My name is Paul van Gemert. I am a psychosocial therapist at my own practice in Eindhoven. I am also a certified mindfulness and compassion trainer. I recently joined the Center for Mindfulness in Amsterdam for which I guide English-language mindfulness training in Eindhoven. I am 63 years of age, married, father of three grown-ups and proud grandfather of three beautiful granddaughters. I enjoy running and reading. I also immerse myself in Buddhist psychology through self-study.

I myself reap the benefits of practising mindfulness every day. Let me name a few. For example, through the training I became acquainted with the fact that I can regulate attention in a playful way. The awareness of having the choice to focus my attention on, say, the positive, the ‘light’ of life, instead of the negative and ‘darker’ side of life, increases my sense of freedom.

An important pillar in mindfulness training is the development of awareness or attentiveness. Training and cultivating these qualities has a protective effect for me in my daily life. It acts as a kind of gatekeeper.

The notion that I can be aware of my thoughts and 'see' them as purely 'mental phenomena' helps me to sometimes distance myself from the 'stories' in my head. It also helps me to deal with emotions more easily, they no longer ‘hold me hostage’.

Of course I'm not mindful all day either. It remains a matter of falling down, getting up and starting all over again.

Experience shows, however, that by cultivating mindfulness and integrating it into daily life, you are better able to align with what is beneficial to do, more connected to life as it goes. It helps to be less concerned with how life should go. Because then we are busy, we get tired and experience too much stress.

As a mindfulness trainer I am completely in my element. It feels like a privilege to introduce you to mindfulness practice and that I can walk with you on your mindfulness path for a while.