Our People

Rob Nairn

Rob Nairn is one of the world pioneers in presenting Buddhist philosophy and practice in a way that is accessible to the Western mind. In 1980 he resigned as professor of criminology at the University of Cape Town to commit full-time to his spiritual path. His training in psychology and Buddhism-including a four-year cloistered retreat at Samye Ling-enables him to translate ancient Eastern wisdom into concepts that we can understand and apply.

Rob Nairn has developed a unique secular training in mindfulness, which takes us on a step by step journey into a deepening experience of being present and accepting ourselves as we are. The training includes teachings in Western psychological language that provide a context for understanding what is happening in our minds as we practice and working with obstacles that arise.

Heather Regan-Addis

Heather began training in Mindfulness Meditation with Rob Nairn in 2004. She is British Wheel of Yoga trained yoga teacher, has a Post Graduate Diploma in Mindfulness Based Approaches from the University of Bangor, Wales and has a Masters degree in Studies in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen.

She is a co-founder and director of the Mindfulness Association, a Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight teacher and leads the team that developed and delivers the Mindfulness teacher training program to teach the Mindfulness Based Living Course. She is an honorary Fellow of the University of Aberdeen and was involved in the development of the Masters program in Studies in Mindfulness at the University of Aberdeen, which is a collaboration with the Mindfulness Association and also teaches on the program.

Choden (Sean McGovern)

Formally a monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) completed a three year, three month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He co-wrote a book with Paul Gilbert in 2012, entitled 'Mindful Compassion' that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training. In 2016 he completed a one year retreat focused on the foundation practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

Norton Bertram-Smith

I believe people are the wealth of an organisation and to improve that wealth organisations need to recognise develop everyone as a leader.Having reflected on my own life and leadership experiences, I've integrated both a mindfulness awareness and compassion motivation based approach to relationships with a thorough approach to achieving results.My business experience ranges from leading large scale infrastructure projects to leading strategic organisational change programmes. Since leaving the corporate world as Managing Director of Aberdeen Airport I've become an experienced leadership development coach and corporate facilitator.

As a professional leadership development coach (and owner of On Purpose Ltd) I'm extremely well placed to guide and enable leaders, teams and organisations to be great.  I also give time to sharing my experience within the Business Mentoring Scotland Scheme, as a non-exec director of Grampian Housing Association and as a director of the Mindfulness Association Ltd. And am an honoury exec fellow within the University of Aberdeen's business school.

Fay Adams

Fay trained under the guidance of Rob Nairn and now teaches mindfulness, compassion and insight trainings throughout the UK. She also teaches for the University of Aberdeen on their Post Graduate Studies in Mindfulness Programme (MSc). She is a member of the Core Management Team and is a supervisor and teacher.

Fay was originally drawn to mindfulness because of her debilitating chronic pain. Through years of practice she has discovered mindfulness to be not just a way to reduce pain, but also a deeply rich basis for living life fully. She spent six years living as a resident at the Holy Isle retreat island off the west coast of Scotland and now lives in Mow Cop on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border.

Jane Negrych

Jane Negrych works for the Mindfulness Association as a member of their Core Management Team, running and managing their Membership program. She also teaches on their Mindfulness and Compassion courses within the UK, while delivering the 8-week MBLC at home in Ireland. She has completed her MSc in Mindfulness Studies with the University of Aberdeen.

Kristine Mackenzie-Janson

Kristine has been practising Tibetan Buddhism since 2000, and spent four years working and practising meditation on Holy Isle, Scotland. She has trained extensively with Rob Nairn and has been teaching mindfulness and compassion as a lead tutor for the Mindfulness Association since its early days. She offers eight week courses and drop-in sessions near her home in Edinburgh and mindfulnes supervision both in person and by phone. Kristine is also a qualified art therapist, having earned her BA (Hons) degree in 2004 at the Hogeschool Leiden in Holland,

Graeme Armstrong

Graeme first started meditating after an Introduction to Buddhism course at Samye Ling over 15 years ago. He originally trained as a psychological therapist and has been practising now for 20 years. He went to take the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, then completing the Studies in Mindfulness to Post Graduate Diploma through Aberdeen University and the Mindfulness Association teacher training program. As a Lead Tutor for the Mindfulness Assocaition he has delivered over 20 training Modules and has been part of several Mindfulness Association Retreats at Samye Ling and at Holy Isle, promoting secular mindfulness throughout the U.K.

