Brief reference to the term ‘mindfulness’ seven years ago was my initial introduction during a pain management seminar held by the Ipswich Hospital pain clinic. At this time I had been living with chronic back pain for several years. Something about the concept of training or having influence over the mind provoked my curiosity. This seemed particularly relevant in terms of cultivating an approach to living with pain or more notably the stress that it causes.
From here I did my own reading and researched all the online materials that I could, and in doing so came across the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn; this was enough to enable me into establishing a daily meditation practice, guided in the early days. It felt as though I was experiencing the taste of a world which offered the potential to influence perspective, the potential to cultivate greater freedom, space and capacity.
Two years after practising meditation alone I attended a formal ‘MBSR’ (‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course, developed by Kabat-Zinn and designed primarily for chronic pain and stress, which further solidified my existing understanding. On completion of having fully immersed myself in this course I knew that I needed to continue this committed approach to exploring mindfulness. I continued to meditate daily and read in depth around the subject alongside accessing research and online resources wherever possible.
Through my work of three years in mental health within the NHS I have observed the core underpinning of the majority of psychological modalities (whether or not overtly explicit) to be mindfulness. In my own role with patients I began to use mindfulness based approaches and techniques as a way to work with supporting people, this was rooted in my firm belief in the potential of the approach.
As a teacher of almost twenty years with experience in state primary education, English as a foreign language, instrumental and music theory teaching, I was attracted to the idea of formalising my own personal experience with mindfulness into a formal teaching qualification. To this end I undertook a year long Mindfulness Teacher Training course under the world renowned ‘Mindfulness Training Institute’, with teachers Martin Aylward and Mark Coleman.
I am a certified with the Mindfulness Training Institute and a certified mindfulness teacher with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA).
Mindfulness Teacher Training, July 2018