Gwennie Fraser – Mentor

Gwennie Fraser

Background

I have twenty years of meditation experience and received instruction from in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition following a visit to Ladakh in northern India where I witnessed the resilience and peaceful outlook of traditional Buddhist communities. I found practice gave me space in my life and in my mind. This experience of the benefits of personal practice inspired me to train some years later in teaching mindfulness-based approaches at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. I have been teaching MBSR courses, follow up courses and retreats in Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumberland since 2007.

Personal practice

I have a daily sitting practice, morning and evening. I regularly enjoy mindful walking and movement and am currently enjoying exploring the gentle movements of qigong. Recently I have found practices from the Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living programme have given me a greater appreciation of kindness in daily life.

Influences on practice

I had a strong instinct from the outset that my teaching of mindfulness would develop through deepening the roots of my own practice which is enlivened by further retreat, teachings and a deep wish to explore practice more completely. My practice has been especially influenced over the years by guidance from 17th Karmapa, Mingyur Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu tradition. Living deep in Northumberland National Park, nature is also a great inspiration. The subtle daily changes of weather, seasons and landscape helps my mind to be more natural, settled and responsive. I now realise my first experiences of meditation took place in my childhood, sitting in trees and quietly observing. I like days of self-guided retreat at home, especially in winter, when I feel the pull inwards. There is something inspiring but humbling about the simple truth that life is only ever lived in the present moment. Sharing the journey of practice with others is a dynamic process, like always being open on a fresh page. It is a gift to share this practice with others.