Mindfulness Meditation

Fifteen years ago, I was lying in bed in hospital. I had just come out of intensive care… I could not cope with what had happened to me and accept how my life had changed. One day in the ward, I closed my eyes, and focused on my breathing. I could not move my body but I started to feel relief. I practiced every day until four months later when I was discharged… Director, Panesar Wellbeing

Mindfulness meditation is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience, acknowledging each thought and then letting it pass.

Teaching meditation is something we are passionate about. Mindfulness meditation is so much more than simply sitting down for a set period of time each day. It is not about having “no” thoughts, this is in fact impossible. When we teach mindfulness meditation we promise to teach anyone regardless of background. We do not use chants, religious instruction or instruct you to change any belief you do or do not have.

Mindfulness mediation is a wonderful skill. We truly believe it is one of the greatest life skills you can learn. The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) approves the use of meditation (mindfulness) to be used to treat a wide range of stress related health symptoms. In fact, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) often incorporates mindfulness meditation into therapy.

As well as being a skill, meditation is also an experience. This means you need to do it in order to fully appreciate its value. The experience will be different for everyone. Therefore you will learn to define the purpose and your experience of meditation for you.

Mindfulness meditation is not about becoming a new person, different person or even a better person. It’s about training in self-awareness and understanding how and why you think and feel the way you do, and getting a healthy sense of perspective in the process.

The benefits include the development of stability, inner calmness, and non-reactivity of the mind. In turn, this allows us to face and embrace even the unpleasant or painful aspects of daily life. The stability and non-reactivity we cultivate in formal practice supports our ability to become more compassionate, we learn to distance ourselves from our (habitual) thoughts, emotions, and negative behaviours and connect with our experience, with ourselves, and with others in a healthier and deeper way.

It is natural for our minds to wander frequently. We are often lost in daydreams about the past or the future, or even thoughts about the present moment. Most of these mental distractions are not very useful and quite often produce stress, anxiety, fear, worry, and all sorts of emotional suffering. Regular daily practice of Mindfulness Meditation develops our ability to pay attention to our immediate experience – The Now – helping us to overcome resentment and see clearly what is happening in our actual lived experience of the present moment.

Instead of being full of worry, fear, anger, or resentment, we learn how to cope and react differently to situations in life.