Helen is an experienced mindfulness teacher. As well as teaching a weekly meditation group in Eastbourne, Helen offers 1-2-1 sessions:
- to people who have not meditated before and are wishing to learn the technique and establish a regular practice
- to experienced practitioners who are looking for a mentor. Helen has a special interest in helping Buddhists integrate the teachings and meditation in to their life.
Helen is available to teach workshops and courses for educational institutions and businesses.
£40 for a 50 minute session
Interested in having Helen run a mindfulness session at your workplace?
Common questions about mindfulness and meditation
What is mindfulness?
There are many definitions of mindfulness. It has been described as the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience; whilst Jon Kabat-Zinn’s (the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction) describes it as paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. Perhaps most simply, we can think of mindfulness as knowing what we are doing when we are doing. It is a quality that comes from paying attention to ourselves, others and the world around, us in a certain way.
How can it benefit us in daily life?
Mindfulness helps us see clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It allows us to recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. Mindfulness is not a means of eliminating life's difficulties, but it can help provide a space that allows us to respond to them more wisely, in a calmer manner that benefits our head, heart and body.
How is mindfulness related to meditation?
Mindfulness is not the same as meditation. Mindfulness is a quality that is developed through the practice of meditation (for example, concentrating on a single point of focus such as the breath or mindful movements). As well as mindfulness, meditation also develops awareness. If mindfulness is the ability to bring attention to one thing, awareness is the quality that notices when we drift from that one-pointed attention. A cooking analogy can be helpful in recognising how we need both: we mindfully cut the carrots, yet remain aware there is a pan of potatoes boiling on the stove.
What does building mindfulness and awareness involve?
The greatest benefits are reaped when an individual has a daily meditation practice. When practicing meditation, everyone, however much they practice, will become aware of uninvited thoughts creeping into their minds. This is normal, it is just what minds do. What is important is how we respond to these thoughts. If we start to think about our thinking or get drawn into the stories our thoughts create, it stops us paying attention and takes us away from the present moment. By acknowledging our thoughts without judgement or evaluation and then letting them go, we are able to focus our attention on being in the present moment.
As with all new skills, the more we practice, the easier it becomes. Just as physical exercise improves the strength and function of our muscles, meditation and other mindfulness practices grow the ‘muscles’ of mindfulness and awareness. The brain changes and develops the neurological pathways that enable us to more effectively focus our attention and be more fully present.