Residential courses and workshops for learning applied Heart-Based living. Train in mindfulness, heart coherence and listening spaces and study the ‘4 keys to the heart’: rest, happiness, embracing difficulty and connection. Online resources, webinars and community platforms support you in sustaining a heart-based life and offer ways to deepen and share your learning.
Open-access, pop-up hubs welcoming everybody to learn, connect and experience heart-based practices within cities, local communities and youth spaces. Free events with experiential workshops, talks and listening spaces, creating safe environments for meaningful connection.
Training Ambassadors across a diversity of backgrounds to share heart-based living practices with their communities. We offer in-depth training for deepening practice and learning facilitation skills. Training includes mentorship and engagement with a participatory platform, supporting Ambassadors to develop materials that respond to the distinctive needs of the groups they work with.
Building a collaborative community network for Ambassadors to share inspiration and work together to reach individuals and communities from all backgrounds including those viewed as underrepresented or under-resourced. A platform for collective empowerment, collaborative participation and peer support to enable the development of grassroots wellbeing initiatives that respond to a wide range of social and cultural contexts. A space to share experiences, resources, and to co- create inclusive models and materials that reflect the needs of diverse communities and populations.
A heart-based wellbeing approach moves beyond quick fix tools for managing our stress and difficulties, towards practices that enable us to bring more heart into all aspects of our life. Our model offers applied practices that are accessible, useable and sustaining for our whole lives, informing how we relate to stress, find time for rest, develop healthy communication and relationships and identify purpose.
Well-being is not an individual pursuit undertaken in isolation to improve only our personal lives. If we don’t include our relationships and ways of relating in the world, we are limiting our possibilities for a happy and meaningful life. Our model includes human connection as an essential ingredient for personal and social change.
Simple: Mindfulness is a practice of bringing awareness to every ordinary gesture of life, from drinking a glass of water to engaging in a difficult conversation. In this way we train our capacity to live in the present moment. We can experience life more fully through our senses rather than the confines of our overthinking minds. Mindfulness can be accessed in one minute, sustained throughout any activity, or underpin a whole way of living.
Evidenced: Numerous studies have identified the scientific basis of mindfulness as a mind-training practice that actually changes cognitive structures and corresponding behavioural habits.
Applied: More and more, mindfulness approaches have been integrated into contemporary society: it has been endorsed by the UK government, school system, NHS, and countless businesses and organisations as a means of reducing stress, building resilience and developing self-awareness.
How we teach it: Our courses teach mindfulness as a way of connecting mind and heart and how to apply it to every aspect of life: from short practices that cultivate rest and ease, to applied practices such as walking, eating, speaking and relating.
Simple: Heart coherence training includes a range of practices for accessing and increasing our capacity for self-regulation and positive emotion. The resulting physiological wellbeing, emotional balance and mental clarity generated by this training is described as ‘coherence’.
Evidenced: Researchers use the term ‘heart-intelligence’ to describe the way that the human heart acts as a central regulator of both physiological and emotional wellbeing. Not only does the heart contain ‘neurons’- making it a kind of ‘heart-brain’ – but studies have shown that by training the heart-qualities of appreciation, gratitude and love, we can activate the conditions that support optimal wellbeing.
Applied: Clinicians and psychologists have long been utilising bio-feedback tools that track an individual’s HRV (Heart-Rate Variability) as a measure of coherence. Biofeedback measures are widely used to support athletic performance, the management of stress in schools and businesses and in health care as a support to wellbeing and recovery. These same tools are now widely available to track and improve our own everyday emotional and physical states of wellbeing.
How we teach it: Our programmes teach how to develop both emotional and social coherence with the support of Heart-Rate Variability biofeedback technology, as well as how to generate and maintain our innate heart-qualities (such as gratitude, inspiration, and love) to increase physical wellbeing and to develop our capacity for emotional self-awareness and self-regulation.
Simple: When we listen attentively, we are open-minded and open-hearted enough to hear what is going on – within ourselves, within another person, or within a situation.
Applied: Throughout history, many cultures have honoured the act of gathering in listening spaces to listen intentionally to different stories, perspectives and personal experiences for the purpose of fostering greater connection and understanding. We see their modern counterparts in Non-Violent-Communication, NNI, The Way of Council, The Work in prisons and the work of Nancy Klein to name but a few.
