This last weekend I have been at Londesborough Lodge in Scarborough teaching on the Level 4 Mindfulness for Life course with Ian Rigg. It was a lovely weekend re-connecting with many people who I have practiced and learnt with over several years on the Aberdeen MSc training and on our non-MSc trainings. I also connected with a few people who I hadn’t been on trainings with before. It was a rich weekend, practicing and sharing with experienced practitioners, many of whom are Mindfulness teachers themselves.
It is wonderful to hear of the people that these teachers are sharing Mindfulness and Compassion with: children struggling in school, their parents and their teachers; groups of paramedics; people with neurological problems. For me it feels a bit overwhelming to comprehend all the people who are benefiting from Mindfulness because of the teachers the MA has trained. Wonderful, but incomprehensible!
One of the themes we explored was appreciation and in one example appreciating the success participants in the group had experienced in their teaching practice.
It is quite easy for me to dwell on the things I am working on that are not going so well and to not focus on what has gone well and is continuing to develop. Our family of trained MBLC teachers are working away, all over the UK and in Europe teaching many types of groups, leading to all kinds of benefit and transformations.
Some of our teachers and MSc students will be sharing the results of their work at our conference in June (for more details click here) so that we can appreciate and celebrate with them.
Each time we teach a new group of Mindfulness teachers here at the MA, it is like throwing pebbles in a pond. Ripples of benefit spread out from each pebble – and they keep spreading out and we keep throwing in more – about 100 fully trained MBLC teachers each year! That is something to sit back and really appreciate.
And what are these benefits?
For this group, who have been through our Levels 1 to 3 training or the MSc over a number of years and are now doing Level 4, lives are transformed and continue to transform. Some are training or changing jobs to do things that they previously never thought possible, but that they have wanted to do for years: examples are training to be an artist, life guard training, changing career to work in animal welfare or Mindfulness teaching! Wonderful to see these human lives flourishing, to see Mindfulness training enabling people to step into their power and follow their dreams, despite their fears.
I see this all the time with the groups I am fortunate enough to teach. This isn’t an isolated incident!
That is not to say it is easy. Meaningful change never is. It takes many hours of practice, facing ourselves warts and all, familiarising ourselves with our habitual patterns of mind and gradually learning to refrain from them. Hard work that takes courage and determination.
I know this, as I have been able to transform my own life through Mindfulness training and practice. Learning to face and stop feeding my fear, anger, desire, jealousy and pride. Painful but well worth it! Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I stop and appreciate my life now. A life way beyond what I would ever have dreamt! Running the MA with such an excellent team, supportive members and travelling about and teaching such wonderful groups. As Helen would say: whoop whoop!
Where are you on your Mindfulness journey so far? Did you expect to get here? Or has something different from your expectations unfolded? Can you stop and appreciate the benefits so far? Stop and appreciate some more!
What is your dream, your heartfelt desire? You might not even know what it is. Like me it could be beyond what you are able imagine. Perhaps Mindfulness can help you achieve it too! Let’s hope so!
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