John: "I started teaching Mindfulness in Devon, where my daily Vipassana meditation practice began over fifteen years ago, leaning on the teachers at Gaia House near Newton Abbot for instruction and inspiration, and a local sitting group in Exeter for support. My first contact with Buddhism was as a student traveller in India where I was intrigued, but puzzled, by a visit to Rumtek Monastery in the Himalayan foothills. I later found a way to practice what I had observed thanks to the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (now Triratna Buddhist Order).
My desire to teach arose from a wish to find something I can continue to do in my later years which is useful, and helps deepen my own practice. My previous careers were in the media (as a producer at Radio 4), a lawyer in London and Gloucestershire, and latterly working and volunteering across the South West on behalf of the voluntary sector.
My training on the Master’s pathway in teaching Mindfulness at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University has led me to being assessed as a competent mindfulness teacher on the Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teacher Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC). I am listed with the UK Teachers Mindfulness Network, which upholds quality standards in Mindfulness teaching, providing independent confirmation of continued adherence to good practice."
Mindfulness Generation is a project set up in 2014 by Sarah Lammin and Beckie Wright to share mindfulness with the public and with organisations across Wiltshire. Between them, Sarah and Beckie have many years of mindfulness meditation practice, and hold professional qualifications in education, counselling and social care. In 2016 John Skrine became involved with the project, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his career in the media, the law, and the voluntary sector, and a longstanding personal mindfulness meditation practice.
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Sarah: "I first discovered mindfulness meditation 25 years ago whilst studying Eastern philosophies as part of my BA(Hons) in Religious Studies at Lancaster University. I have continued a meditation practice since then, and this has been supported by continued study of Buddhism and other contemplative traditions. This practice has helped me keep stability through several difficult life situations.
I have worked in informal and formal education for most of my career, with teaching and pastoral support roles. This has been supplemented by postgraduate studies in counselling and psychotherapy, with current experience of counselling within the NHS and for a local charity. After several years of running social skills and wellbeing groups for adolescents, and leading meditation classes locally, I completed Mindfulness Teacher Training at the Midlands Centre for Mindfulness and Compassion in November 2014, from whom I continue to receive supervision."
Beckie: "I came across the work of Vietnamese Zen monk, Thich Nhat Hanh after training as a youth and community worker and in 1989 spent a year studying and practising mindfulness in Plum Village, his meditation centre in the South of France.
I received The Five Mindfulness Trainings from Thich Nhat Hanh and they have provided a strong foundation for my career working in Education and Social Care and in my family life. I have continued to practise mindfulness with the Community of Interbeing UK and have facilitated mediation and conciliation groups within a mindful communication framework. I completed Mindfulness Teacher Training at the Midlands Centre for Mindfulness and Compassion in October 2015 and the Mindfulness in Schools Programme .b teacher training in January 2016.
I was Head of Support for Students with Disabilities at the University of the West of England, have worked with Adult Carers, and am currently a Wiltshire Council Lead Worker for Special Educational Needs. There is real evidence that mindfulness can help clients across these areas and I am keen to share this potential with others."