How we teach it: Our model places the practice of listening, alongside mindfulness and coherence, as one of the central foundations of training. We offer concrete ways to listen with our hearts rather than our heads and to open ourselves to more empathic and meaningful communication. These practices can be applied widely: in personal relationship, the workplace and in community dialogue to open up possibilities for genuine communication and understanding.
Michael started mindfulness practice formally at the end of 1992 having left Spain and moved Totnes, Devon, where he learnt and practiced mindfulness and meditation at The Barn and Sharpham House both places are part of the Sharpham Trust. He practiced also at Gaia House Meditation Retreat Centre where he did several intensive meditation retreats from 1994 to early 1996. He worked as a resident coordinator at Gaia House in 1995 for 9 months, where he and 3 other co-workers helped run the retreat centre.
In 1996, after having read “Peace is Every Step” a book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, he arrived in Plum Village where after six months of retreat, he joined the monastic community and was ordained as a novice Buddhist monk in 1997, receiving the full ordination in 1998. In 2003 he was formally given permission to teach mindfulness giving him the capacity to lead mindfulness retreats. He was abbot of Son Ha which is a smaller centre and monastic residence attached to Upper Hamlet monastery, the main retreat centre. In 2011 he took a sabbatical year, at the conclusion of which, he decided to disrobe and returned to lay life in 2012.
He now continues to teach mindfulness leading retreats (in Europe and South America) and offers mindfulness programmes in the UK and in Spain.
Michael was born in the UK but at the age of three his parents (an Irish-Canadian mother and a Swiss father) brought him along, with his younger sister, to their new home in the Balearic island of Ibiza, Spain. Ibiza, in 1967, was a small jewel floating on the beautiful and ancient Mediterranean Sea.
He feels there is a need for a big change in society and in the world, that we can’t continue in the same old ways, however advanced our technological knowledge may be. That a genuine revival is need of what is truly meaningful for all of us as human beings. He wants to help support and make that change possible.
After completing her PhD in Scottish literature at Glasgow University, Lyndsay joined the teaching team between 2002-2006. Loving teaching but feeling the call to connect more pastorally with students, she moved into F.E, where she taught for ten years with a special interest in working with disengaged and excluded groups whilst studying part time for a BSc in psychology.
As a lecturer at City of Glasgow College she created a programme of mindfulness training for staff, an award-winning mindfulness programme for students and an accredited course in mindfulness facilitation with the goal of extending mindfulness throughout the F.E sector.
Lyndsay was involved with the Scottish charity Youth Mindfulness as director of programme development and lead trainer from 2015-2018. There she combined her love of teaching and programme development with her passion for bringing the heartfelt essence of mindfulness to as many people as possible
Lyndsay was the middle child of a family of three girls. She spent her younger years trying to be angry by wearing black and reading books about John Lennon and Martin Luther King, along with a mild obsession with the 1970s and Michael Jackson (now cured)
She is passionate about that moment when learning sparks a new and fresh understanding. She believes that the inner life is as important as the outer life and that the world we create begins with a state of mind. She believes that a life of self-reflection is not the privilege of any single group and is committed to supporting individuals from all walks of life with the tools to develop self-understanding and the agency to bring about change both within themselves and the communities they are part of.
He has a BA degree in Modern Languages & Information Systems from UWE Bristol and has held Director & Consultant roles for many organisations; in the realm of well-being, healthcare, internet infrastructure, web-hosting, software, nutrition, online retailing and plant-based pharmaceuticals.
He completed over 50 weeks of mindfulness training from 2003 to 2013, then spent three years training in Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute before gaining experience working in NHS mental health services and in two UK prisons.
Will served as the European Director for HeartMath, a Californian organization that provides stress-management to individuals, schools, hospitals and companies. He built and ran a Mindfulness Centre in the South of England, which ran residential “Mindful Living’ retreats and offered specific programmes for young people and educators.
Will grew up in the Cotswolds and still loves to spend as much of his time outside playing with sticks, stones and flowing water. He loves to build things and to help things grow (specifically trees, vegetables and fruit)
He is passionate about contributing towards a new story where power, control & wealth become more decentralised and where individuals and communities feel less separate and more connected to our shared human experience.
