Head Office Team and Tutor
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.
Co-Founder, Director and Tutor
A monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean McGovern) 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.
Choden is now involved in developing secular mindfulness, compassion and insight 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 is also a recognised teacher of the University of West Scotland and teaches on the MSc Teaching Mindfulness and Compassion.
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.
Choden has also co-written 2 other books: The Mindfulness Based Living Course (2018) with Heather Regan-Addis and From Mindfulness to Insight (2019) with Rob Nairn & Heather Regan-Addis.
Management Team and Tutor
Fay Adams trained to teach mindfulness under the guidance of well-known teacher Rob Nairn, whilst living on the Holy Isle retreat island off the west coast of Scotland. She now teaches courses and retreats in mindfulness, compassion, insight and engaged mindfulness around the UK with the Mindfulness Association and she is a tutor on the University of Aberdeen’s Studies in Mindfulness MSc. Fay is a dedicated meditation practitioner of 15 years.
Fay was originally drawn to mindfulness in her twenties because of her chronic pain. Throughout her 6 years of living on Holy Isle in a small meditation hut, she immersed herself in discovering what the pain was all about. In the process she began to find a new way to inhabit mind, body and community. Ultimately, as well as (mostly) freeing her from the pain, this has become a deeply rich basis for living life fully.
Her practice was formed and matured within a Tibetan Buddhist context. More recently it has been influenced by Reggie Ray’s somatic practice and is now also coached in a love of nature and the Earth and she finds that deep ecology, as taught by Joanna Macy and others, is a path towards wisdom.
Fay now lives on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border with her partner and son.
Co-Founder, Director and Tutor
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.
Communications Team and Tutor
Jacky is the Communications Manager, a Tutor and Core Management Team member within the Mindfulness Association. She is a tutor on Level One, Level Two, Level Three and Teacher Training Courses, the Living Well to Die Well Course as well as having developed and led the new Mindful Body Course, combining Qigong and Yoga with Mindfulness. Jacky graduated in 2018 with the MSc Studies in Mindfulness, having researched the impact of mindfulness practice and compassion with family carers. She has also integrated mindfulness and supportive practices for the dying. Having spent 15 years as a senior manager for a large global corporation, she now dedicates her time to practicing and teaching Mindfulness, Compassion, Tai Chi, QiGong and Yoga, as well as being committed to her communications role for the Mindfulness Association. Key interests: Family Carers, Mindful Movement with QiGong and Tai Chi, Mindfulness for end of life, Mindfulness in Nature and integrating Mindfulness in business. Jacky is a tutor on Level 1 Mindfulness, Level 2 Compassion, Level 3 Insight, Living Well to Die Well, Mindfulness Based Healthy Living and the Mindfulness Teacher Training Pathway.
Management Team and Tutor
Jane began working for the Mindfulness Association in 2013 as the Communication Manager running the membership and marketing. In which time, she began teaching mindfulness and compassion, was a lead tutor on the teacher training pathway and became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Aberdeen, where she has taught and provided pastoral care to students.
She took a break from her work in the MA from 2018- 2023, in which time she was the Managing Director (MD) or the Sanctuary in Dublin. She has been running the Irish franchise out of the Sanctuary for the past 5 years, heading all courses and teacher training pathway. Jane delivers a mindfulness and compassion based practice module for Dublin City University, as well, she has developed and delivered the Caring for the Caregiver programme in the Sanctuary.
She returned to the Mindfulness Association in the Autumn of 2023 as Managing Director.
Management Team and Tutor
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 mindfulness 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.
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.
Rosina teaches the MBLC course locally and also tutors with the Mindfulness Association on the one-year Mindfulness and Compassion courses.
She completed the Diploma of Studies in Mindfulness with the University of Aberdeen in 2013. She has worked as a humanistic counsellor, and offered training and supervision in related fields, for over 25 years.
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.