support our work:meet the team!
Vidyamala, founder of Breathworks, spent December running an online video retreat on the American Buddhist site, Tricycle.com. This set of four 20-minute talks isentitled ’Freeing the Mind When the Body Hurts”. She writes:
“I started developing mindfulness courses for people with pain and illness way back in 2001, drawing on my own experience of coming to meditation with a spinal injury and wanting to offer advice for others in similar circumstances. Joined by Sona and Ratnaguna, we developed this to become the Community Interest (not-for-profit) Company Breathworks in 2003.”
Breathworks has since become internationally recognised and its teachers now offer courses in more than 25 countries. Jon Kabat-Zinn has of it: ‘The Breathworks approach to Mindfulness-Based Pain Management (MBPM) is the most comprehensive, in-depth, scientifically up-to-date and user-friendly approach to learning the how of living with chronic pain and reclaiming one’s life that I know of. I admire Vidyamala tremendously…her approach could save your life and give it back to you.” In 2014, Vidyamala’s book Mindfulness for Health, co-authored with Danny Penman, won first prize in the British Medical Association book awards in the Popular Medicine category.
Alongside this work Vidyamala has focussed on deepening her understanding and practice of the Buddhist approach to mindfulness and kindness, offering many retreats at Taraloka and now Adhisthana and Rivendell. She writes, “I’ve been intrigued about the interface between ‘secular’ mindfulness that has a very wide reach into the world, and Buddhism that offers considerably more depth but is less widely accepted within Western society. So I’m increasingly turning my attention to bridging these two worlds in the hope of making the Buddhadharma much more widely known and practised.”
1. The Power of Awareness - looking at the Satipatthana Sutta
2. Letting go of the Struggle - looking at the Salattha Sutta
3. And What of Love? - looking at the Brahma Viharas
4. Six Steps to Living with Choice -