Mindfulness – Enhancing the Wellbeing of Scotland

It’s already a couple of weeks ago but it feels like yesterday, when finally, the Launch of the Mindful Nation Scotland took place in Holyrood. It took many months of preparations, as this was a collaboration between most of the Scottish mindfulness teacher training organisations. We came together to devise a curriculum especially tailored to the…

Join us at the Mind Body Soul show

The Mindfulness Association will be at this years Mind Body Soul show on the 18th – 20th October in London at Alexandra Palace. The world is full of mysteries, amazing people, natural science and age old wisdoms. The Mind Body Soul Experience not only brings these elements together, but adds a splash of excitement, a…

Join us at the Mindful Living Show 2020

Join us at the Mindful Living Show 2020. After the success of this years show and Chodens keynote presentation we will be at next years show and look forward to meeting more of you lovely people. Sign up to our newsletter or join our membership for the latest informaton and special offers. The weekend is…

A Reply to the Mindfulness Conspiracy

The mindfulness conspiracy. It condemns all mindfulness practitioners/teachers as being obsessed with happiness and acquiescence to the causes of inequality, environmental degradation and oppression. In essence the article is all conjecture – it is based on opinion and without evidence. So, I invite you to consider a few points that I think may cause more…

Mindfully Happy

Reflecting on the Mindfulness Association Conference last week – feelings of warmth and happiness flood my body and a smile appears on my face.  I’m sitting here looking through all the photos that I took over a few days – and again I see laughter and happiness reflected in the images before me.  So I…

A Reply to the Mindfulness Conspiracy

The mindfulness conspiracy. It condemns all mindfulness practitioners/teachers as being obsessed with happiness and acquiescence to the causes of inequality, environmental degradation and oppression. In essence the article is all conjecture – it is based on opinion and without evidence. So, I invite you to consider a few points that I think may cause more…

Mindfulness Meditation – Serendipity and Trust in my Values

Mindfulness Meditation – Serendipity and Trust in my Values

Growing Courage

When we think of mindfulness and compassion in action, we often jump straight to thinking about gestures of kindness, or caring interventions, or supportive acts, and usually aimed at someone other than ourselves. I sometimes feel there can be something a bit ‘Tom and Jerry’ about this – you know the thing – Tom chases…

from Mindfulness to Insight

From Mindfulness to Insight I thought I would write a little about how our book From Mindfulness to Insight came to be. The three authors – Rob, Heather and Choden – are co-founders of the Mindfulness Association which was set up in 2010 to run face-to-face and online mindfulness, compassion and insight courses. The original…

Out of the Blue – Vin’s random inspirations

Reflections on hearing that Mary Oliver has died. The poet Ezra Pound once said that “literature is news that stays news”. How true – and yet I sometimes notice how quickly significant events can drop out of what we agree to call the daily news. The poet Mary Oliver died on 17th January 2019 aged…

Living Mindfully with Loss

Big blue skies and so much sunlight – it felt good to be alive and waving to my son as he disappeared into school. I turned to one of the grandparents to share my smile. She could not smile or make eye contact. I asked, “are you okay”. “Did you not know that Tom died…

Reflections on Insight

Within the last month I’ve had the pleasure of teaching on two “Insight” courses with Heather Regan-Addis and Choden, both at Samye Ling.  These have been as part of the second year of the Aberdeen University MSc in Mindfulness, and the non-academic “Level 3: Seeing Deeply course”, the second of which was run as a…

Oh, to meet the Joy and Pain of Christmas with Compassion

Oh, to meet the Joy and Pain of Christmas with Compassion by Bill Paterson Suddenly Christmas is on the horizon again! Is it really a year since the last one? Interestingly, I’ve noticed a pattern of contrasting thoughts and emotions wrapped in this winter celebration. Yes, the darkness of winter will be punctured with light,…

A Mindful Wish..

Following on from our blog Be Mindful of the Extraordinary, one of our members responded to the Weekly Challenge and contributed this blog. A Mindful Wish “WELL THE PHONE RANG JUST TOO OFTEN as I curled up for some me time, exhausted after decoration and getting the flat back to ‘normal’: moving bags, books, pictures…

Adventures of mindfulness in the emergency services and armed forces: Bill Paterson

In the twenty years that I have studied and followed politics, I would never have believed that I would hear the following in the UK House of Commons. “Mindfulness brought me back from the brink of death”, “Mindfulness becomes kindfulness”, “power and wisdom needs compassion”, “compassion is more powerful than bullets” or “curiosity and kindness…

Growing Courage: Circle of Trust

GROWING COURAGE: Circle of Trust… When we think of mindfulness and compassion in action, we often jump straight to thinking about gestures of kindness, or caring interventions, or supportive acts, and usually aimed at someone other than ourselves. I sometimes feel there can be something a bit ‘Tom and Jerry’ about this – you know…

What Else?

What Else? Inspired by Kristine’s blog on the Mindfulness Associations website today I decided to take a different approach to a virus that had taken over my body, turning it into a body I didn’t easily recognise. This body… usually has strength and stamina and these past days has been listless, tired. I watch myself…

Where is Love? Music and Mindfulness for Children

Last year I was lucky to be invited to facilitate “music and mindfulness” for children sessions, three mornings each week, in a local primary school.  In the early days of this year-long project, I felt as helpless as a rookie medic on the front line. It seemed the mini practices I’d introduced were working only…

Mindful Singing: Moving Beyond the Small ‘I’

I did wonder what they would make of it when I offered to lead/facilitate some mindful singing at the Joyful Club weekend. I am not a great singer, but there is something about the connection to other people and the sense of being more than just me, the small “I”. At least this is true…

Mindfulness for Mothers: Self-Compassion – the perfect medicine for a mother’s heart

I want to share with you a poignant moment which came not long after the birth of my son. I had been overwhelmed by a huge wave of relentless and overwhelming necessities. These washed over every moment of my life day and night – necessity to attend to the needs of my newborn. I was…

Experiencing the Feeling World- Mindfulness of Body (P2)

Our body is a wonderfully complex machine. We have the ability to move in so many different directions allowing a vast array of shapes, movements and postures without having to think about doing it. In specific movement classes such as yoga and pilates, we find that neural pathways need to connect automatically for these movements…

Being Body Aware: Mindfulness of Body

  One of the fundamental aspects of mindfulness is being body aware. Our mindfulness training allows us to direct our focus and our attention and in doing so we observe how we are lost one minute and present the next. Our monkey mind and our strong habit to be distracted from presence is how we…

Life is ‘Manure’

My conclusion after six glorious days on Scotland’s Holy Isle… Just under an hour by train from Glasgow to Ardrossan, ferry then across to the Isle of Arran, and finally, a short boat ride from Lamlash (subject to conducive weather conditions) will get you there. A tiny island looked inhabited by “Eriskay ponies, Soay sheep,…

The Mindful Moon

I went to see Luke Jerram’s art installation ‘Museum of the Moon’ a few days ago at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. It’s been touring all over the world. If you’ve not seen it, it’s basically a huge model of the moon, seven meters across, that uses detailed NASA imagery to recreate its surface and…

Urban Mindfulness

I’m a Londoner, born and raised. I love city life, not yet tired of it. Having lived in Cyprus for ten years I know the difference between living in a busy city like London and a quiet, slow-paced place like Cyprus. I know how stressful life can be in London, just a simple train journey…

Strong Roots

Sometimes, life gives you just what you need, and the other day, this beautiful image of a tree and Malay proverb appeared on my screen.  It was definitely what I needed!! After leaving my day job of 30+ years at the end of February, my leaves and branches have been shaken and stirred – not…

Calling all MBLC Teachers….

We are so pleased and excited to announce the launch of the Mindfulness Association’s Teacher Membership! “Teaching Mindfulness is the coolest job in the world” Mindfulness Teachers rejoice! We have the coolest job in the world and here at the Mindfulness Association, we have built a way to come together in community and celebrate this!…

Joanna’s Story

Joanna McGregor is one of the members of the Mindfulness Association. She was kind enough to share her inspiring story of how after a terrifying mountaineering accident, her mindfulness and compassion practice not only carried her through but enabled a deep sense of gratitude and a love for life to take root. Have a read….…

Appreciation and Gratitude

I am just back from my travels in India, with a group of friends, where we spend 3 weeks in the southern state of Kerala. We started in Neyyar Dam, on the outskirts of the jungle for an intense 10 day stay in the Sivananda Yoga Ashram where we practiced 4 hours of yoga a…

Going To The Places That Scare Us

This winter has felt long to me, and very, very cold.  The turn inwards – the phase of ‘being’ – during the more reflective seasons of autumn and winter has felt so complete, and my experience of hibernation so habituated, that I was beginning to wonder if I would ever again know and feel the…

