Report on a two-day interactive workshop
“If we are talking and no one is listening, maybe not even our own selves, we are not communicating effectively.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master
Mindfulness techniques, together with Hatha Yoga and voice and drama sessions, combined to form an innovative workshop on mindful listening and speaking, organised by the Bridging Cultures project, part of the Mind in Harrow, a mental health charity.
The workshop was held at the Jaspar Centre in Harrow from 17 to 18 January 2018 and was attended by some 28 participants.
The workshop was delivered by a team of three trainers: Sangeeta Bhandari, a certified yoga instructor and specialist in Vedic history, Teri Ann Bobb-Baxter, an actor and founder of Speak Up UK, and Don de Silva, a university Buddhist Chaplain, environmentalist and mental health volunteer.
Welcoming participants, Emily Danby, Co-ordinator of Bridging Cultures, Mind in Harrow, said: “Not only is faith a great wellbeing resource for many within our community but our local faith groups are also uniquely placed to support those who find it difficult to access mainstream services because of language or cultural barriers. Bridging Cultures works to give these communities the knowledge and support they need to make sure everyone gets appropriate help for their mental wellbeing.”
Don de Silva, said that the workshop was “an experiment”. “This will not be one of the usual mindfulness training programmes, where you sit on a cushion for long periods”, he told participants.
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