When I broke my back in an army accident 30 years ago it seemed like I had two options; either get on with it or give up.  I wasn’t aware of making a conscious choice at the time, I just knew that I wanted to keep enjoying life, albeit in a wheelchair, and that’s what I did.  

We all have a choice with life’s challenges, we just don’t always see it.  I believe a calm, balanced mind gives us space to see experiences for what they are, whether pleasant or unpleasant, and to move forward with acceptance and authenticity - why would we want to be anything else?  

This attitude might be called ‘seeing the glass as half full’ but whatever it is, I believe it leads to greater sense of happiness and contentment, which in turn cultivates awareness of the simple things in life.  Life is happening no matter what our situation so we might as well be present for it. 

I set up Being Mindful as part of the study and learning requirement for a Masters in Mindfulness at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University. I chose  the longest, hardest training route and I am proud to be a properly qualified mindfulness teacher with a masters degree in teaching mindfulness.  

One of my ambitions is to teach mindfulness to people with acquired disabilities, and help develop a mental toolkit to manage difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions before they turn into problematic rumination.  This is a helpful skill for us all because we all face challenges and it has been an honour and privilege to work with people in and around Bristol in recent years.  I am also trained to teach the Mindfulness in Schools .b curriculum and often work with teachers and young people too.

Know your teacher
When researching a mindfulness course to attend, please make sure you check if the teacher is properly trained and qualified to teach mindfulness.  A good way to establish this is if they comply with the UK Good Practice Guidance for Mindfulness-Based Teachers i.e they are: suitably trained, committed to continuous professional development, hold appropriate insurance and are receiving supervision while teaching.  

For your information I am listed with the Mindfulness Network and have trained and qualified with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University School of Psychology, Breathworks, and Mindfulness in Schools Project.https://www.mindfulness-network.org/listingspagenew.phphttps://www.mindfulnessteachersuk.org.uk/uk-listing/shapeimage_1_link_0

Stumbling Blocks & Stepping Stones


Simon Barnes


Mindfulness Teacher. Coach. Mentor.

Favorite Subjects:

Happiness. Nature. Animals

favourite quote:

“It is not the potential stressor itself but how you perceive it and then how you handle it that will determine whether or not it will lead to stress”  
Dr Martin Seligman, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

favourite book:

Mindfulness.  A practical guide to awakening. J Goldstein.

Personal Motto:

“Everything will be alright in the end.”

recommended reading

1.  Goldstein, J. (2013).  Mindfulness.  A Practical Guide to Awakening. Colorado, USA. Sounds True Inc.  A warm and thorough introduction to the ancient wisdom of Buddhism.

  1. 2.Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full Catastrophe Living. New York, Piatkus.  The blue print for the MBSR course I teach. A big book and a full course in itself.  A perfect companion if you’ve done, or would like to do, the 8 week course.


  1. 2.Williams, M (2011).  Mindfulness.  Finding Peace in a Frantic World. London.  Piatkus.  Perfect pre-course reading or for getting a practical understanding of mindfulness.

  1. 3.Burch, V (2013).  Mindfulness for Health. London.  Piatkus. A focus of familiar mindfulness practice for people with chronic pain and illness.


When we pause and notice, even in the frenetic city centre, there is beauty all around us.

© Being Mindful 2013. All rights reserved