Originally from Ireland, I have lived overseas for many years in a number of interesting places.
Whilst living in Myanmar, I became intrigued by the mindful approach to living and being that was embodied by the local people. Teaching in an international school setting, at the time, I began to notice the subtle differences in composure between the local children and those who came from elsewhere. The Myanmar children, who were experienced in meditation, seemed to have a distinct form of presence.
At that point in my life, I did not yet have words to define what I was perceiving, but I recognized in the Myanmar children their notable capacity to be aware, attentive, kind, non-judgemental, and curious. At a later stage, I learned that this way of being is characterised by the term mindfulness, and that it is a disposition that can be cultivated, in any cultural context, over time.
On returning to Europe to work at a busy international school environment, I realized that I missed the calm and steady nature of the environment that I had left, and I sought out my first MBSR training in an effort to manage work related stress. This initial training proved inspirational and it opened a doorway that led to an exploration of different forms of meditation including vipassana, metta, and Zen. The highlight of this initial journey was a delightful retreat on Applied Ethics with Thich Nhat Hahn.
Over time, a deepening awareness of the benefits of mindfulness-based practices for my own personal well-being and development encouraged me to introduce mindfulness to my students, to my colleagues, and to others. Following professional trainings with the Mindfulness in Schools Project and the Centre for Mindfulness, I now offer regular courses in Dot B, Dot B Foundations, and MBSR. My approach to teaching is inspired by the many thoughtful and heartfelt experiences that have remained with me following my time in Myanmar.