompany a new mother’s return into the world and can go hand in hand with stress and high-pressure situations.
These brief but debilitating episodes are often accompanied by rapid breathing, shaking, sweating and flushing plus uncontrollable and unrealistic negative thoughts.
Thankfully panic attacks can be coped with and prevented with easy to use breathing techniques. The most important thing is to practice preventative de-stressing relaxation and breathing techniques as part of your daily routine. You must fully realise that panic attacks, and their accompanying thoughts can do you no harm, are not life threatening and will pass in a few minutes.
Step One: Immediately focus on your breathing. Take gentle and regulated breaths and place your attention wholly on the sensations of the rise and fall of your breath in your nose and lungs.
Stop Two: As you regulate your breathing and re-focus your attention, relax your tummy and continue to ‘let go’ of any feelings of stress as you breath out. Do this gently.
Step Three: If any of the accompanying thoughts of fear, anxiety or stress return continue Step One and Two – letting go of all negative thoughts until the sensations of panic subside and pass.

As the fight or flight response of the panic attack subsides allow yourself to continue mindful breathing and allow yourself to fully let go of any remaining negative thoughts or ideas you may have about the panic attack itself.
A panic attack is your body’s strong […]

By |August 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to cope with anixiety and panic attacks.

Mindful Public Speaking

My background in TV and Media training has enabled me to witness just how powerful techniques of Mindfulness can be to lower stress, bring the speaker fully present and maximise confidence to create impact with the audience.
We all need to stop, become still and quiet before we engage in any kind of presentation, pitch or performance.
In the hectic business world we can find ourselves stressed, anxious and nervous with the thought of facing the public or the camera the final straw. I have witnessed many powerful and successful business leaders ‘corpse’, stumble, or verbally trip up when in front of the camera. Often people’s body language reveals that they are being in-authentic which undermines brand perception. Unwanted emotions and expressions burst out, carefully prepared messages are forgotten and share prices plummet.
With a few minutes of careful Mindful preparation we can become still, calm, confident and carefully choose the emotional state we wish to be in and then adjust our performance levels or volume so that we can make a powerful connection with the audience. The main technique is to instruct the body to support us by leaving the ‘flight or flight’ state and literally ‘being the good news story’.
Mindful Media Messaging is our comprehensive media training course.

 

 

 

 

By |July 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mindful Public Speaking

Wellbeing and Engagement

Coordinating your approach to employees, and your own, wellbeing has become the subject of many white papers.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that organisations should (i) take a strategic and coordinated approach to promoting employees’ wellbeing, (ii) assess opportunities for promoting employees’ mental wellbeing and managing risks, (iii) promote a culture that supports flexible working, and (iv) promote a supportive and participative management style.
The Marmot review (2010) concluded that work can either be good or bad for health, and argued that if health promoting initiatives are introduced appropriately in the workplace, this has the potential to reduce health inequalities across society.
We are more engaged at work when we are in great physical and mental health.
Organizations that make an effort to improve their employees’ engagement levels will also help their workers improve the quality of their lives, minimizing the costs of decreased productivity resulting from chronic illnesses whilst lowering healthcare and absence costs. (Gallup, 2013)
Although cynics might argue that techniques of stress reduction, wellbeing and mindfulness are just tools to aid higher productivity, at Working For Wholeness we believe that we have to put the individual first. Once techniques for the preservation and enhancement of self have been learned, and are being practiced, a more compassionate work ethic will naturally and organically evolve and be welcomed by all, individual and company.