Start the week by clearing some space in your head, relaxing and energising yourself for the week ahead.
Chairs are available so you can come straight from work without needing a change of clothing. No need to book - just turn up, sit down and relax. There are also mats and cushions for those who would like to sit on the floor.
The practice of mindfulness benefits you in four specific ways:
Body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of attention.
Mindfulness meditation has also been found to promote numerous health benefits:
• reduced blood pressure
• lower levels of stress through reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol
• improved ability to deal with anxiety
• reduces perception of pain making it easier to live with chronic conditions such as arthritis or migrain attacks
• improves the functioning of the immune system
• increased sense of well being
• alleviates insomnia
• recommended by NICE as treatment of choice for depression
• reduces stress symptoms during cancer treatment
• assists in improving IBS
• promotes your ability to focus on a task and avoid distraction through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to)
• improves brain functioning and actually leads to growth of brain tissue: sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain's ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input. For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood. Research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity (http://brainimaging.waisman.wisc.edu/publications/2008/DavidsonBuddhaIEEE.pdf) and display an ability -- continuing after the meditation session has ended -- to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. That is, they're automatically able to control their thoughts and reactiveness.
• reduces risk of Alzheimer's and mental illness
• leads to reduced sense of loneliness especial in the elderly
• greater self awareness and self knowledge through starting to see your 'blind spots'
• and it can even enhance our enjoyment of music through an increased ability to focus and sensory awareness!
The evening consists of a series of guided meditations during which you are led into a state of focused awareness If you are new to meditation you will receive full instruction on how to engage with the practice starting with a body scan that leads into attending to the sensations of the breath. This is followed by a ten minute walking meditation and a 20 minute tea break. The walking meditation provides a transition from sitting meditation to activity and is a useful tool to have when in the busyness of London – transforming a walk into an opportunity for mindful attentiveness. The tea break provides an opportunity to meet with other participants as well as being an opportunity to stretch your legs!
After the tea break there is either a short talk on a theme related to meditation or group discussions among participants on a particular theme. This is followed by the Loving Kindness meditation which has as its focus the internal expression of well-wishing towards oneself and then a friend and finally all beings. This meditation is also fully guided.
After the class some of us go to a nearby bar where there is a quiet upstairs room reserved for us. This gives another opportunity to meet, chat, make new friends and socialise in a relaxed and friendly environment.
The class has a wide range of ages and experience among those attending. So if you are curious please come along and find out if this is for you!
Class fee: £10
Concessions: £5 or what you can afford.
Experienced meditation teacher Nick Kientsch leads this one hour drop in class in central London. Suitable for people with no prior meditation experience, Nick's gentle and clear tuition will guide you through a series of short meditations. Nick draws on over 20 years experience of meditation practice and from what he learned as a Buddhist monk living in the Thai forest tradition at Amaravati Monastery.
If you have any difficulty finding the venue or have any questions please call me on: 07910 224 560