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TonyB

Excited new member! Tony from London UK :-)

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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

Edited by TonyB
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Thank you for this lovely introduction Tony! It is wonderful to learn more about your background and what brought you here. It seems you have quite a wealth of professional experience that will interweave beautifully with mindfulness (not to mention many years and hours of personal practice and retreat!)

As I mentioned in the other thread, I can relate to the need to change careers and the big unknown that comes with that. I think many people are in this boat and could use some support with it. 

If you have any questions going forward, I'm the moderator for the community and the Chief Care Officer, so feel free to reach out at any time. A bit more background about myself - I am a freelance writer focusing on topics such as mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality. I am also a yoga and meditation practitioner, though I haven't taught in-person since the pandemic began. I'm finding myself falling more and more into my passion and niche within this field, which has to do with the natural environment. I'm currently working on some nature-based meditation practices for my own website as well as my Insight Timer account.

 

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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

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