Kareem has a BA in Media and Cultural Studies and two MAs in Digital Marketing and Sustainability. In 2011 he joined the founding group of a grassroots mindfulness community for young adults “Wake Up” and played an active role in supporting the community to grow through facilitating weekly sessions, retreats, and organising outreach projects.
In 2015 he joined the Scottish charity “Youth Mindfulness” Where he served on the facilitator team for adult teacher training programmes and retreats alongside delivering programmes in local schools. He is currently a mentor with the project Inward Bound Mindfulness Education UK which hosts annual mindfulness retreats for young people. He is also a facilitator and core member of “Colours of Compassion” Which is a mindfulness community for practitioners from BAME backgrounds.
Kareem has recently completed an internationally recognised Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Programme in the U.S and has trained in person with principal teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.
Kareem grew up in Jordan and spent most of his teen years looking for alternative ways of living and creative expression that went beyond the confines of the cultural realities around him. He spent most of his time in rock and heavy metal bands but faced big struggles against the legal crackdowns and suppression of the heavy music scene and community. He discovered mindfulness at the age of 18 while struggling with alcoholism and depression, and was able to discover a more meaningful way of life that he had been searching for.
He is passionate about creating accessible youth to youth initiatives to share mindfulness with young people and explore relevant issue in their lives. He is inspired about the role of creativity and play in mindfulness practice and the intersections of social change and diversity in the world of wellbeing.
Jasmine worked as a carer for 9 years from the age of 19 upwards and in parallel has been dedicated to bringing the practice of mindfulness into her everyday life and facilitating for others. She has facilitated mindfulness for over 10 years- to her peers as a young adult and more recently for children and adults. Most recently she Programme coordinated and facilitated on Youth Mindfulness’ One Year Programme- training adult mindfulness facilitators for educational and community settings.
She holds a Foundation Degree from Plymouth University in Creative Art Therapies Studies and has completed a 2-year in-depth Certified Mindfulness Teacher Training programme with internationally recognised teachers Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield. She has also undergone a teacher training course in Mindful Self Compassion with Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer.
Jasmine grew up in Gloucestershire – from childhood she has enjoyed exploring life close up with a camera and connecting with curiosity and care with the animals and humans that surrounded her. She is fascinated by the amazing innate capacities that all humans have for resilience, kindness, care and compassion – only given the chance and right nourishment.
She feels dedicated to continued curiosity and learning about herself and others through mindfulness, heart and listening. She enjoys working collectively with others to build supportive networks that empower people to find their own unique expression of heart-based living.
CONTENT & SCIENCE
Inspired by his fascination with the intelligence of living systems, Doran completed his PhD in Neuroscience at University College London in 2011 under the supervision of Nobel laureate Prof. John O’Keefe. Following his PhD, he engaged in scientific research at universities in the UK and Germany. More recently, he has begun to focus more on teaching and on writing to bring an understanding of science to a wider audience. He has worked professionally as a science editor since 2016 and written a number of scientific articles and an e-book.
Alongside his scientific work, Doran has been practising mindfulness since 2006. In 2011, he was involved in setting up a mindfulness group in London as part of “Wake Up”, a grassroots movement of young adults committed to creating compassionate communities in which heart-based qualities can be cultivated. He has continued his engagement with Wake Up since then, facilitating mindfulness practices and holding sharing spaces for groups. Seeing the benefits of these practices in his own life, he spent 15 months deepening his understanding of mindfulness at the Plum Village practice centre in France from 2014–2016.
Doran is also exploring how to mindfulness practices can be used to help people connect with nature. He has organised and offered workshops at festivals and environmental activism events, and is currently completing his year-long training in Nature-Based Practice with the Ecodharma centre in Spain.
Doran grew up near Reading in the UK and spent much of his childhood playing in forests and green spaces nearby. He never lost his childlike sense of wonder for the natural world. He loves learning and exploring ways to communicate what he has learnt.
Doran is committed to exploring and supporting new ways of living in harmony as a human community and with nature. He wants to rediscover and to help others rediscover how to fall in love with humanity’s potential and with the Earth again.
Mick trained and worked in ecology, conservation and horticulture with the National Trust for nearly a decade. He later worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew where helped care for the historic collections of plants.
