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Everything posted by TonyB

  1. Hi Gillian, really interesting to read about your experience with acne and how that led you onto exploring holistic practices. Its so true that at the time, thinking of the experience as a blessing is the last thing we are willing to entertain, but with the benefit of hindsight we can see how without that, we might never have found our way to developing insight and a more nourishing relationship with ourselves. I also suffered with acne as a teenager and into my 20's. I remember at one point (probably after reading a lot of self-help books) deciding that I would try shifting my mental reaction to the suffering and simply see what happened if I didnt react to it and found that the flare-ups started to calm down. I now see acne or cold sores as simply an indication that my psyche is out of balance and a reminder to pay more attention to how I'm treating myself.
  2. Great question, wow there are so many examples of this! Many years ago, when I started a new job, I started to develop what I know interpret as stress and anxiety related symptoms in my body. I became very ill and lost a lot of weight (I was already very thin so losing weight was potentially dangerous for me). I was fortunate to find an experienced naturopath who provided compassionate and practical support to help me get on the road to recovery and self-healing, she helped me to gain more awareness of and sensitivity to the effect of different foods on my body, introduced me to cranio-sacral therapy and invited me to consider whether there may be emotional issues that I needed to address. This experience I now regard as an opportunity for me to develop more sensitivity to my body, thoughts, feelings and to experience the power of the inner wisdom of my body. It led onto seeking out professional counselling in the following years help to address underlying emotional issues which helped me to heal personal wounds in myself and with my parents. What appeared first as a challenge now seems to me to have been a catalyst and invitation for me to get more curious about myself, my personal suffering and to develop self compassion and appreciation for the body.
  3. Hi Gillian, thank you! Great to know a bit more about you aswell. The natural environment is also one of my passions, in my previous job, I developed the good habit of taking time out in the middle of the day, to walk in the local park and ground myself by simply sitting on the grass or leaning against a tree. I found that simply allowing myself to connect with nature helped to calm and revitalise me, so simple yet so powerful! Nature based meditation practices sound amazing, I know a few people who are not really interested in formal meditation practice and are real nature lovers, they have often said that for them just being in nature is their meditation, I suspect you will find a lot of people will be interested in this way of connecting, a great way to make meditation more accessible. I look forward to hearing more about your work. Best wishes Tony
  4. Hi Gillian, I am aiming to work with people who work in the helping (health, community, social care) and arts based professions, who already have a basic interest and/or curiosity about mindfulness as well as people who are more experienced in mindfulness. Within this broad category of people, I am aiming to focus specifically on people at specific life stages: a) Newly qualified and practicing professionals at the start of their career - to nurture strong resilient foundations, self awareness and self-compassion to balance with any burgeoning sense of ambition b) Established professionals with a young family and/or ageing parents - to nurture a sense of space and calm, better flow and harmonious relationships c) Professionals looking for a change, re-evaluating their career choice, values The reason I have focussed on these life stages is because it was at these points in my life that I realised the importance of mindfulness meditation for me to prevent burnout from stress and overwhelm, to recognise the necessity of looking after myself first always, to better care for others. Great question by the way! Best wishes Tony
  5. Hi Teniele,  great to meet you, i love the sound of your children's stories, are any available to view online or to buy?  

    Best wishes


  6. Hi Stacy, great to meet you! Wow a 10 day yoga retreat in India sounds amazing, I'd love to hear more about that. I'm also intrigued by what your offer will develop into, sounds like a great combination! Best wishes Tony
  7. Hi everyone! Its great to be part of this community and I'm looking forward to connecting with many of you soon. So, my name is Tony Bamforth, I live in North London England and I'm sat at my desk at home right now looking out the window (when i take breaks from typing), its a cloudy fresh day and I can hear the sounds of traffic below in the street, the wind blowing through the trees, there are birds flying past my window and I'm feeling relaxed and happy. I live with my partner of 8 years - Fernando and two friends from Spain - Lena and Natali. We are all students right now which is great, Fernando studying Interior Design, Lena studying Film and Natali Fine Art. Last year I quit my job as a CEO of a community development / arts / social care / advocacy organisation working with people with learning disabilities, and took some time out to think about what was next for me. I have always wanted to be a teacher and recently decided that mindfulness will be a fundamental part of what I will teach. During my career so far I've gained extensive experience in person centred planning (coaching made accessible for people with learning disabilities), leadership, governance, strategic development, quality assurance, finance, marketing, managing people, designing and delivering projects, workshops and lectures and much more. I also have practitioner qualifications in NLP, Holistic Massage Therapy, Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology. I am planning to develop an online course in the near future combining mindfulness with the other skills I've picked up along the way. After a little research online, comparing and contrasting different offers I decided that this was the best fit for me. There are many reasons I chose this course, the main one being I quickly felt I could trust Sean. I am familiar with the Spirit Rock Centre; the Insight meditation tradition in the US and the connections with my own meditation practice, so recommendations from teachers I have known about for many years such as Jack Kornfield provided reassurance that the course would resonate with me. I have been a Vipassana meditation student for many years now, having sat and served on over 15 retreats over the past 20 years (in the tradition of S.N.Goenka) and have experienced significant benefit and positive change in my life as a result of my practice. I now meditate daily every morning and evening. Another reason was the wealth of resources available, particularly the ability to use white label documents for my own practice when I am ready to start teaching, and also really important was the opportunity to be part of a community of people studying the same course as me, so we can share our insights, thoughts, questions and learn from each other. I am passionate about our ability as human beings to heal and transform ourselves, our relationships and our communities and thrive from being part of work which promotes and nurtures opportunities for people to do more of this. I very much enjoy music, art, film, dance, theatre - all the arts basically, and I'm willing to get involved in most arts based opportunities; though I can get pretty competitive at Karaoke... I'm really interested to know what ideas other students have for making use of this training, to integrate it into their lives, businesses and work. Finally I want to express my gratitude to Sean and all the other folk involved in developing this training and community, may we all make best use of the learning and opportunities available here for our own good and the good of all beings. With love and metta to you all! Tony
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