Dr Pamela Lawson (CPsychol)North London Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice of learning to be more present, more aware of current experience, and less caught up in the constant thinking, planning, or chatter which goes on in our head. With mindfulness we learn to direct our attention to present moment experience with openness, curiosity, and kindness and in this way we are gradually able to better manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Wisdom, resilience, and compassion are cultivated.

My Background in Mindfulness

I have had an interest in contemplative practices since my youth when I was first introduced to yoga and Transcendental Meditation (TM). I began practising insight meditation around ten years ago in order to support me in my training. I attended retreats and talks in London and at Gaia House in Devon. I soon became aware of the profound psychological benefits of mindfulness and began sharing some brief practices with the young people I was working with in schools in order to help them with exam stress and general anxiety. This led me to train with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) as a .b teacher and .b Foundations teacher, which provided me with the skills and resources to introduce mindfulness in secondary schools in the form of workshops or inset trainings.

With a view to formally combining my clinical and mindfulness skills, I completed further training as a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) teacher with Bangor University and am a registered MBCT teacher with the British Association for Mindfulness-Based Approaches (BAMBA) . I have experience running mindfulness courses and day retreats in both the community and in NHS primary and secondary care settings. Please feel free to contact me about my mindfulness work and any sitting groups or workshops I may be running. Alternatively, I have listed some resources at the bottom of this page to help you navigate the growing field of mindfulness.

Mindfulness Resources

www.marc.ucla.edu (free guided meditations)
franticworld.com (free guided meditations)
www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness (courses/training, free guided meditations)
www.mindfulcds.com (jon kabat-zinn cds)
bemindful.co.uk (a listing of mindfulness teachers)
https://oxfordmindfulness.org (courses and training)
www.mindfulexperience.org (index of research papers)

Books on Mindfulness:
Quiet the Mind by Matthew Johnstone
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius
The Mindful Way Workbook by John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Siegel
Mindfulness: A Kindly Approach to Being With Cancer by Trish Bartley

Some places to learn mindfulness:
Gaia House (offering silent retreats in Devon) www.gaiahouse.co.uk
London Insight (offering talks and courses) www.londoninsight.org
North London Buddhist Centre www.northlondonbuddhistcentre.com
Breathing Space www.breathingspacelondon.org.uk
The Mindfulness Project www.londonmindful.com

Phone Apps:
HeadSpace (guided meditations) www.getsomeheadspace.com
Stop, Breathe & Think (guided meditations) stopbreathethink.org
Insight Timer (meditation timer and guided meditations) insighttimer.com

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