I am based in the east of England in north Cambridgeshire and since 2007 I have been teaching eight-week MBSR programmes to generic inter-generational groups drawn from the general public, and for staff in education, healthcare, public services and third sector organisations. I gained a Masters in Mindfulness-based Approaches with distinction at Bangor University, and was part of the core team at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, teaching on the Masters and contributing to the CPD programme.
My professional background is as a university teacher and researcher in public services management and social policy. I have extensive experience of working with young adults and adults returning to education. In this capacity, I was head of department for a while at Sheffield Hallam University, before directing a research unit at London South Bank University, and then latterly leading university-wide research training as part of the research support team at Anglia Ruskin University. My areas of specialism included vocational education and participatory action research with policy applications, and my scholarly interests were in the development of professions, partnership and collaborative working, and community activism and participation. I stepped back from my university career in 2014 to focus on mindfulness teaching and training. I practise as a Buddhist in the Theravada tradition, and am a certified facilitator for the Center for Courage & Renewal which hosts the educational work of Parker J. Palmer.
- Fellow, Higher Education Academy
- PhD, Exeter University
- MA, University of Bangor
- MSc, University of Reading
- BSc (Soc Sci), University of Edinburgh
- MBSR for generic groups
- Mindfulness for professional groups, young adults, family and community contexts
- Mindfulness pedagogy
- Group processes in teaching and learning
- Course design and delivery
- Ethics and professional issues
I have supervised mindfulness-based teachers and trainees since 2011. I received supervision training as part of CMRP’s preparation of supervisors, and have attended a wide range of other supervision trainings, including training in Egan’s ‘skilled helper’ model, Hawkins’ model of supervision for the helping professions, and Heron’s facilitation/helping styles.
My practice began when I was a student in Edinburgh. I began meditating with the Acem organisation which pioneered simple secular mindfulness practice, and I also trained in t’ai chi with Ian Cameron. For many years, my practice rested on this secular base.
In 1998, I was introduced to Buddhist meditation and began joining retreats at Gaia House, Amaravati Buddhist monastery and Satipanya Buddhist Retreat Centre. A few years later, keen to deepen my practice further, I discovered mindfulness-based approaches and joined the Bangor Masters programme.
My personal practice now is in the Vipassana tradition which coheres well with mindfulness-based approaches, I continue to work with a range of Buddhist and secular teachers, including mindfulness teachers. I enjoy exploring edges and intersections, for example with kindness and compassion-based approaches, and Tibetan shamata practice. I attend a weekly t’ai chi class.
Research Activities and Interests
Research is part of my professional background and I am experienced in particular in: qualitative and mixed methods approaches; implementation and evaluation; and in teaching and learning themes. While working at CMRP, I supervised student theses. My own Masters thesis was an auto-ethnographic study of mindfulness teacher formation. Among my wider activities, I am a facilitator for the Center for Courage & Renewal in the U.S., the home for the work of educationalist and social activist Parker J. Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach.
I am the co-author with Rebecca Crane of “Training Mindfulness Teachers: principles, practices and challenges”; in: Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: an international handbook, ed. Donald McCown, Diane Reibel & Marc S. Micozzi (Springer, 2016).