The Joyful Club

The Joyful Club: Mindfulness Association Membership Weekend at Samye Ling 6-8 July 2018 and Membership Retreat 6-11 July 2018   At our Compassion in Action Membership weekend in 2016 at Samye Ling, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche invited us to join his joyful club. Inspired by this, we are running our 2018 Membership weekend on 6 to…

Engaged Mindfulness – Compassion in Action

How can our mindfulness skills help to resource us for making positive change in the world? There may be many things happening today in our world that feel deeply concerning and huge at the same time. These might include climate change, social and political injustice, poverty, animal welfare issues… topics with no easy answers, no…

The Wonder of It All…

About a year ago, my dear friend and colleague Fay Adams and I came together to film and create the first ever Mindfulness Association online course: The Wonder of The Everyday. The inspiration behind the course was to find a way to encourage some mindful moments of savouring the wonder and joy that can be…

Calling All Mindfulness Teachers…

Are you looking to develop and deepen your skills at mindful inquiry, while creating the conditions for holding and facilitating safe sharing within groups? Check out our CPD course that is taking place on March 23-25th/ 2018 at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre. This course meets the requirements of the UK Network of Mindfulness- Based Teacher…

We’ve got Apps!

Spread the News! We’ve got Apps! It is with great excitement that we bring you the brand new Mindfulness Association apps that have been developed with the hope of bringing mindfulness one step closer to you! Not only do the apps provide all of the guided practices for our Level 1: Being Present Mindfulness course…

Profound Grounding

A glimpse into the practices that will be explored on the Mindfulness Association’s Engaged Mindfulness course led by Kristine Mackenzie and Fay Adams in Samye Ling, starting in January 2018 Those who have completed the Mindfulness Practitioner training will be familiar with the concept of grounding. The first stage of grounding is about dropping into…

Mindfulness and Concentration

Following a recent Thursday evening online sit, we started discussing the role of concentration in our practice.  Afterwards it was suggested to me that I write a blog about this, as we talk a lot about mindfulness in our training (for obvious reasons), but it’s possibly not always apparent where concentration fits in. The first…

A Report From Croatia…

Mindfulness, like all other human activities, occurs within a socio-historical cultural context. By this I mean that people’s attitudes towards mindfulness are informed by perspectives and traditions in their community, culture and society. The socio-historical cultural context for secular mindfulness in contemporary UK is, I believe, generally conducive. In the UK, contemplative and meditative practices…

Mindfulness and Health Care

The modern day working environment can move at a relentless and demanding pace. Increased administrative responsibilities, real time connectivity and the complexity of issues that employees in certain jobs may face, name but a few of the issues that may cause employees to work beyond their capabilities for sustained periods of time. This may in…

My mindfulness practice: I’ve done something really useless

“Time to recognise the sanctity of the world, of minerals, rocks, river and plants” -Rachel Corby Rewilding “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” -Albert Einstein Many of my mindfulness friends and colleagues are very keen gardeners. They grow a wide range of organic produce: carrots, onions, radishes, lettuce, turnips, and I’m…

A Cog in The Machine? Reflections From The Teaching Skills Weekend

  “we are exploring together. We are cultivating a garden together with our backs to the sun. […] we are digging beneath the hard and crusty surface to the rich humus of our lives” -Parker Palmer Let Your Life Speak   This year (2017) marks the fifth year that I have been co-delivering mindfulness courses for…

Sort of Back to Business as Usual

After the conference the MAHQ seems quiet, as we get back into the usual routine of sending out course timetables and manuals, organising room hire, answering e-mails on everything you could imagine to do with mindfulness, and a host of other little jobs that generally keep us busy.  Writing this blog for example! Overall, I…

Don’t Stay in School?

In February last year I embarked on a journey of study for a PhD in Education, studying mindfulness and self-compassion in schools. My quest has led me to ask questions about the very nature of education… when we send our kids to school, what is it that we are hoping for? The preoccupation with ‘effectiveness’ of our…

Day Places Available for the Samye Ling June Conference: Mindfulness in Society!