Angie Ball

Angie BallAngie has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism at Kagyu Samye Ling in the Scottish Borders for over 30 years. Within that time she has learnt Tibetan Buddhist practices including that of Mindfulness. She also trained for over 20 years in a comprehensive therapeutic process entitled 'Tara Rokpa Therapy'. Initially developed at Samye Ling, this combines the wisdom and integrity from both East and Western psychological traditions. Self-reflective writing, painting, relaxation, bodywork and an exploration of the 5 Tibetan Elements to help promote health and well-being are key components within this discipline. In addition to being an experienced Tara Rokpa workshop facilitator, Angie holds a teaching certificate, she is a trained counsellor in Transpersonal Psychology and N.L.P (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and a qualified massage therapist (ITEC). She has been teaching and running workshops since the 80's in both the private and public sector, throughout the UK and Europe.

Angie has completed a two year Mindfulness and Compassion teacher training programme with Rob Nairn and is currently undertaking an MSc in Mindfulness with Aberdeen University. She runs weekend workshops and 8 week sessions in the practise of mindfulness.

Heather Grace Bond

Heather has a PostGraduate Diploma in Studies in Mindfulness and is currently studying for a PhD in Education with the University of Aberdeen, sponsored by the Mindfulness Association. Her work focuses on the role (if any) for mindfulness and self-compassion in Scottish secondary schools, and as part of her PhD she has created the Mindfulness Based Living Course for Young Adults (MBLC-YA). Heather has 6 years’ experience of teaching mindfulness and compassion to children and adolescents in schools as well as in her private practice as a children’s meditation teacher, and she is a published author on the subject.

Tina Gilbert

Tina has been practicing meditation for over 12 years, of which 5 years have been in the secular mindfulness tradition. Tina started teaching mindfulness after completing the 3 year training with Rob Nairn and the Mindfulness Association. Shortly after, she became a tutor with the team. Tina teaches on the one year mindfulness training at Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery and in Edinburgh. She also runs 8 week mindfulness programs throughout Scotland.

Along with teaching mindfulness, Tina qualified in 2005 as a Hatha Yoga teacher and is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cancer Care & Chemotherapy. She has been nursing for 30yrs. In the last 3 years, Tina has combined her love of mindfulness meditation with yoga and nursing and runs specialist yoga and mindfulness programs for people living with cancer in Lothian. She has seen enormous life changing benefits to many people through embracing a mindful way of life and Tina believes that everyone could benefit from trying it.

Lorraine Harris

Lorraine has been teaching Mindfulness and MBLC to groups in Cardiff County Borough, Caerphilly County Borough and across South and West Wales since 2008. She has also been a Buddhist since 1979 and attends annual retreats with Donal Creedon and regular day retreats throughout the year. Lorraine delivers mindfulness sessions for local community groups and works across the voluntary, private and public sector delivering Mindfulness courses. Lorraine runs Samye Foundation Wales Mindfulness and Wellbeing centre in Cardiff and Caerphilly, as well as Kagyu Samye Dzong Cardiff which is a branch of the Samye Ling Monastery in Eskdalemuir Scotland.

Vin Harris

Vin Harris has studied and practiced under the guidance of many great Tibetan teachers since he became a Buddhist in 1974. He has always aspired to follow the example of his teacher Akong Rinpoche by putting spiritual values into practical action and has been one of the team responsible for the construction of the Temple and College at Samye Ling. Having practiced meditation for more than 40 years whilst establishing a successful business and managing a wide range of inspiring projects, Vin attributes many of his achievements to an ability to work skilfully with the inner environment: finding creative solutions to the many business and interpersonal challenges that inevitably arise.

When he was introduced to secular Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight by Rob Nairn, Vin became one of the founding Mindfulness Association Board members as he was inspired by it's potential to help so many people. Vin has a BA in English & European Literature and a Masters degree in Business. After completing a PG Diploma (with Distinction) in Mindfulness Studies with Aberdeen University, he is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc). Vin teaches and develops various training programmes for the Mindfulness Association as well as for individuals and organisations in the UK and Europe who value his common-sense approach to working with the complexities of our human condition.

Chloe Homewood-Allen

Chloe Homewood-Allen has been practicing mindfulness meditation for 12 years in both secular and Buddhist contexts. After 20 years working in the media she gave up her job as a director at the BBC to bring up her three children and teach secular mindfulness to communities in Glasgow.

She started shadowing on MBSR courses in 2010, after securing a National Lottery Grant enabling people in some of the poorest areas in Glasgow, to sit Mindfulness eight week courses for free. She has been delivering weekly MBSR and MBLC eight week courses to the public and corporate sectors ever since. She has completed a three year teacher training pathway with the Mindfulness Association, where she works as a Lead Tutor and Supervisor, delivering their One Year Mindfulness and Compassion training courses and Teacher Training Modules, throughout the UK. Chloe runs Mindfulness Glasgow, a Glasgow based social enterprise delivering mindfulness based interventions, courses and workshops to individuals, universities, schools, charities, councils and businesses in Scotland. She is also part of the Youth Mindfulness team, working on the teacher training programme and delivering mindfulness to schools in Glasgow.

