Self-acceptance as a new year’s resolution?

I’ve been intending to post this Tara Brach quote for some time …and then came across the following quote from Sosan Ganchi Zenji. Together they make a powerful combination message and suggest, perhaps, the possibility – at this time of resolution making – of resolving in a direction of self-acceptance rather than self-“improvement”?

“We don’t have to wait until we are on our deathbed to realize what a waste of our precious lives it is to carry the belief that something is wrong with us. Yet because our habits of feeling insufficient are so strong, awakening from the trance of unworthiness involves not only inner resolve, but also an active training of the heart and mind. Through…awareness practices, we free ourselves from the suffering of trance by learning to recognize what is true in the present moment, and by embracing whatever we see with an open heart. This cultivation of mindfulness and compassion is what I call Radical Acceptance…[It] is the willngness to experience ourselves and our life as it is. A moment of Radical Acceptance is a moment of genuine freedom.”

Tara Brach

“One in All
All in One—
If only this is realized,
No more worry about your not being perfect!”

– Sosan Ganchi Zenji, “Shin Jin Mei”

Day retreat for Mindfulness practitioners:

Saturday, March 14’th, 2015

Book now if you’re thinking to join us – great way to get centred & re-charged.

Otley Hall, Suffolk – all details including booking page from here:

1st Wed of the month – ‘drop-in’ mindfulness practice group

Next Wednesday is first Wed of the month; chance to ‘drop-in’ to mindfulness practice at the  Windmill Natural health Centre, Woodbridge 7pm:
And the Next “Day Retreat for Mindfulness Practitioners” at the inspiring Otley Hall is on March 6’th
Hope to see you soon,
     Martin Wilks

C.Psychol, AFBPsS

Day Retreat for Mindfulness Practitioners – Nov 29

” Accessible”, “Renewing”, “Inspirational”, “Re-charging the batteries” “Insightful”, “Supportive”, “Didn’t want it to end”

All above are quoted from feedback after our last retreat. Here’s another chance …timed nicely to steady up in readiness for the Xmas oncoming challenge.

We meet again at the beautiful Otley hall, just 10 miles north of Ipswich, a Tudor hall settled in and surrounded by

breathtaking gardens, a moat and a labyrinth.


Screenshot 2013-11-09 10.32.22OtleyHallfrontview


for more information and booking.

An Experiential Introduction to ACT, Norwich, October 2014


ACT Special Interest GroupAn Experiential Introduction to ACT

Presented by Martin Wilks and Ross Chernin

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 October 2014

10.00am to 5.00pm
Registration from 9.30am

Dereham Room
Post Graduate Centre
Hellesdon Hospital
Drayton High Road

About the workshop:
How does the very nature of human language lead to suffering? How can a person commit to living a vital and more meaningful life right now, in spite of emotional or physical pain barriers?Developed within a coherent theoretical and philosophical framework, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, and changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen values.

To practice ACT authentically with their clients, therapists will need to experience the application of ACT in their own personal lives. This experiential introduction to ACT is, therefore, both a CPD and a PD (personal development) opportunity.

The presentersMartin Wilks has cultivated and maintained a mindfulness practice since the early 1980s. In 1988 he began to write about and offer workshops on the integration of mindfulness into the therapy dyad and in 1990 co-founded an intentional learning community ‘Passages to Awareness’ which ran up to six camps a year for 12 years. His Masters research in 1998 ‘Towards an integration of counselling, clienting and mindfulness’ gave an academic window into this work.  Martin ran ‘mindfulness-informed’ counselling services in HMP Brixton from 1994-2011. In 2003 whilst presenting this work at Bangor Mindfulness institute, Martin was introduced to ACT which swiftly became his main way of working. He began teaching experiential intros in 2007.

