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Unite and be Mindful Retreat in Nairn

To celebrate Armed Forces Day, we held a gathering of Mindfulness practitioners in Nairn which was calming, insightful, nurturing and a great laugh....

On Saturday 30th June we invited friends and colleagues to come and join us in Nairn for a Mindfulness Retreat. We love it that our town has the motto "Unite and be Mindful' and we took this as a good starting point for gathering people together to create a feeling of safety and acceptance from which we can go deeper with our practice Mindfulness.

Jan Grigg MSc has studied Mindfulness for over 30 years, and has been teaching for over 10 years, studying Mindfulness with professional adults and teenagers in Secondary Schools.

"I am Biology Teacher, and work closely with young people in schools. I see that in order to learn, we have basic needs that have to be met before we can truly be open to new ideas...we need to feel safe, that we belong and that there is a feeling of acceptance..'

People started to gather at 9.30am, and we were delighted to see friends arriving on what was the first day of the school summer holidays. We had coffee, and introduced the concepts about what is Mindfulness, what it isn't and then began starting to share some basic Mindfulness practices. Part of our groups involves sharing what we notice about ourselves, and most people find this is actually quite an eye-opener. We often tend to think that other people have things sorted and we are the only one with a buzzing mind that just won't be still or quiet. People find it reassuring that everyone is more or less the same. We all have busy minds and need to practice in order to find the settling of the thoughts and feelings that gives us a sense of peace. We practiced mindful movement, settling the mind and other practices to help us become rested and present.

We had a discussion about bringing Mindfulness practice to different contexts, workplace, and education and how we can best bring Mindfulness and Compassion to other people.

We went for a wonderful picnic down at James's cafe, and shared our food with each other. The sun was shining on us and we had a great laugh. The mixture of characters in the group was wonderfully unique and we were all committed to learning about our own minds and finding our inner peace and sense of fun. We had a lot of laughter and a lot of singing...!

During the afternoon of practice, many people found they had observed their minds and the thought patterns that always played out, they had cultivated kindness and tolerance towards themselves and found ways to let go of these unhelpful patterns and habits. By sharing our experiences with each other we gradually built trust in the group and people found themselves feeling very safe and happy to support each other in the process of going a bit deeper in meditation.

We spent some time practising loving kindness and compassion for ourselves and others.

People 'moved through' a lot of old, unhelpful stuff, releasing them into a clarity and innate wisdom, compassion and spontaneous joy.

We finished the day with a go round, expressing gratitude for the time and space spent together and left for home feeling refreshed and having met and connected with some really great people.

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