By Dr Liz Sparkes 
 
Transforming the critical voice 
 
‘Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you’, Rumi knew that pretending that certain aspects of ourselves don’t exist wasn’t the way to transformation. 
The critic, the voice within that holds us back, tells us that we are not good enough, that we shouldn’t speak up; that is what keeps us stuck. These unacknowledged parts of ourselves are often close to fear. Fear of what might happen if we acknowledge them , fear of the truth of who we are. However, as Gene Gendlin describes, we come to know through awareness that, that which appears negative does actually contain trapped suppressed positive life energy. The energy is twisted and blocked and gentle mindfulness or awareness is often all that is needed to allow the release and transformation. 
 
We place parts of ourselves in exile...  
Mindfully teaching yoga by Naomi Kent 
 
Why the mindfulness facilitation course will not only equip you to be a better guide to others but will enhance who you are as a person. 
 
I completed Suryacitta’s Mindfulness Facilitation Training Weekend as I felt it could be an added string to my bow as a yoga teacher, with the bonus of getting to spend a couple of days in the comforting Kuti. If you’ve done any type of mindfulness or meditation in that little garden hut in Newtown Linford, you’ll know how much of a safe place it is to feel any or all of your own emotions. And despite this course taking on a different type of learning approach as this is you taking the meditative baton in order to pass it to others, you learn about yourself inadvertently the whole time which can only be a good thing. If you’ve never done any type of course there, you’ll have to take my word for it. It’s a wonderful place. 
Silent meditation retreats - Never miss a chance to shut up by Suryacitta 
 
It is so very easy to live our lives in a haze of activity. The busier we become the more we contract into the mind and our world becomes smaller and smaller. The more we are locked into the mind the less time we seem to have and we tighten ourselves like a coiled spring, trying to fit everything in. At some point, the merest of incidents can set us off into irritability and anger. We are caught in the busy-trap. 
 
We need to be able to step out of the busy-trap, and to  
Healing the Heart by Dr Liz Sparkes 
 
This is from my experience, I prefer not to tell others anything that I haven’t experienced myself. Also, don’t think for one minute that I have completed my healing journey. Once you start healing the heart, your life will change, I can promise you that. Relationships will shift, pain of all kinds will change, you will find the truth of who you are a little more, and also find yourself diving a bit deeper into what you love.  
Nature - the gift that keeps on giving by Gaynor Quilter 
 
This is not a political statement about the environment, although my Christmas “hope” would be that we all set an intention to care more for The Earth in what ever way we can. 
 
At this time of year most of us are thinking about gifts for loved ones. I love Christmas time, but there is always a shadow over my heart as I no longer have to look for presents for my Mum.  
Overcoming Insomnia with Mindfulness by Mauricio Senger 
 
I started having sleep difficulties in 2006 after a serious motorbike accident. The back pain that I began to experience after that event would wake me up every night at around 4am and it would be very difficult for me to get back to sleep once I was awake. 
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

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Community drop ins - last Friday of the month 

Building a Mindfulness Community of people who wish to practice together. 
 
IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL DROP INS 
Drop in's are the last Friday of the month. These meditation drop-ins are both in-person and broadcast online. We been running these since 2013.  
Dates for 2020:  
25 September, 30 October, 27th Novevember. No December drop in 
Click HERE for info and booking 
 
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 sessions run from 6.30-8.00. The cost is £5.00 
Click HERE to book or more info 
 
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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