Alan Hughes

Alan Hughes became interested in Buddhism, and started meditating, in his late teens. In the 1990s, he started practicing within the Tibetan tradition, and eventually started attending courses and retreats with Rob Nairn, whenever he was in the UK. This naturally led him to become involved with the Mindfulness Association, and to do the MSc course at Aberdeen University.

In 2011, Alan gave up his job as a marine biologist to deepen his interest in Buddhism and meditation, and worked as a full-time volunteer at Kagyu Samye Dzong London for five years. He now focuses on teaching mindfulness, and works two days a week helping with admin for the Mindfulness Association.

Rosina Morrison

I really value the contribution mindfulness has made to my life and I am happy to have the opportunity to share some of that benefit with others. I enjoy offering the MBLC course locally and have aslo taught with the Mindfulness Association on the one year Mindfulness and Compassion courses.

I completed the Diploma of Studies in Mindfulness with the University of Aberdeen in 2013. I have also taken the short course in Mindfulness Supervision training with Bangor.
I have worked a a humanistic counsellor, and offered training and supervision in related fields, for over 25 years.

Annick Nevejan

Annick Nevejan, MA, MSc, (Dutch) is an independent professional trainer and counsellor and lives in Amsterdam, where she regularly offers training in mindfulness, compassion and liberating insight. She develops and delivers also interpersonal mindfulness trainings like the 'contemplative group dynamics' training, which enhances empathic resonance and how to co-create a mindful group. From 2010 till 2015 she has been tutoring on the University of Aberdeen's Mindfulness Studies Programme (MSc) and has completed this study as well. She is a lead tutor and supervisor for the Mindfulness Association in the UK and Europe. In her work she integrates Western and Buddhist psychology; specifically systems-oriented training as developed by Dr. Yvonne Agazarian and twenty-five years of study and practice in Tibetan Buddhism (Mahamudra) with HE TaiSitupa and Akong Rinpoche.

Ian Rigg

Ian has been studying and practicing mindfulness since 2004 under the guidance of Rob Nairn and has participated in a number of week long and month long retreats on an annual basis with a variety of teachers in the U.K., South Africa and India. In 2010, Ian enrolled on the first cohort of the Studies in Mindfulness MSc and graduated from this programme with an MSc in 2013. Ian has been teaching mindfulness since 2012 and is currently employed by the NHS to design, deliver and research mindfulness based interventions for staff as well as being a lead tutor for the Mindfulness Association. Ian also teaches TaeKwon-Do and Budokon Yoga and martial arts and has a particular interest in mindful movement and mindful ecology.

Jennifer Rylands

Jennifer has been a mindfulness tutor with the Mindfulness Association since 2012, delivering both the one year Mindfulness and Compassion courses. She is currently completing the Msc in Mindfulness Studies with Aberdeen University.

She is also a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience in psychology and psychotherapy and works in the HSE (Irish Health Service). She has had a long standing interest in various meditation traditions, together with a personal practice grounded in the Tibetan tradition since 2000. She was deeply gratified to learn of the introduction of mindfulness to mainstream health services as this represented a rich coinciding and integration of her personal and professional lives while representing the possibility of bringing the benefits of meditation to a much wider audience.

Josep Soler

Josep has been living in Samye Ling for over 30 years. In that time has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism, including 7 years in the traditional closed retreat. For the last 6 years has been training, translating into Spanish and practicing Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight under Rob Nairn. The practice of Mindfulness has given Josep a deeper and clearer understanding of the Tibetan Buddhist Teachings and a way to integrate in daily life Mindfulness and Compassion to oneself and others. For the last 2 years has combined his job as a kitchen manager in Samye Ling with starting to teach Mindfulness in Barcelona the UK and South Africa.

Kathy White-Webster

Kathy has practised meditation for 18 years, attending teachings at Samye Ling.  She has had a successful career as Head of Drama and Dance in a comprehensive school in Northumberland.

Kathy has studied Mindfulness-Based Approaches and attended Teacher Development Retreat 1 and 2 at Bangor University.  She has also studied with Rob Nairn on the Mindfulness and Compassion and Insight and Wisdom courses.  She joined the team to teach on the teaching mindfulness course. She has taught on the Mindfulness one year programme since 2010.  Kathy has taught in the monastic school at Tashi Lunpo monastery in Bylakkupe, India and has close links with the monastery.  She is trained to teach .b which is an introduction to Mindfulness programme for young people in schools.

Kathy is currently teaching Mindfulness in Nature at Dilston Physic Garden in Northumberland.