THE THREE PILLARS OF EXCELLENT MINDFULNESS TEACHING 
 
Not just what you teach, but how you teach. 
 
Over the years I have been training people to teach mindfulness I have noticed some common mistakes. Firstly, I think most of us over complicate mindfulness for our students. Secondly, I thing we tend to give too much information. On seeing these tendencies I developed what I call the three pillars of excellent mindfulness teaching. These pillars are keeping mindfulness teaching simple, elegant and practical. 
 
“It is easy to pile up a load of facts, but true wisdom knows how to simplify.” Martin H Fisher 
The Menopause - where's my fan? - and what it has taught me - by Gaynor 
 
My rude awakening to the menopause came when I was sitting in a meeting in February 2014 - with a whoosh of energy and a total saturation of my favourite blue shirt. I was mortified, as I was sitting with three men who were either polite or totally oblivious. I was so distracted by my body - and this has been the theme of the last five years. 
Response to a Keyboard Warrior: by Gaynor 
I took this picture at the Chiang Mai Festival of Lights. It’s a picture of four generations of Thai people writing their wishes for the future on sky lanterns, then launching them up alongside many other families into the sky, symbolising their collective hope for the future. I felt very privileged to be there. There was a palpable sense of love and connection. This is why we chose the picture to launch our Awakening Heart program. 
The Beauty of Silence by Emma Glover 
 
I first met Suryacitta on an 8-week mindfulness course almost five years ago. I arrived at the first session in the Kuti (meditation room) feeling depressed, angry, anxious, miserable and as though I was crazy.  
I left that first session thinking that actually, he was the crazy one. I could not get my head around anything he said. He spoke of the ‘jewel in the ice’ – that ultimate happiness or contentment we all strive  
for but rarely find, and suggested most of our problems are in our heads…that my well-used defence for being ‘mental’ (“It’s just the way I am”) wasn’t true and that any genetic or physical predisposition to mood issues didn’t have to determine my emotions, feelings or behaviours. 
 
The wisdom of the body
 
Compassionate meditations, originally called metta bhavana, are some of the most valuable practices. Metta means love and kindness, a deeply held feeling of genuine compassion. Bhavana means cultivation. Metta Bhavana traditionally takes you through stages of compassionate practice, where you maintain a sense of your heart and feel love and kindness towards yourself and others, including people whom you perceive a difficult relationship with. 
 
The wisdom of the body
Bursting Your Balloons 
By Suryacitta from his forthcoming book for mindfulness teachers. 
 
A few years ago, I was at a birthday party and noticed that one of the entertainers was blowing up balloons. He would let the children burst the balloon, then instantly he would blow up another. Again they would burst the balloon, and again he would blow up another. The children enjoyed bursting the man’s balloons. Each time they did this he would pretend to be disappointed and surprised. But even though he had lots of experience and it was his job to entertain the children, I am sure it was tiring forever blowing up balloons. 
The wisdom of the body
Who are you? By - Dr Liz Sparkes 
 
If you are searching for that one person to change your life, just pause, and look in the mirror. 
 
The first time I properly started to consider this was during my early experiences of meditation. My teacher Suryacitta, spoke of a beautiful jewel which represents us. This jewel over time becomes covered in ice, the ice represents all of the beliefs that we take on from our culture, religion, family, friends and our experiences. How we view things is very much a matter of perspective. Taking on all of this 'stuff' can really distort our perspective. These views and ideas can distort our true nature and in my experience 'lead you down the garden path'! I went pretty far down it! However, with the support of meditation and healing to help me let go, I am back on track and in touch. 
You can't stop the first dagger
Mindful Time Management – Some Reflections - by Dean Bennet 
 
Ongoing research suggest that mindfulness practices can bring real benefits when applied in work situations. A review of research into mindfulness in work concluded: 
‘mindfulness influences attention, with downstream effects on functional domains of cognition, emotion, behaviour, and physiology. Ultimately, these domains impact key workplace outcomes, including performance, relationships, and well-being’ 
(Good et al. 2015: 118 - 115) 
 
 
You can't stop the first dagger
Vicky Kakos 
While in Glasgow facilitating a retreat some months ago, Suryacitta asked me to write a blog for him and I said yes, having no idea at the time what on earth I would write about but figured an idea would come at some point! Lots of ideas did come- and then they went– my story from going on Suryacitta’s eight weeks beginners’ course to becoming a teacher myself; how Mindfulness helps me be more of the parent I want to be to my two daughters; writing about The Wee Retreat (the Community Interest Company I set up which organises meditation and wellbeing events in Glasgow)… none of them really struck a chord. It was when I was sitting on the veranda on the first morning of the retreat in Spain this summer that I knew what I would write about- meditation. 
You can't stop the first dagger
 

Silent Meditation Retreats 

by Suryacitta 
 
Our meditation retreats UK seem to becoming very popular. More and more people seem interested in attending either a meditation day retreat, a weekend meditation retreat or longer, perhaps a seven day mindfulness meditation retreat. 
 
But what is a meditation retreat? Normally our attention in life goes onto the people and things in our life. We have responsibilites; dogs need walking, dinner needs cooking, meetings take place, phone calls to do and so on. In all of thise activity is can be difficult to sense who we are and what we really want in our lives. A meditation retreat is a time and place where we take our attention away from the external responsibilites and to begin to pay attention to ourselves. 
Silent Meditation Retreats
 

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Community drop ins, silent meditation days and Webinars 

Building a Mindfulness Community of people who wish to practice together. 
 
Drop in's are the last Friday of the month. These meditation drop-ins are for all those who have attended any of our courses and want to come and practice together.  
29th March, 26th April, 31st May, 28th June, 26th July, NO drop in for August, 27th September, 25th October, 29th November. No practice evening in December. 2020 - 31st January, 28th February, 27th March 
 
The usual structure for the evening is to begin with a meditation, followed by teaching and discussion, if you have questions from your own home practice please ask. We finish with a second meditation. 
 
The session run from 6.30-8.00 and there is a donation of £5.00 
 
Please let us know if you’re coming, so we have an idea of numbers and can put out mats and chairs. Its best to come at least 5 minutes before at 6.25pm. 
 
Silent Meditations Days (Sesshins) 
We run regular sesshins (silent meditation days) which are by invitation only. If you would like to attend please get in touch and we will put you on the list 
 
 
Please text Gaynor on 07837 866 619 or Suryacitta on 07908 957 100 
 
or email us at info@mindfulnesscic.co.uk. 
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