I practise breath-based and loving-kindness meditations most days, and have a daily chi-gung practice in the morning and an evening mindful walking practice where I live in Snowdonia. Having a depressive tendency, I find that kindness and compassion practices are essential for my mental health and well-being, while movement practices support my body with gentle self-care. Practice has become the foundation of my life, and I feel a strong sense of the heartfulness of connection with others through sharing this very personal work and the joy it can bring. The other practice I enjoy regularly is singing in local community choirs, including at funerals and weddings.
I am very fortunate to be able to live my life like this, and in the many teachers who have shown me the way and continue to guide me. I love to share understanding with those I work with, to learn from them as we find ways together to address the obstacles that occur for every meditator, and to deepen the particular practices that work well for each of us as individuals. In my other work supervising those teaching MSC and mindfulness courses, I have very much enjoyed enquiring into and supporting supervisees’ personal meditation practice and the relationship of mindfulness to their life and work, so I am greatly looking forward to this related work of personal practice mentoring.
Influences on Practice
I started meditating 40 years ago in my early 30s, practising mindfulness with different teachers, mainly in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Until recently, I went on yearly retreats to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire, which has grown from the Thai Forest tradition and the teachings of the late Ajahn Chah. Ajahn Sumedho, the Abbot at Amaravati for most of the time I visited, has been a wonderfully inspiring teacher. I have found the monks’ and nuns’ depth of understanding of mindfulness practice and teachings about life to be profoundly enlivening and helpful. I have also worked with many other teachers, including the creators of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), and Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living (MBCL). My practice reflects all of these helpful approaches.
In the 1990s, having previously worked as a social worker and psychotherapist, I began research work at Bangor University with Mark Williams, on the first trial of MBCT. When the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice (CMRP) was formed at the turn of the century, I learned with others there to teach and then to train teachers in MBCT and MBSR. I directed CMRP’s Master’s programs for six years, supporting both students and staff, and ensuring their experiential teaching of mindfulness was rooted in practice.
Since retiring in 2013, I have continued working with CMRP as a self-employed mindfulness teacher, trainer and supervisor. In 2014, I trained to teach the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course developed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff in the USA, becoming a Certified MSC teacher and Teacher Trainer. Now my main interest is on courses based on compassion practice, including both MSC and Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living (MBCL). I find these particularly helpful for dealing with chronic physical pain, and the challenging changes that ageing can bring us.
I charge £50 for 60 minutes, £40 for 45 minutes, and £30 for 30 minutes. If this would be difficult for you, please get in touch so we can talk about possibilities.