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Mindfulness of Thoughts (Shorter Version)

January 8, 2019

Mindfulness of Thoughts (Longer Version)

December 6, 2018

Mindfulness Connected – Mark Leonard

November 5, 2018

I am taking a few moments to write a very brief appreciation of Mark Leonard and his work to use mindfulness training as a catalyst for team building and workplace cultural change.

Over the years I have only managed to grab the odd face to face conversation with Mark at conferences, and then to exchange a few mails or social media comments. But I have always been struck by his conviction that mindfulness, thoroughly blended with work on organisational culture, can [my paraphrase – I apologise] be tough on stress and and tough on the causes of stress.

As a member of the Potential Project organisation you would think that I would regard Mark as a “competitor”. Not least because Potential Project also seeks to effect changes to workplace culture by working with some of the world’s most senior business leaders [ see The Mind of the Leader ] and also because we teach mindfulness to people in the context of their team or business. But we also have the concept of co-creators. These are people who see the same potential (sic) for mindfulness and who are advocating it not just as their business, but because they see it as one of the most powerful change agents available to us, in a difficult world. I definitely see Mark as a co-creator. [ I also see this, by the way, in the charity that is the Mindfulness in Schools Project ]

Mark was involved in establishing the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, within Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, and in bringing the seminal ‘Frantic World’ mindfulness course into the workplace. I then watched with admiration when Mark founded and made explicit his manifesto for mindfulness as an agent of organisational and social change – going on to found Mindfulness Connected.

Mark’s subsequent work with staff at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) has become a case study for the concept of teaching ‘Group Mindfulness’. I was fortunate to see a presentation at the 2017 Mind and Matter conference by Mark, his team, and the team at the ROH that he had worked with . This included videos from other ROH team members. It painted a striking picture of the ‘virtuous circle’ between the value to the individuals of learning mindfulness as members of a group, and the value to the team/Department of being influenced by mindfulness. All in a very practical and robust way.

I think Mark is one of the leading voices currently advocating mindfulness as social change – and the scope for mindfulness teaching, and practice, to become a social movement in the UK and, indeed, in the West. It is a courageous position to take, in an ultimately  commercial environment. Tune in to Mark. Whether you ultimately agree or disagree with him, or his approach, he will challenge and develop your relationship with mindfulness… as a teacher or as a practitioner.

Body Scan (X-Ray)

November 3, 2018

Mindfulness of Breathing

November 3, 2018

Taking a short pause

November 3, 2018

It’s back! Does that make it a ‘#retweetup’? Come and try the #dartfordtweetup, Wednesday 6th June. Malt Shovel, Dartford 7:30pm

May 14, 2018

A few years ago I tried out something called the Dartford Tweetup. It was a bit of a shot in the dark. I’d previously seen groups of people, who had been talking on Twitter about some shared interest or other, brought together in face to face meetings all around the world. These were called ‘tweetups’ and most often took the form of business networking events.

But when I saw lots of people tweeting about life and changes in Dartford, many of whom had never met each other face to face, I thought the same thing might work for that.

The result was quite a lot of pub-based gatherings, about a month apart – varying from big turnouts to a small band of ‘usual suspects’… me included. During the short life of the Dartford Matters blog I teamed up with the editors and re-christened it ‘Dartford Natters’. [Yeah – I know. But I think that did attract a few people who had previously found the whole ‘tweetup’ idea a bit nerdy]. Then Dartford Living started running the ‘Dartford Living Live‘ events and I thought that the inclusion of voluntary organisations might make the #dartfordtweetup a bit surplus. So the tweetup twittered out.

But it seems everyone, including the guys at Dartford Living, think there’s room for both.

So here’s the proposition. If you are interested in community activities and new developments or change in Dartford, if you are one of the people who keeps local social media groups going, if you run a voluntary organisation or project in the area, or if you just want to meet other people with those interests – come and give it a try.

7:30pm at the Malt Shovel in Dartford on Wednesday June 6th. A couple of hours of informal chat and a few drinks. No agenda, no proceedings, no record, no public speaking… just unhurried conversations and new connections.

If it’s a success, I’ll fix up another – maybe every two months?

NB: Although I have become a member of Dartford Labour Party since the last lot of tweetups, these occasions are and always were intended not to be a big ‘P’ party-political thing. Though if conversations touch on important local topics, it’s likely to get small ‘p’ political. And the old #dartfordtweetups certainly attracted a few ‘twitter curious’ Councillors and candidates from several parties.