Mindful Moment Newsletter – February 2022

Welcome to the February 2022 edition of The Mindful Moment Newsletter! The Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland is delighted to be offering this newsletter which is for anyone interested in mindfulness.

In this newsletter we feature a review of the fascinating book ‘Sleeping Beauties’ by Suzanne O’ Sullivan. We meet Benedikt Říčný in ‘Meet the Teacher’ as he generously shares what mindfulness means to him. You will notice a Save the Date for your calendar for our first National Mindful Walk, as well as a moment of pause and reflection for the late and venerable Thich Nhat Hanh.

We end this newsletter with Barry Lee leading a brief but powerful Self Compassion Break. We encourage you to gift yourself this pause, and to experiment with this radical way of meeting ourselves with kindness during the inevitable difficult moments of our days, and our lives. Please feel free to share this with whomever you feel might need some compassion right now too.

If you are interested in learning more about meditation and mindfulness there are lots of courses facilitated by highly qualified teachers starting soon for you, or for your workplace. For more information click the link below. We wish you well, and hope that you are finding these ever so slightly brighter mornings and evenings as resourcing and hopeful as we are. Springtime is gently knocking on the door…!

Warmest Wishes,

The Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland.

Book Review by Josephine Lynch:
‘The Sleeping Beauties-And Other Stories of Mystery Illness’ by Suzanne O’ Sullivan

This is the third book by this Irish doctor who lives in London. She is a consultant in neurology since 2004 and now a consultant in clinical neurology and neurosurgery in a UK NHS hospital.

After reading her first book “ All in my Head” I was fascinated to learn that up to 30% of all people who have been diagnosed, treated and medicated for epilepsy, don’t have epilepsy. She challenges herself to try to see illness with new eyes and not to solely rely on her training as a medic. Her training she knows is very important and extremely useful and it can also have the negative effect of labelling, or pathologizing symptoms that can’t be
explained.

Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh

Last month Thich Nhat Hanh died aged 95.
In this newsletter we honour him by sharing his “Cup of Tea Meditation”, and Jon Kabat Zinn’s moving tribute to ‘Thay’.

Thich Nhat Hanh offers guidance on bringing mindful awareness to our daily cuppa.

“Something as simple and ordinary as drinking a cup of tea can bring us great joy and help us feel our connection to the Earth. The way we drink our tea can transform our lives if we truly devote our attention to it. Sometimes we hurry through our daily tasks, looking forward to the time when we can stop and have a cup of tea. But then when we’re finally sitting with the cup in our hands, our mind is still running off into the future and we can’t enjoy what we’re doing; we lose the pleasure of drinking our tea. We need to keep our awareness alive and value each moment of our daily life. We may think our other tasks are less pleasant than drinking tea. But if we do them with awareness, we may find that they’re actually very enjoyable. Drinking a cup of tea is a pleasure we can give ourselves every day. To enjoy our tea, we have to be fully present and know clearly and deeply that we are drinking tea. When you lift your cup, you may like to breathe in the aroma.

Looking deeply into your tea, you see that you are drinking fragrant plants that are the gift of Mother Earth. You see the labor of the tea pickers; you see the luscious tea fields and plantations in Sri Lanka, China, and Vietnam. You know that you are drinking a cloud; you are drinking the rain. The tea contains the whole universe.”

Meet the Teacher- Benedikt Říčný

What brought me to teach mindfulness?
My background is in psychology and psychotherapy. During my studies, I was introduced to Buddhist meditation. I further dived into Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy, which works with empowering individuals in finding their meaning of life and complements mindfulness perfectly in that the choice is ours.

I was introduced to “modern-day” western Mindfulness through my Master’s in the Netherlands where Mindfulness was studied in relation to positive psychology and combatting eating disorders, anxiety and depression.
I did my Master thesis on MBCT’s effect on a comorbid anxiety and depression population and had adopted mindfulness meditation into the core of my self-care and participated in a MBSR course myself.

Video: Self Compassion Break with Barry Lee

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