The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Finding Peace in a Frantic World
Loving Kindness Retreat Sharon Salzbert
I have practiced mindfulness since 2011, starting with CMI’s 8-week mindfulness programme at the time. The positive effects I experienced even after only a few weeks of practice motivated me to take up CMI’s teacher training and I have so far completed Levels 1, 2 & 3 and attended several CPD events, looking at Mindfulness from various different perspectives. Learning and practicing never stops so whenever I get a chance I attend live talks and online courses and talks delivered by the great teachers of mindfulness such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, Thich Nhat Hanh, Kristin Neff and others. I am currently looking forward to my first week-long silent retreat.
Currently I am practicing and teaching mindfulness and yoga in the community in East Berkshire. My regular classes are held in the community hall in Warfield, just outside Bracknell where I teach yoga with a mindfulness approach and mindfulness taster classes. The classes are small, usually about 8-10 people. I have also been teaching mindfulness at the local college and given presentations about how we can tap into mindfulness and yoga during difficult times at meetings organised by a local group looking after women living with cancer. My focus is very much on the importance of self-compassion, and how it enables us to live a happier and more peaceful life with our fellow beings.
Cultivating mindfulness can help us to experience life here and now, rather than spending most of the time worrying about the past or the future. It is like an awakening to life with all its nuances and facets. We are able to live and accept every moment as it comes and goes with enhanced clarity. This gives the opportunity to respond where necessary in a more balanced, open-minded and compassionate way rather than react from autopilot driven by old patterns and habits.
Mindfulness is now the main ingredient of every part of my life. I (com)passionately believe, from my own experience and from the feedback I receive and changes I see in others, that awakening mindfulness and compassion in this world can improve not only the health-and well-being of all but also add joy and peace to life and relationships.
What is the importance of professional guidelines such as the UK Network’s Good practice Guidelines to you and your teaching?
A good practice guide is important for all Mindfulness Based Interventions to ensure that there is a community of teachers that has been thoroughly trained and enabled to deliver high quality and safe Mindfulness programs to the public. For me as a teacher it is useful to have a set of standards I can work towards. The registration of CMI with the UK Network is and will be a valuable reference for my teaching.