Daily mindfulness gig @ Glastonbury

glastpicHello campers … well, hello anyone going to Glastonbury festival.

As usual – and since 1986 – I’ll be offering a guided mindfulness session from between 2-3 pm up in the Healing Field. This is right up at the top of the Green Field area; turn right into the Healing Field. The field is divided into earth, air, fire, water areas. Our Mindfulness ‘drop-in’ Group takes place in the AIR area. That’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – it’s a great way of keeping centred & grounded in the midst of all the excitement, fun & chaos. Hope I might see you there – let me  know if you’re on my page!

Last call for Monday’s day retreat for Mindfulness Practitioners!

I’ve gotta book with the caterers tomorrow; hope you can make it?


Next 8 week course – just one week away

There are still a couple of places left on the next course – booking up fast, so if you were still thinking about it – decide very soon and you can book from here: http://www.martinwilks.com/the-next-mbct/

rainbowsitterAnd no worries if you missed it this time, the next one is starting Sept 16′th, 2014

The day retreat associated with this course is on Monday June 9’th – 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: http://www.martinwilks.com/mindfulness-retreats/

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, 7’th May, meeting at the Windmill, Woodbridge at 7pm. More details from here: http://www.martinwilks.com/drop-in-mindfulness-sessions-1st-wed-of-month/

Hope to see you


“Drop-in” Mindfulness practice sessions

Clean water is a goal for many Americans.On the first Wednesday come join us at the “drop-in” mindfulness practice refresher”.



Woodbridge/Melton:  7 – 8.30 pm

Runs from The Oval Office: Retreat & Reorientation Centre on the First Wednesday of the month.  

The garden venue is home to “Flexible Psychological solutions”



Meetings start at 7 pm and will have the simple formula of:

  • some brief, initial, introductory dialogue
  • a period of mindfulness practice
  • followed by an opportunity to debrief about the practice
  • then more generally about challenges to mindfulness practice in daily life.

We usually finish around 8.30

The group has previously run continuously for 5 years and people found it supportive: both personally at times of challenge and also generally as a supportive forum for encouraging the maintenance of practice.

Last time I offered the group on a ‘donations’ basis – following some initial confusion with this I suggested a £5 donation. I’m now suggesting that at your first meeting (or prior to that via paypal see below) you make a £20 donation towards 4 sessions to be attended within 6months. In this way we develop a core of regular attendees.

I may not always be able to make the first Wednesday (Woodbridge), or third Thursday (Ipswich) every month; when I do have a clash of commitments I will give good advance notice and make an alternative arrangement for either the previous or the next Wednesday.

Hoping to see you there?


Savouring memories of the day retreat @ Otley Hall

I am still savouring memories of the day retreat; prompted from time to time by exchanges of e-mail.

It was a relatively small group, few people have met previously, yet by the end of the day there is a real sense of parting from a deep connection. An number of people commented in the debriefing session after we broke noble silence about the power of sitting with each other in our group. I think we ” pick up” on the shared field intention; added to this is the deepening effect of being in continuous silent practice for an unusually extended period. It is from the novelty of this shared experience that we all emerge feeling perhaps that we have been on a journey together. I am reminded of the “mind and body workout group” which I ran for many years in Brixton prison. It was remarkable how calming and bonding a long period of mindful movement exercises could be for a disparate group of potentially hostile desperados. I’m also reminded of times when I have sung in a choir; again, there’s not much talking in the group – we don’t get to hear much of each other’s story! But when the final concert’s done and we’re taking a break for awhile – it feels like saying goodbye to the group of people we began to know very well. Again it’s the shared intention, the concerted effort – and hopefully a repeated and rehearsed harmony.

Otley Hall added its own grace and charm, seasoned with the science and sounds of Spring. I hope you can join us on the next one – monday, June 9

Screenshot 2013-11-09 10.28.43

Last call for the Mindfulness practitioner day retreat?

Sunny Suffolk is presently brimming with spring, the gardens at Otley Hall bursting out with unstoppable seasonal transition and the birds singing loud their whole-hearted approval. JUST RIGHT for the upcoming day retreat! Hope you can make it – but let me know soon, caterers need to know my numbers for Saturday
If you can’t make this one, perhaps consider penciling in the June 9’th date – that’ll have more of a summer flavour to it!Screenshot 2013-11-09 10.48.18

When It Happens to Us

When Pain Happens

We suffer because we marry our instinctive aversion to pain to the deep-seated belief that life should be free from pain. In resisting our pain by holding this belief, we strengthen just what we’re trying to avoid. When we make pain the enemy, we solidify it. This resistance is where our suffering begins.

– Ezra Bayda, “When It Happens to Us”

Spot on quote pointing to the folly of “why should this be happening to me? It’s just not fair”

Mary Oliver: “I Worried”

Mary Oliver: “I Worried”

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.


Next Day Retreat for mindfulness practitioners

Less then three weeks to go; still some places available. TREAT yourself to a ReTREAT!

Take a day-break from inter-connectivity and switch back into inner-connectivity


Meditation, poetry (& song)

Meditation and Poetry

Traditions of deliberate attention to consciousness, and of making poems, are as old as humankind. Meditation looks inward, poetry holds forth. One is private, the other is out in the world. One enters the moment, the other shares it. But in practice it is never entirely clear which is doing which. In any case, we do know that in spite of the contemporary public perception of meditation and poetry as special, exotic, and difficult, they are both as old and as common as grass. The one goes back to essential moments of stillness and deep inwardness, and the other to the fundamental impulse of expression and presentation.

– Gary Snyder, “Just One Breath”

And songs of course! The Tibetan, Milarepa, was famous for his ‘songs of enlightenment’ – spontaneously launched into after long periods of practice (must have been the relief after his years of building towers to precise instructions only to be told by his teacher that he’d got it wrong)

The song below began to emerge for me during a 20 day meditation retreat; I spent days hovering between the seduction of creative thought applied to the next verse – punctuated by moments of recollection that I was intending to be meditating. As a result – maybe – this completed version, first played at an ACT conference in Holland in 2009, took  25  years to reach this stage!

Hope you enjoy – let me know?