University Journey

My Journey Into Mindfulness

wall buddha graffiti

On Friday 9th June, I went to Nottingham Contemporary to take part in their June mindfulness workshop ‘The Quest for Happiness’. The workshop was created by Collabor-8 (ran by Nottingham contemporary) and the Nottingham Buddhist Centre!

After reading the advertisement:

I was intrigued to go along, so, with an open mind, I made my way down to the gallery on a beautiful June evening to see what I could learn.
The people at Nottingham Contemporary were very welcoming as I arrived, pointing me in the direction of the workshop. This warm welcome was echoed by Sadie and Holly from the Nottingham Buddhist Centre who were running the session. I was offered refreshments and felt very comfortable taking my place in the circle they had set out.
As someone who knows very little about religion and history behind religious practices, I was delighted to hear that we would begin by learning the backstory to Buddhism.
Between them, Sadie and Holly talked us through the Buddha’s journey to enlightenment, a bit about their own experiences in becoming Buddhist and also the key practices that the religion expects them to follow.

Fact quote Buddhists
After we had a bit of time to discuss what we had learnt and ask questions, we were guided into meditating for about half an hour. 
We started by sitting up straight in our chairs with our feet on the floor and our hands placed comfortably on our laps. Sadie instructed us to shut our eyes and after sounding the gong, the meditation began. 
After some time sitting with our eyes shut and concentrating on our bodies and the sounds we could hear, we were asked to think about ourselves. Sadie encouraged us to answer various questions in our head. These were then repeated for a good friend, someone we recognise but don’t know (like a shop keeper or a postman) and someone we find difficult to understand. We were encouraged (using our minds) to direct acceptance and kindness to each of the people.
By the end of it, I felt extremely relaxed and content. Delving deep into your mind surrounded by other strangers that are doing the same can only be described as connecting. I already felt more understanding of strangers, my friends, people I don’t get along with and also myself!

I think that meditation and mindfulness is a great way to relax and de-stress during the exam period and it’s never to late to start! Why not practice whilst on holiday and take your new found skills into the next academic year with you? It’s worth a go!

– Olivia Dedman

If you are interested in finding out more about the Nottingham Buddhist Centre follow this link:
Nottingham Buddhist Centre
Blog Administrator. Currently ran by co-author Emilia Denis. Emilia has studied Fashion Communication and Promotion at NTU between years 2017 and 2020.

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