Why learn to meditate?
Meditation offers a whole range of benefits for mind and body, most of them rooted in the ability to find space and stillness in our lives against the relentless pace of modern living.
Meditation classes with a qualified teacher can help you to learn enjoyable meditation skills which stay with you for life, help you adapt your practice for particular situations, and connect you with a community of meditators for support and friendship.
Stress & mental health
Meditation is an excellent self-help modality for stress, anxiety, low mood and depression, as it helps to reset your brain wave patterns to an ‘awake rest’ state, to get you back to health.
Quality of life
Your general happiness levels go up when you meditate as you learn to switch off the mental chatter and make space for more meaningful experiences.
Menopause is made worse by stress and meditation works by inducing calm, thereby helping to alleviate mood swings, hot flushes, pain and sleep problems.
Meditation can help with chronic pain by increasing your bodily awareness, enabling you to distinguish real pain from pain heightened by self talk and emotions.
Types of meditation
I teach a number of different meditation techniques borrowed from secular and spiritual traditions all over the world, so that you find a method that suits you and your individual needs.
A technique based in Buddhism and popular in the west that combines breath focus with awareness of body and mind.
Mantras & chanting
Using sacred sounds, words or scripture as a focus for meditation, used in many different spiritual traditions.
I am a qualified and accredited meditation teacher with a diploma from the British School of Meditation, which offers a uniquely broad and non-affiliated approach, meaning that I can help you choose and adapt your practice according to need and preference.
As well as teaching meditation, I am a writer with over 10 years’ experience freelancing in the creative industries. I write all my own meditation scripts and devise unusual and engaging meditations using my love of nature and spiritual ideas from across cultures to reconnect my students with their true selves in a safe and enjoyable way.
Classes, courses & workshops
A 5-week introduction to meditation using a variety of techniques based in different traditions. Each class will start with breathing meditation where we look at focused attention and mindfulness through breath, moving on to other aids to focus and finishing with a longer guided practice such as a visualisation, body scan, emotion cultivation or deep relaxation.
Next course: TBA
While my beginners’ courses are currently on hold, the live online Zoom meditations currently being taught monthly are suitable for beginners.
See next column…
Follow on groups & menopause circles
Follow on groups are designed for people who have completed a beginners’ course or meditated before, enabling continuing support and friendship in meditation.
I am also running a meditation menopause circle, once a month. You do not need to have meditated before for this and it covers some of the same material as a beginners’ course, but it is specially tailored to ladies in (peri)menopause.
All-level meditation classes currently being taught live online via Zoom, monthly, Fridays at 8 pm.
Cost £5 per session for 40 minutes
Next dates 2021:
New Beginnings 29 January
Loving Kindness 19 February
Spring Sunshine 19 March
Menopause Circle postponed until further notice.
Friday evenings, monthly.
Specialist courses & workshops
Workshops cover particular subjects such as plant and aromatherapy meditation using individual plants and their essential oils to enhance emotions such as joy, self-love and relaxation.
I also offer a 7-session workshop style chakra meditation course where we learn about the 7 major energy centres through a combination of meditation, simple philosophy, colour therapy, crystals, essential oils, sounds and mudras (hand positions) to connect with the subtle properties of the mind & body.
Next chakra course:
You may wish to join my events such as outdoor meditations and forest bathing sessions in beautiful locations in Oxfordshire. I also collaborate with other practitioners locally to offer wellbeing events where you can try meditation alongside other healing modalities such as yoga, massage, nutrition, reiki or reflexology.
Visit: https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/whats-on for spring/summer/autumn events at Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum.
Starting again in April 2021. Please visit the website for updates about availability and tickets.
NEW: with my experience as a writer and editor in the creative industries, I’m now able to offer writing support to fellow wellbeing practitioners. Please get in touch.
Businesses, organisations & private groups
Classes are available for businesses and organisations seeking to include meditation in staff or student welfare. Please get in touch if you are a business, school or leisure organisation to discuss your individual needs.
You can also book me as a group of private individuals for a party or leisure experience. Minimum 5 attendees. Please contact me for details.
All corporate and private group meditation classes currently being taught online via Zoom.
Please get in touch to book.
If you would prefer an individually tailored practice with the privacy that one-to-one teaching can offer, please contact me. This can be particularly suitable for specific mental health issues, for children, or for problems with pain or sleep.
Currently being taught online via Zoom.
Please get in touch to book.
£25 per 40-minute online session
(£40 per 1 hour session offline)
NEW: now offering meditation teaching in collaboration with http://www.rowlandscapes.com working together to create gardens for meditation and mindfulness.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are wondering about joining a class
HOW DO I KNOW IF MEDITATION IS SUITABLE FOR mE?
Meditation is a completely safe practice for most people, including people who suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety. However, I always register you before starting using a health declaration form and ask you to check with your GP or health care specialist if you suffer with certain conditions such as depression, epilepsy or bipolar illness.
WHAT HAPPENS IF i FIND MEDITATING DIFFICULT IN YOUR CLASSES?
Meditation is a skill like any other and needs to be learned. It takes time and we all have days, especially at the beginning, where our minds persistently wander and it seems like wasted effort. It’s also normal to find yourself facing uncomfortable sensations, thoughts or emotions while meditating. I will monitor you throughout and invite feedback. You can also come to me afterwards if you are finding something difficult.
WHAT's the difference between a class and meditating with an app?
A lot of people find meditation apps useful and in fact streamed meditations are where I started myself. But there is so much extra to be gained from a class, such as overcoming obstacles, sharing experiences, learning how to sit properly and so on. Also, you might find meditation is more likely to become a regular habit if you join a group.
are your classes only for women?
No, I teach men and women and people of all ages. I believe passionately that men in particular need to meditate to get in touch with their often ignored innermost feelings and worries. I also work with young people, but please contact me in advance to discuss this if you have a child or a young person in mind.
I've tried mindfulness before. Is this the same thing?
I teach mindfulness meditation as part of my practice. This is where you use the breath as the focus and then cultivate non-judgemental awareness of your body, thoughts and emotions so that you learn to be fully present with whatever arises. However I also teach a variety of other techniques, some of which place more emphasis on focused attention rather than awareness. I also teach guided visualisation and contemplation which are different from mindfulness.
Do I have to complete a course or can I just drop in?
I ask that you complete a 5 week beginners’ course if you are new to meditation because it gives you a good grounding in meditation skills and each week builds on the one before. However, I currently offer meditation groups for menopause which are held monthly, plus various other workshops and one off events that are also suitable for beginners.
The British School of Meditation
My meditation qualification is a diploma from the British School of Meditation. It is accredited by Ascentis, an independent accreditation agency, and recognised by Ofqual. The diploma involves in-depth training in the theory and practice of meditation, from secular and spiritual traditions all over the world.
Before joining the BSoM register, I had to prove not only that I had passed my diploma, but also that I abide by the school’s code of ethics and practice, that I’m insured and that I’m committed to my ongoing development as a meditation teacher.
This means that as a student, you can have full confidence in my teaching, care and support; enabling you to develop a sustainable and enjoyable meditation practice of your own.