He brought together his love of the natural world, plants and mindfulness during his time in Plum Village, where he managed the ‘Happy Farm’ from 2015 to 2019. On the 3-acre organic farm he and an international team of farmers and retreat participants produced seasonal food for the community, trained and educated thousands of guests in mindfulness and organic farming and facilitated the experiment in bringing mindfulness into a working environment.
Having trained as a Mindfulness Teacher with Bangor University and Youth Mindfulness Mick is qualified to help people reconnect mindfully to nature to begin to nourish and heal themselves.
Mick is happiest when in nature especially in his native woodlands or swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes. His love of swimming outdoors seems to stem from having spent many happy childhood days exploring the beautiful and wild beaches of the west of Ireland with his family.
He is inspired by the non-violent direct action that is being taken by the younger generation from School Strike for Climate and also by Extinction Rebellion at this time of Climate Emergency. He feels moved to act to be part of the global solution needed to avoid Climate Catastrophe and practices mindfulness to help transform despair for this situation into hope, love and action.
WEB & IT CONSULTANT
Gordon is a self-taught marketing, development and project manager who works day to day developing payment, ecommerce and marketing solutions. He recently pioneered a custom-built system to allow Bitcoin and AltCoin payments through niche markets increasing their overall use by 300%. He runs a team comprising of content writers, researchers, graphic designers, developers and social media experts.
Since joining his current company in 2011 revenue has gone from 2M to 10M a year and he has now become a shareholder. He was also part of the founding team of eosDAC, a decentralized cryptocurrency where he built and managed the site for its launch.
Gordon recently worked with the Keswick foundation creating a website for a range of books teaching children how to deal and COPE with natural disasters, one of a number of pro bono projects he loves doing.
Gordon is from Oxfordshire and is passionate about mindfulness and mental health due to first hand experiences. He likes to spend time gardening and going to the gym.
Carey studied medicine at the University of Aberdeen, before moving to Edinburgh and specialising in general practice. She is now a GP partner in one of the most socio-economically deprived areas of Scotland. She is also the current Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in Scotland, where she campaigns for better public engagement about sustainable use of the NHS and for reducing health inequalities by resourcing healthcare so that it is at its best where it is needed most. She believes that one of her key roles within her clinical practice is to offer a voice and lobby for change on behalf of marginalized and disenfranchised people.
She also advocates for better recognition of the factors that adversely affect practitioner wellbeing and is involved in developing resources and systems that allow them to keep well and retain compassionate practice.
Carey grew up as the oldest of three sisters in the north east of Scotland. Her happiest childhood memories are of playing outside, under an expansive sky, on the sandy beaches and in a garden filled with nasturtiums.
She believes that practicing compassionate medicine is as much an art as it is a science. She is motivated by social justice, and the stories that her patients share with her, of hardship and of resilience, often inspire the songs that she writes and performs with her band Firefly Forty-five.
Andy brings a history of personal and organisational success to his work as a consultant, coach, change specialist, author and speaker. After many successful years in global corporate positions he founded a start-up business that created a new breed of IT company in the late 1980s. This business successfully recognised the need to connect organisational agility to changes in customer demand and succeeded in growing fast despite the economic climate of the late 80s and early 90s.
As CEO of one division and a main board director of the holding company, Andy gained invaluable experience in strategy, business alignment and board-room politics. He is recognised as a franchise specialist and has worked extensively in supporting boards and board level talent in developing a more entrepreneurial approach to organisational and personal leadership. Andy speaks regularly and has been published internationally. He had his first book published in 2007 (The Essential Guide to Talent Management) and this has been translated into several languages.
As a son, father, grandfather and husband Andy has always thrived on being part of a close and vibrant family – despite being an only child himself – or maybe because? Although Andy has experienced life in many countries he has settled only a few miles from where he was born and is strongly connected to his community through politics, friendship and charitable commitments.
Andy is committed through a strong faith in the power of people to define, create and deliver their own life’s journey. He is involved in many facets of human and personal development and has a deep connection to the power of the heart to act as a guide and as an intuitive compass to support our ability to ‘know’ when we are operating at a lower level of potential.
