The mindfulness meditations I demonstrate for clients to try are short, simple investigations into watching your mind and feeling your body. This usually has a generally calming effect.
Practising short meditations may help to produce insights into your own situation, you may find things that you were previously not aware of. You may get more in touch with your feelings. This may help you to make new decisions and find your own way forward.
‘Our suffering arises from fear-based stories that are often outside our awareness.’ Tara Brach
It may be a great relief to become aware of new feelings or new meanings in your life, like discovering the illusory nature of a dream. Or it may feel difficult or painful to accommodate what you find, like when something familiar has been taken away, even if that familiar thing was unhelpful to you.
Not all mindfulness meditations are suitable for everyone, but there are many techniques available and they are simple to try. You can keep them at a level to produce some relaxation, or sit with your awareness of what you already know to experience it, and understand it in different ways.
When you practise even for 3-5 minutes you can learn a lot about yourself, if you know how to look.
The meditations I demonstrate are broadly based on simple breathing, in awareness of the present moment and the body you inhabit.
Learning a mindfulness mediation technique may take around 10 minutes of a standard 50 minute session, once or twice or until you are confident enough to practice it alone. You can also discuss your experiences in the therapy session, the insights may deliver most benefit in counselling.
All the techniques I offer are non-religious and don’t involve sitting cross legged, saying mantras or taking on any ideas. There is no need to have any interest in spirituality, nor does mindfulness meditation go against the beliefs of any religion.
I learned from the thousand year history of expertise in meditation and mindfulness from the rich traditions of Buddhism which have been passed down by successive lifelong meditators. I don’t teach Buddhism, or instruct or advise its practice (which would be unethical in therapy).
So you won’t be exposed to any religious ideas. The original meditations are used as a practice of altruism and development of compassion. Here they are adapted to gain understanding of yourself – which is a compassionate act towards to yourself – even though it is occasionally uncomfortable to discover feelings we hadn’t been aware of before:
‘It can take a tremendous amount of practice, kindness, and an unwavering love of the truth to explore the various strategies we employ to take ourselves out of feelings we do not want to feel.’ Matt Litaca
As counselling is a kindness to yourself but sometimes painful to go through, so mindfulness meditation can also help the process of personal growth, self knowledge, self empowerment, self respect, and self love.
These ancient experts in the nature of mind developed the meditations which have been selected and adapted by all manner of Western mindfulness courses, and taught all over the world today in business and self development.
I teach mindfulness in conjunction with counselling, as a tool for learning, healing and changing, for helping the unbearable to become bearable, to try to learn to manage huge emotions:
‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.’ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness and meditation can help to gradually locate, manage and transform the problems that have been causing your distress.
‘Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless… that wants our love.’ Rainer Maria Rilke
My experience of a quarter of a century of meditating gives me a rich background along with my qualifications and experience in the western models of person-centred counselling therapy. I can select and adapt from a host of mindfulness techniques if you request this, and in a way that’s appropriate to your situation.
I use gentle, safe and effective methods with clients, distilled from the myriad techniques at my disposal from my years of study and practice learned directly from many of the most eminent meditation masters alive today.
I have studied meditation in London, France, Italy, Spain, Wales, India, Nepal, Taiwan and the USA. I completed numerous mediation retreats for periods ranging from one weekend to three month long intensive silent retreat in small groups and large.
My teachers include The Dalai Lama, The Karmapa, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, H.E. Rizong Rinpoche, Gyume Khensur Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, Geshe Tashi Tsering, Lama Chime Rinpoche, Bhante Seelawimila, and Zen teachers Martin Goodson and Gary Gelade. I am immensely grateful to them, and others not listed here for the helpful and inspiring influence on my own life, and increased capacities to benefit others.
My qualifications also include graduating from the internationally recognised FBT campus course with the highly revered Geshe Tashi Tsering, the resident teacher for 25 years at Jamyang Meditation Centre in London. Geshe Tashi Tsering has since been appointed Abbot of Sera Mey Monastic University in Karnataka, India.
The main purpose of all the study and meditation was to increase compassion, and wisdom of the human condition using my own personal experience as the raw material for growth within an ethical framework, towards the development of personal insights, empathy and understanding for others’ situations.
‘Growth occurs when individuals confront problems, struggle to master them, and through that struggle develop new aspects of their skills, capacities, views about life’. Dr. Carl Rogers, founder of the Person Centred Approach
All of this extensive experience is available to you, along with my years of counselling in Mind, The Sue Lambert Trust, and in private practice.
Don’t take anyone’s word for it – learn to trust yourself:
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” Rumi
See also my page on Person Centred Counselling and Spirituality which helps to explain how the secular and scientifically based Person Centred Approach to therapy has also been been resonant for people within many religious or spiritual traditions.
Some of the traditions I have learned mindfulness meditation in: