Carmelo Di Maria – MNCF Committee

Carmelo Di Maria

I was born in a town 40km south of Naples where I remained till 29 years of age. Having got a degree in Foreign Languages, it was almost a natural progression for me wanting to move to an English speaking country, become proficient in the language and experience firsthand the culture I had been studying for so long. I landed in London at the end of ’96 and have never left since. I have been working in media most of my life until a redundancy in July 2020 gave me the opportunity to enter a field I had always aspired to, the third sector. In late 2021, I started working for a charity for the development of a social prescribing directory and a charity which deals with people experiencing mental distress. I have always been involved in volunteering and currently volunteer for the Red Cross and the Maudsley Hospital.

I’ve always been interested in the many benefits of mindfulness, from stress management to the potential of curbing an impulsive anger-prone disposition to offering useful tools to people living with chronic conditions. I have been practising mindfulness on and off for the last 20 years, only lately acquiring a more consistent practice. In 2014 I was lucky enough to join a Teacher Training Course level 1 with the lovely Cindy Cooper (I still remember her in her royal blue fluffy jumper and her velvety voice). After that I struggled to find the time and energy to run an eight-week course, so that’s where I am at the moment on my teacher training path.

In September of 2020 I became acquainted with the then chair of Friends of Bangor, Stephan Schoenig, and proposed to him the idea of a practice group for men which happened to be well received. I have now been facilitating the Mindfulness Group for Men (which sits under the Specialised Interest Groups offering of the Mindfulness Network Community Friends) since February 2021 and I am very much looking forward to the consolidation and expansion of the group. Hopefully at Community Friends we will be expanding our offering of events further and will be able to host a practice group for men who have never experienced mindfulness before, thus enabling us to support one of the ‘hard to reach’ communities out there: men. Here’s hoping that our future events can be instrumental in attracting more men into the world of mindfulness (women are apparently better at recognising a good thing).