Links

Mindfulness Meditation Podcasts and Documentaries

Mental health foundation

UCLA

‘Healing and the Mind’: A Documentary about Jon Kabat-Zinn Teaching Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction

‘Stress: Portrait of a Serial Killer’ – a documentary about the mechanism of stress drawing on evidence gathered by Robert Sapolsky from Baboon social behaviour in the wild.

Inspiring Poems and Readings

This is a selection of poems that I often read on my courses. For copywrite reasons I’ve just included the first part of each poem here but they are well worth seeking out in full (most are actually on the internet).


Extract from “letters to a Young poet” – Rainer Maria Rilke

One needs to let things have
their own, silent, undisturbed development
which comes deep from within
and that cannot be pushed or speeded up
by anything.

What if there is no need to change – by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

What if there is no need to change, no need to try and transform yourself into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving or wise?

How would this effect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better?

Out Beyond Ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing – Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

The Bright Field — R. S. Thomas

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it.

The Ground of Practice

When people start to mediate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that some how they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It’s a bit like saying, “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I could only get a nicer house, I’d be a better person.” If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person”. . . But loving-kindness. . . toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything.   [It] means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better.  It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.  That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

From The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodron

The Sun – Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
anything in your life
more wonderful
than the way the sun . . .

Prelude to The Dance – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

What if it truly doesn’t matter what you do but how you do whatever you do?

Learn To Be Quiet – Franz Kafka

You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.

Keeping Quiet – Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door . . .

The Book of Hours II, 16 – Rilke

How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

I Wonder – Derek Tasker

What would happen
If I treated everyone as if I were in love with them
Whether I like them or not

‘Jigsaw puzzle’ extract from the book ‘Kitchen Table Wisdom‘ by Naomi Remen.

All through my childhood, my parents kept a giant jigsaw puzzle set up on a puzzle table in the living room. . .

(You can find this extract from Naomi Remen’s book  in full here – scroll down to the line that reads “One of my favourites is the story she tells about jigsaw puzzles. She writes . . .”).

The Cookie Thief

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

Upstream/Downstream (a Fable For Our Times)

It was many years ago that villagers in Downstream recall spotting the
first body in the river. Some old-timers remember how Spartan were
the facilities and procedures for managing that sort of thing. . .

by Ger C. Wilimek.

For the full Upstream/Downstream fable click here

Links to Other Summaries of the Evidence-base For Mindfulness

The American Mindfulness Research Association produces a monthly report on current research into mindfulness. You can find it here

Ed Halliwell, author of the mindfulness manifesto has written a comprehensive review of some of the evidence for the benefits of mindfulness. This is called the Mindfulness Report- you can download it for free here.

A Mindfulness Forum and Resources Website

A past participant on one of my courses has set up a forum and resources website called  www.everyday-mindfulness.org for anyone interested in exploring mindfulness.

Finding another Mindfulness Teacher

If you want to do a mindfulness course but none of my course times suit you – or if you live too far away there are several things to bear in mind when looking for a teacher. (Bear in mind also that you can do the MBSR or MBCT course with me by Distance Learning).

Firstly I would strongly recommend looking for a teacher who has completed a thorough training in mindfulness (at least a year long training and preferably more) with a reputable training institution, and who also follows the ‘Good Practice Guidelines’ (GPG) for mindfulness teaching. Also I’d advise choosing a teacher who is registered on the UK Listing of mindfulness teachers as this will ensure that they have had a thorough training and follow the GPG.

There are two websites that you can look at to help find a teacher in a particular area.

One is the UK Listing of Mindfulness Teachers itself. On it you can do an ‘area search’ for a  teacher.  The UK Listing doesn’t rate the teachers in terms of degree of experience or quality of teaching but all teachers listed will have done a thorough basic training (of at least one year’s duration), will be undergoing ongoing supervision and will comply with the Good Practice Guidelines for teaching Mindfulness-based Courses.

The UK Listing of Mindfulness Teachers

The other website that has a listing of mindfulness teachers is the ‘bemindful’ website. This will provide a bit more information about the actual teachers and it will also specify whether or not they are on the UK Listing (so some teachers on the bemindful site may not yet have completed enough training to be on the UK Listing).

The Bemindful Website

I’d also recommend getting a ‘gut sense’ of whether they are the right teacher for you. Most teachers would be happy to talk on the phone if you want to ask them any questions.

Other Mindfulness Teachers in Brighton

There are several mindfulness teachers in Brighton teaching similar courses to those that I teach. Three teachers that I know personally who do follow the Good Practice Guidelines and have a thorough training and a lot of experience are

Jiva – www.mindfulnessbrighton.co.uk

Kate Gooch Mindfulness For Life

Susan Kelly – www.growmindfulness.org