Earlier this year I decided to try developing some mindfulness teaching in Wakefield. During my training as a teacher I was lucky to have a number of places to teach, mostly in Leeds, but no opportunities came up nearer to home. So, having found a relatively cheap space to rent I took a risk and started advertising.
One of the things that I wanted to try was establishing a regular drop in sitting group. When people have been on a mindfulness course there is often a difficulty in keeping up regular practice, and a weekly meeting can be very helpful. Also, some people are not sure what they are looking for, and are not ready to sign up for a regular course, and the drop in sessions are a great way to dip their toes in the water. There is quite a regular band of people who turn up now on a Tuesday, and the sessions always seem to have some interesting discussions. I really look forward to Tuesday evenings.
I have also run some more formal classes, where it is good to get a little deeper into mindfulness teachings and practice. Shorter, lightweight classes are a good way of covering the basics of mindfulness practice without participants having to commit to a great deal. A Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course is more demanding, and participants are expected to do regular meditations daily over 8 weeks.
It has been good to see how things have unfolded over the last few months. As well as at the mindfulness centre in Vincent House, Westgate I have been invited to deliver other courses and workshops around Wakefield – the public ones are posted on this website. I haven’t really advertised much as other things have kept me busy, so it has been very rewarding to see how things are growing slowly.
Recently I was able to move from the noisy roadside room in Vincent House to a quiet room at the back. Full marks to the persistent meditators who learnt to deal with the rumbling traffic, ambulances and police sirens. I now feel settled and pleased with the decision earlier in the year to take the risk.
Where is this going? Well, certainly keeping the sitting group and one class a week going looks to be the thing to do. However, it is a good space, and I am delighted the Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds are going to be running a 4 week course on Buddhism and the Mind. We have also had an evening of “Tea meditation” and a showing of “The Connection”. I am open to proposals on how we develop the centre. The aim is not to make a profit – if I cover the rent I am happy.