Monday, 30 September 2013

Reflections on Mindfuness Training.

For more information - please see:


I've had a lot of feedback, including that some people want more 'method' and 'practice', even though this is what we mostly do. For example, in most Qigong, Tai Chi classes, and yoga classes, there is little talking or discussion - virtually none - except the teacher's instructions.

My attempt in the Mindfulness training, is to base the material on each participants own experience, and gauge everything on the learner's understanding - i.e. to make the class very 'learner-centered' and not at all 'teacher-centered'.  Of course, this can be scary to some people, as they can't just sit back, and be passive, and do nothing - but need to participate in some way, and engage with the material.  Of course, this requires a level of effort and practice - that not everyone wants to make, or sustain.

It would be nice if I was some kind of 'magical healer' and the learner had to do nothing, except receive. This is a common characteristic of Qigong teachers, especially the more famous and charismatic ones - and an ethos they actually encourage - yet the result is a teacher-centered class, revolving around the energy and personality of the teacher.  Something I try to avoid.  Even though people try to project the role of 'healer' onto me in my work as an Osteopath.

I shall look carefully at the course description, and see if it gives an accurate sense of this. It does, for example, say that homework, about 20 or 30 mins per day, to practice the meditations, etc is expected on the course. Few people do this. Not unusual. The course description is that everything is very 'laid-back' and relaxed - yet in a subtle way, people do need to engage with the material and make it their own. Yes, I know that I need to be 'inspiring' and have some 'charisma' and teaching 'presence', and I can do this - yet I am only presenting tools and methods for personal practice, for self-directed learning.
I shall continue to reflect and refine the course.

Let's see what happens

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Gatsby the dog here, not well

For many of you who come to the clinic here, you may have noticed the large white fluffy Labradoodle called Gatsby.  Recently, although only 5 years old, he has been diagnosed with Lymphoma (a cancer, common in dogs, that spreads through the lymphatic system).

Hopefully he can start Chemo this week, and hopefully we can achieve a good remission.
He is not eating - and I have to feed him with a large sringe.  He still loves going out for drives and to the beach - but of course, he is steadily losing wieght and getting weaker.

In that intuitive way that animals can have, he seems to know that he may not have long to live - yet seems to live each moment very mindfully, and wants to live life to the full, and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, living each day, one moment at a time.  Animals can have a remarkable wisdom, and a far greater intelligence than we realise.

To see pictures of Gatsby - please visit my Facebook page:!/michael.inman.796

and go to the Photo gallery

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Clinic here will be closing in the next few weeks for Earthquake repairs.  I'll keep you posted on the exact dates.  Look on the website Home page for details (soon)

and on the booking page

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Maybe this is all to complicated - best to keep it simple - just a gentle moment to moment awareness of our present experience, emotions - and thoughts (thoughts are not facts - they're only thoughts).

As Jon Kabat-Zinn said about mindfulness "Just do it''.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Mindfulness can be an extraordinary tool for ongoing learning, if we can apply it to all aspects of our lives.

Forgive me if I haven't got quite the right balance, but my attempt is to engage everyone in the group, and attempt to give some understanding of the methods we use, and how they can work.

Remembering, that the course attempts to be for chronic pain and stress management - and therefore has to be all things to all people. I am not trying to do any 'healing' in the group - but merely to give tools and methods for self-directed learning and personal practice.