An Introduction to Mindfulness with Mike Kewley...
I grew up on the Isle of Man and was introduced to Mindfulness at a very early age. My father was a LayBuddhist who spent time as a Therevadan Monk and ran the local meditation group. As teenager I was fasincated by Zen and began to practice sitting meditation as a way to manage the increasing stress, anxiety and helplessness I was experiencing.
My interest in meditation led me to study comparative religion and to spend time in India, Pakistan, Burma, Nepal and Thailand, seeking out temples, monasteries, Guru's and Teachers. I've been lucky to meet so many incredible and influential teachers from many wisdom traditions, such as Ramesh Balsekar, Mooji, Sri V. Gansesan and Tony Parsons, all of whom have impacted upon my own approach to understanding who and what we are.
I have a very deconstructive approach to teaching. The term 'Mindfulness' has a very wide (and often vague) application in the West, but traditionally it's part of a much deeper path of self-awareness which leads to psychological, emotional and existential freedom. It's not that we stop thinking or feeling, but that our relationship to life radically shifts from entanglement to spaciousness. It's what we can put down that counts, not what we pick-up along the way.
Mindfulness practice is certainly not soft and fluffly. Sitting with this mind, body and emotions is never going to be easy. It's probably easier to scale Mount Everest than it is to patiently sit still, observing the flow of life without reacting to it. But, if we don't start this practice, then nothing changes. We stay stuck with the same old mind, seeing ourselves and the world in the same old way. Is that what we want? And if it isn't then are we simply waiting for transformation to miraculously occur?
I don't teach a traditional path to Enlightenment, but I do offer the direct wisdom of the present moment which holds more treasure, insight and wisdom than we could ever imagine.