Alistair Appleton

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It was in 2000, alongside his successful career in television, that Alistair Appleton began his serious involvement in meditation. Trained mainly in the Buddhist tradition, Alistair took refuge with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, the abbot of Samye Ling Monastery in 2000 and sat several retreats at this extraordinary monastery in the Scottish borders and in the meditation hermitage on Holy Island near Arran. In the following years, however, it was the simpler, more direct teachings of the Thai Forest tradition that caught Alistair’s attention. He studied at Chithurst Monastery in Sussex with the sangha around Ajahn Sumehdo and completed a retreat at the famous training monastery in Thailand, Wat Pah Nanachat.He also studied with the teacher Ajahn Amaro who is abbot at Abhayagiri Theravadan monastery in Mendocino County, California.

Since 2004, Alistair has also drawn inspiration from outside the Buddhist world, working with the shamanic practices of the Amazonian Indians in Brazil. This colourful and powerful practice has brought him back into contact with the more shamanic aspects of Tibetan meditation. He is currently studying with the contemporary Vajrayana teacher, Reggie Ray.

And in 2004, his Tibetan preceptor, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche requested Alistair to teach a meditation course for beginners up on Holy Island: his “ABC of Meditation”. Since then he has led numerous courses on mindfulness, compassion training, self-soothing and the creation of joy – many of these weekend courses held in the beautiful Abbey in Oxfordshire.

In 2014, Alistair also completed his MA in Advanced Psychotherapy at the Minster Centre in London. This is an integrative training institute which looks at combining aspects of psychodynamic and humanist therapy and wonderfully complements the work in mindfulness and compassion, Alistair has learnt through meditation. He practices as a psychotherapist in Brighton, UK.

Alistair’s lively and non-dogmatic workshops seem to appeal to a very broad audience not usually attracted to spiritual practice and his easy manner brings the techniques of meditation alive for a practitioner living in the modern world. He is interested in combining the worlds of therapy and meditation in new directions and has led workshops on anxiety, dissociation, the issues arising for gay men in the world and the need for embodiment in our digitalised world.

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Laurence Quirk

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Laurence has a background in volunteering, training and organisational development around the East Midlands. He began meditating in the mid 1990s with the Triratna Buddhist Centre in Nottingham, completing men’s retreats to deepen his practice and appreciation of the Bodhisattva vow.

In 2006 he discovered the healing qualities of Holy Isle and has been drawn to the Tibetan Buddhist teachers entrusted with caring for the island and the retreat centre. Laurence’s approach to mediation is through mindfulness and samadhi practices which he is keen to explore ‘off the cushion’ bring them into daily life with all it’s busyness. Through his workshops Laurence is keen to help others connect with mediation and appreciate moments of stillness.

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Kirsty Davidson

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Kirsty has been practising yoga for nearly 25 years and has found it to be a constant thread and touchstone through life’s ups and downs. Yoga has taught her about acceptance, presence and self-awareness.
Kirsty completed Yoga Scotland’s 500 hrs Teacher Training course in 2006 and went on to complete the Satyananda Yoga Nidra post graduate module. Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
Kirsty’s teaching focuses on how connect to the breath, become aware of the body and to integrate them both.

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Fay Adams

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Fay Adams trained to teach mindfulness under the guidance of well-known teacher Rob Nairn, whilst living on the Holy Isle retreat island off the west coast of Scotland. She now teaches courses in mindfulness, compassion and insight around the UK and in Europe with the Mindfulness Association and she is a tutor on the University of Aberdeen’s Studies in Mindfulness MSc. Fay is a dedicated practitioner of over a decade and has been influenced strongly by Tibetan Buddhism and most recently by Reggie Ray’s somatic practice. Her practice is also influenced by interests in dance, a love of nature, creativity and dreams.

Fay was originally drawn to mindfulness in her twenties because of her chronic pain. Throughout her 6 years of living on Holy Isle in a small meditation hut, she immersed herself in discovering what the pain was all about. In the process she began to find a new way to inhabit the mind and body. Ultimately, as well as (mostly) freeing her from the pain, this has become a deeply rich basis for living life fully.

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Isobel Dutton

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Isobel studied Illustration and Photography (BA HONS) at Camberwell College of Art before becoming a freelance designer, illustrator and photographer. Driven by the desire to share her skills with others she went on to qualify as a teacher (PGCE) and has been teaching in Schools, Colleges and Corporate environments for the past 8 years.

Taking an artistic approach to meditation and mindful practices, Isobel is keen to help others explore and connect with their own creativity in a relaxed and non-judgemental way. Her workshops will combine meditation techniques with an exploration into drawing, mark-making and working with natural forms.

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