We now have a limited number of day places available for the 2017 Samye Ling conference: Mindfulness in Society, exclusive to MA Members only for £70.00 per day! Please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Each day will begin with an hour of guided meditation from 8-9am and the first keynote speech will…

Importance of Sangha

I’ve really come to realise lately how important it is to have a community of like minded people around you. The word we use for this is sangha, which is a Pali word meaning  community of practitioners, people we share our lives with. It is our network where we find others on a spiritual journey…

The Stillness of Movement

Brand new Online Course: The Stillness of Movement Starting  May  2017   Within mindfulness training, one of the primary precepts is mindful embodiment: a continual shift towards reconnecting our minds with our bodies, a measured effort to live our lives more holistically from a place where we inhabit the whole of our experience: mind and…

The Compassionate Self

Paul Gilbert is a friend and mentor of mine.  I first met him at a Neuroscience and Buddhism conference in Holy Isle in 2008.  I remember going swimming with him off the sandstone rocks at the north end of Holy Isle (he loves swimming!).  I recall too his energy and enthusiasm, and how he decided…

RAIN in Manchester

On Saturday, I attended the third weekend of the Level One Mindfulness course: Being Present (for more info: click here) in Manchester at Luther King House. The weekend seemed to have crept up on me after attending weekend two in January. I was a bit dubious, wondering if I had done enough practice and feeling…

Compassionate Touch & Movement: A Master Class

One of the features of our 2017 Summer Conference: Mindfulness In Society- Changing The World, One Mind At A Time is a series of Masters Classes that will be run by our Core Tutor team. Angie Ball and Anna Zubrzycki will be delivering a Master Class that explores a unique blend of Compassionate touch and…

MBLC Research and the Everyone Project.

Hello fellow Members, Jane has asked me to say something about the research that we’re carrying out on the Everyone project, which I’ve been spending some time on over the last few weeks.  As I’m sure you remember, the Everyone project offers eight week Mindfulness Based Living Courses (MBLC) to groups who may not otherwise…

Reflections on Being Like A Mountain

Being like a mountain It came as a surprise to me initially that the ongoing work we do in mindfulness training involved so much bodywork or embodiment (why is it called mindfulness? I found myself asking). Grounding in the body comes on the back of our settling the mind practices and this “somatic descent” is…

Tina Gilbert on the MA Compassion Training

I have just returned from teaching Compassion Module 3 at Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery and in this module we are approaching compassion for others, in weekend 2 we focused on self compassion. It has been many years since my compassion training with Rob Nairn and I remember it clearly and especially this weekend with Tonglen…

Mindfulness for Life Retreat 2017

The Mindfulness Association’s Level 4 training was developed to support and inspire people following on from Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight Trainings.  Even though we may have experienced positive personal changes arising from our practice and even though we may have seen our life situations and relationships with others become not perfect but certainly a bit…

Choden on Compassion

It strikes me how important compassion is when it comes to training the mind. Mindfulness is on everyone’s lips now, but it is compassion that brings about real change.  Certainly, mindfulness can bring about significant change too – for many people it is a revelation to realise that they do not have to follow all…

Mindful Relating

Want a more mindful couple relationship? 3 great tips how to… Mindfulness is often portrayed as an individual practice, whether in its formal habit of sitting, walking or bodyscan, or even in the co-called informal practices of tea meditation or turning queue waiting into a breathing meditation; the “going solo” aspect is often privileged. But…

A Message from South Africa

I am in Cape Town for a month and the weather has been sunny and hot every day.  It is like a different world to Scotland. I have been spending time with my mother and old friends.  I have also been spending time with Rob Nairn working on the structure for a book on Insight.…

Christmas Presence

  Christmas is just a few days away, but after 3 hours shopping for all my family and friends I’m frazzled. Where is my mindfulness practice? I know that the trainings say that mindfulness is all about losing it and getting it, but sometimes I just feel I’ve really lost it! Keeping our practice alive…

Mindfulness in Newcastle

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that my colleagues Ani Tselha, Chris Penlington and I are co-delivering the Level 1 Mindfulness Training: Being Present for the Mindfulness Association in Newcastle upon Tyne at Northumbria University. 8th and 9th April 2017 24th and 25th June 2017 23rd-24th September 2017 4th-5th November 2017 This…

New Online Course!

The Wonder of the Everyday 6 Week Online Course on Mindfulness in Daily Life with Fay Adams and Jane Negrych 10 Jan – 21 February 2017 Live sessions on Tuesday evenings 7pm – 8.30pm: 17, 24, 31 Jan and 7, 14, 21 Feb Including: 8 specially pre-recorded videos of up to 40 minutes 6 ten…

Latest News from HQ

Hello from MA HQ. We hope that you are well! The team have been busy as always, and we are nearly ready to launch the new MA website which we are all very excited about. We hope that our MA members will like it as it has been a real labour of love. Alas, Heather,…