"One in-breath alone is a celebaration of life and enough to set you free - from your regrets about the past, your worries about the future, and your projects in the present"
- Thich Nhat hanh
‘Mindfulness’, which has it's roots in buddhist teachings, is becoming more and more prevalent worldwide. Today we are witnessing an exciting and fast spreading wellbeing revolution in society, with a radpidly growing awareness of how the sceince backed benefits of Mindfulness are proving to have a cruical role in improving our emotional, physical and social wellbeing. There is a great surge of interest in the positive influence of mindfulness practice on several domains in society, and we are seeing inspiring results from it's application in the education system, healthcare, politics and the creative arts.
Mindfulness practice allows us/gives us a a way of living life deeply in the present moment, finding calmness, stability and clarity of mind. At its foundation it is simply, a practice of awareness. To be mindful means to live in the here and now, being aware of oneself and what is happening in and around us. The foundation of mindfulness practice is becoming aware of our breath, and learning to use it as our own personal anchor. We often use sitting or walking meditation as a starting point for developing our capacity to stay with our breath.
After a while mindful breathing will make our mind quiet, concentrated and peaceful. However the greater benefit to life begins when we bring this to all that we do, hence the term ‘mindful living' The peace and awareness of mindfulness can be carried with us throughout our day, not only can we practice the enjoyment of meditation whilst sitting and walking, but whilst brushing our teeth, washing the dishes, cleaning our room, chopping vegetables, or listening to others. Trying to live our whole life mindfully, and being present in everything we do, can help us enjoy life more deeply and stop our constant thinking so we are no longer dominated by our worries, regrets, or plans for the future. We can carry the transformative benefits of mindfulness with us into our personal lives, our communities and wider enviornment, changing how we relate to the world and enabling more positive action for ourselves and others.
Mindful Living Retreats
The art of mindful living is much easeir to learn and nourish with the help of a suppourtive enviornment and collective experience. We use the word ‘practice’ because the most important thing to remember about mindfulness is that it is to be experienced. We may be able to describe it, read about it, or understand it intellectually, but its true transformative power will only be seen when we are able to practise it for ourselves. Although being mindful is a very simple concept to understand, it is not always easy to actually do! Therefore our ‘practice’ is something we have to develop over time with much patience and self-compassion. We have been used to distracting ourselves all our lives! To come back to the present moment in all we do, requires much training and commitment. For this reason, we try to help one another along this path, coming together during retreats, or for groups, to encourage and support one another.
The inspiration for the mindfulness practice we follow on Mindful Living Retreats, comes from the teachings of a Zen Buddhist monk called Thich Nhat Hanh who is widely known and recognised as the father of mindfulness in the west. He has developed many mindfulness practices over many years in an inclusive, open and relevant way. Many of our teachers and facilitators draw their inspiration from the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and have spent extended periods studying at his centers in the west. At our retreats we choose not to focus on some of the more Buddhist-based practices, such as chanting and bowing, as we feel the heart of these teachings is non-denominational. We deeply care about making mindfulness accessible and open to all.