Rehena is a psychologist, coach and management consultant who collaborates with Senior Executives (C-Suite) to deliver large scale, complex change transformation programmes to Fortune 500 companies. She is skilled in rapidly translating strategic vision into tangible, innovative solutions to achieve desired business outcomes and has worked for pedigree consulting companies reaching senior leadership levels. Her experience straddles private, public and Third Sectors and she has worked in over 20 countries across Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Prior to consulting she lectured and conducted social research on inclusion, social transformation and social identity.
As a trainer and coach, Rehena has designed and delivered a variety of programmes encompassing leadership development, building high performance teams, dealing with conflict, change leadership, managing multi-cultural teams and managing diversity. One of her leadership and inclusion programs received special recognition at the Women’s Forum as it was unique in getting leaders to reframe their leadership skills, stories and value to be more heart-centred.
“Our own life has to be the message” is something Rehena espouses in the way she lives and works. She is still crafting her story using the pain and joy of growing up during the apartheid regime in South Africa as she contributes to the world around her.
Rehena is passionate about social justice and inclusion and is a committed custodian of the earth. As an engaged mindfulness practitioner she is committed to cultivating joy and peace through her actions and the way she works.
Seth is a social entrepreneur and impact investor. In 2011 he founded the UK’s first solar powered mobile cinema, One Way Theatre. Seth is a co-founder and executive Director of Berti Investments Ltd, which invests in start-ups that serve human and planetary wellbeing. Seth is also co-founder and executive director of 42 acres Ltd, which he started with his sister to help society change from Inside out. 42 acres offers a space to explore and connect with nature, self and each other In order to embody our true nature.
He is a NED of Belltown Power Ltd, and is a Trustee of The Little Charity. Seth earned a BA in International Development at University of Sussex and MBA from Imperial College London in 2018.
Since a young age he travelled all over the world and believes that what unites people more than anything is food and joy. He loves being in nature, foraging, playing music to the forests and watching the wind.
Joe has worked in social development, in the UK and internationally, for almost 30 years. He spent 4 years in China teaching and running programmes in education and health. In recent years Joe’s interests have been on how groups of people work together in ways that include everyone, generate new approaches and create shared excitement. Mindfulness is a gateway into building relationships and a sense of new possibilities.
Joe lives in Sussex, He enjoys walking and cycling by the sea and spending time with his family.
Through his work Joe has visited many parts of the world. Yet within even the disadvantaged areas, there are people who reach out and help their neighbours and their communities. As we build our connections to each other and open ourselves up to how others live, we start to create a new society. There’s a movement that is ready to form.
We are committed to an ethos of radical experimentation to guide our own vision and direction, inspired by Bernie Glassman who coined the framework of ‘The 3 Tenets’ as guiding principles for social engagement. We have sought to approach all our projects without assuming to know what is needed; we aspire to listen and look deeply to understand the situations we encounter; and we commit to take the action that arises from a deep encounter with not knowing.
The Institute of Heartmath is a not-for-profit research body dedicated to investigating the psychophysiological role of the heart. They are world-leaders in scientific research on the heart-brain connection with many thousands of inhouse research studies and conducted by independent organisations.
Their partner organisation Heartmath UK and IRL offers trainings in HRV biofeedback and coherence to businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations throughout the UK. Their training tools are shared in the NHS, Nuffield Health and throughout the public and private schools sector.
Zen Peacemakers International is a NGO created by the late Bernie Glassman to serve as global movement and network for mindful social action. Their work is informed by ‘three tenants’ of social action that serve to inspire responses to injustice that are informed by experiencing connection and direct encounters with challenging situations and environments. Participants and leaders of the ZPI have participated in experiences of bearing witness to the social and political conditions of homelessness, urban food poverty, arms trade, the refugee situation and the conditions that create genocide and their legacy in Poland, Rwanda, Bosnia and South Dakota. Their aim is to witness in order to learn and to take action from a place of humility and depth of understanding.
Compassionate Mental Health is a UK-based Community Interest Company which offers experiential events designed to inform, inspire and empower people living and working with mental distress. Part of a growing worldwide movement calling for a more integrative approach to mental health- one that celebrates and encourages the power of community, connection, self care and solidarity in the process. Their events are for anyone curious about a fresh approach, including people and families with personal experience of mental distress, frontline staff, commissioners, managers, clinicians, policymakers and Third Sector staff.