Finding Peace in a Frantic World

When the book Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World was published in 2011, it was a game changer. It built on the ideas and structure of earlier more clinically- oriented mindfulness-based programmes, but made the programme accessible to a much wider audience. The course offers mindfulness practices in ways that we can all use, and guides us in how to apply mindfulness in our everyday lives both to manage difficulties but also to cultivate joy, compassion, equanimity and wisdom. It offers a different way of living.

Finding Peace in a Frantic World runs over eight consecutive weeks.  It introduces mindfulness and provides teaching support for developing a personal mindfulness practice, and invaluable resources. It is being taught in community settings, higher education settings, and in workplaces all over the world. Since January 2013 it has been taught to parliamentarians and their staff in the UK Houses of Parliament.

When is the next course?

Our next Finding Peace course starts on Monday 21 February at 6:30pm and finishes at 8:15pm.  It runs over eight consecutive weeks.  The venue is Kambe House on Portland Square, in the heart of Bristol

How much does it cost?

The cost of the Finding Peace course is £200.  But, in the spirit of community and making this powerful tool more accessible, we offer some assisted places on a first come first served basis.

Don’t Rush

Deciding whether mindfulness is right for you, or if it’s a good time to do it, can be difficult. So we include a free interview to describe what the course entails and answer any questions you may have.

The orientation interview usually takes 30 minutes but there’s no obligation to sign up. It’s an opportunity for us both to be clear that the course is right for you. 

If you would like to learn more about our next course please click here to book an orientation interview.

What do I need to know?

The book, Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World, accompanies the course so you will need to purchase your own copy.  It can be found in all good book stores for around £14.  More information about the course can be found here.

This book accompanies the course so you will need to purchase your own copy.

 

Breaking Bread Together

I’ve just shared a beautiful weekend with family in a medieval barn in Brecon and it reminded me how much of the important things we miss if we don’t remember to slow the mind down and pay attention to what’s happening around us. It was an amazing few days and I’m still glowing inside.

This lovely piece by Madison Taylor captures it very well…

As we rush to keep up with the speed of our busy lives, one of the first activities we tend to sacrifice is the sharing of a meal with other people. We may find ourselves eating alone at the kitchen counter or hurriedly drinking a cup of soup while driving in our cars. Yet taking the time to share a meal with family or a close friend not only feeds your body, but also it can nourish your soul. Companionship can fill the heart the way warm stew can satisfy your belly. Eating a meal with others allows you to slow down, while nurturing your relationships. 

Breaking bread with others can be treated like a ritual where the gestures of sharing and togetherness are just as important as the food you eat. Planning, preparing, and consuming a meal are all stepping off points toward good conversation, bonding, and learning about someone else. Inviting a new acquaintance to share a meal can be the start of a wonderful friendship. A shared breakfast can be a brainstorming session between coworkers, or it can set the tone for a positive day for family members. Lunch with a friend can be a welcome break from the day’s stress, as well as a chance to unwind. Dinner with loved ones can be a chance to talk about the day’s events with people who truly care. Sometimes, there may even be no need for conversation, and you may want to share a meal with someone while sitting in comfortable silence. 

The breaking of bread can be a fulfilling experience, especially when done among people you love and trust. So the next time you find yourself rushing through a meal in front of your computer, you may want to pause and reconsider. The warm feelings, sense of security, and enjoyment you experience from sharing a meal with others may be the kind of break that you really need.

Make space for enjoying your life

I just listened to an amazing podcast on This American Life about an elderly lady who’s family didn’t tell her that the results of her latest health check noticed a tumour on the lung and gave her only three months to live.

The family decided not to tell her and opted instead to protect her from the stress and worry, and carried on as usual.

That was in 2015 and amazingly the old lady is still alive and well today.

When I heard this podcast it reminded me of wise words from great masters, such as Thích Nhất Hạnh and the Dali Lama, that speak of the power of equanimity, or a balanced mind, and the destructive affect of negative thinking. Is it possible that the old lady has survived 4 years because she has been protected from the stress of a terminal diagnosis? We may never know for sure but the idea certainly resonates with me and what I understand about mindfulness.

The whole idea of being mindful is to be aware of how we feel at any given moment – how we really feel I mean. Knowing the attitude of the mind, and feeling the energy in the body is the direct line to our authentic self.

Being connected to our inner landscape enables us to ‘see’ unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and emotions in motion, and only when we are aware can we work with them and be in control. If we remain unconscious of them they will spin out of control and affect everything we do, in turn, this influences our character and our health.

I feel very privileged to be a mindfulness teacher because it encourages me to practice all the time. As well as sitting meditations, I practice opening to the joy of life at any given moment, even when pain or discomfort is present. For example, I recently had a UTI flareup and felt pretty grotty, but even in this state there were plenty of enjoyable things to focus on, and while this didn’t make the pain go away it made space for other experiences. I let in some joy and research shows how positive this little adjustment can be.

Research is confident about the health benefits of mindfulness, but proving that reducing stress can prolong life, even with a terminal diagnosis, might take more time. Meanwhile, it clearly hasn’t done the lady in the story any harm, and long may that continue.