Martin works as an independent counselling psychologist in private practice in Suffolk. In addition to clinical work he has been offering three MBCT/MBSR groups per year since 2004 locally.  In spring of this year Martin was awarded Peer reviewed ACT trainer status. He is one of only four UK trainers who have completed this arduous, rewarding, self & peer scrutiny

Dr Ross Chernin is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist based in a community mental health team in Norfolk. Ross first completed his introductory ACT training five years ago and has attended various ACT workshops since. He regularly practices ACT in individual therapy, runs ACT groups for adults with a range of psychiatric diagnoses, and supervises other therapists and clinical psychology trainees who are new to learning ACT.

Ross provides introductory ACT teaching for third year doctoral clinical psychology trainees at the University of East Anglia, and has co-produced and run several Recovery College ‘ACT on Life’ courses. Ross enjoys using core ACT processes with his clients in creative, flexible and compassionate ways. He benefits greatly from applying ACT principles and techniques to his personal life, as an ongoing process of learning and reflection.

Registration form: Experiential Introduction to ACTOnly 35 places are available for this workshop – register early!

Registration fees:

Early bird for registrations paid for by 30 September 2014

BABCP Member: – £140
Non-member: – £150

Full rate for registrations and payments made from 1 October 2014

BABCP Member: – £160
Non-member: – £170

Lunch and refreshments are included
CPD Certificates will be provided

Please note the Workshop Cancellation PolicyThe registration fee will be refunded minus a £15 administration charge if cancellations are received in writing to the BABCP Office, Imperial House, Hornby Street, Bury, BL9 5BN, or to, at least two weeks before the workshop date.
By registering for a BABCP workshop you are accepting the terms of this policy

Cancellations within two weeks of the event date are charged the full registration fee

Great poem of immediacy – and the next Mindfulness training course is imminent!

Just a week to go – please forward this link to anyone – including self! – who might benefit?


Let’s forget the world for a while

fall back and back
into the hush and holy
of now

are you listening? This breath
invites you
to write the first word
of your new story

your new story begins with this:
You matter

you are needed—empty
and naked
willing to say yes
and yes and yes

Do you see
the sun shines, day after day
whether you have faith
or not
the sparrows continue
to sing their song
even when you forget to sing

stop asking: Am I good enough?
Ask only
Am I showing up
with love?

Life is not a straight line
it’s a downpour of gifts, please—
hold out your hand

Julia Fehrenbacher: “Hold Out Your Hand”

‘Drop-in’ session for Mindfulness practitioners – first Wednesday of October

Clean water is a goal for many Americans.It’s the first Wednesday of the month coming up again! – just a couple of days away. Do join us if you can. Here’s a link for all relevant detail: We meet at the Windmill, Woodbridge

And a reminder for anyone you can think to tell – the next ” Day retreat for Mindfulness practitioners” is on Saturday November 29’th. A chance for a day of deeper immersion into the mindfulness perspective in the inspiring environment of Otley Hall:


Forthcoming Mindfulness Course & associated events

Hello – hope you’re having a great summer?

I’m booking now for the next course starting: 5.30 – 7.30 pm starting September 16′th, 2014 for 8 weeks. Just 4 weeks away!
You, or  someone you know who you might recommended it to –  can find out more and book from here:
rainbowsitterAnd no worries if you miss it this time, Next one starts Jan 20′th, 2015

The day retreat associated with this course is on Saturday, November 29′th, 2014

It’s not only for people on the 8 week course,  it’s open to anyone who has a mindfulness practice which might benefit from refreshment – but not really for people new to practice (point out the course above to them?). You can book for the day retreat from here:

Another -monthly- opportunity for refreshment (and convivial solidarity) is the “Drop-in” practice group: First wednesday of each month so the next one is Wednesday, 3’rd September, meeting at the Windmill, Woodbridge at 7pm. More details from here:

1st Wednesday of the month Drop-in Mindfulness practice group

Hello everyone,
The first Wednesday of this glorious August is tomorrow – and so why not join us at the Mindfulness drop-in group?
We’ll probably take advantage of of the weather and spend some time meditating outdoors (behind the mill) in nature.
See you there – or hope to see you soon


Observing our entanglement with kindly curiosity?

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going—
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
—Kozan Ichikyo, “Coming, Going” – from a collection: “Japanese Death Poems”