Breathing Space is long-standing health and wellbeing project run by the London Buddhist Centre, teaching Mindfulness and Compassion evidenced-based approaches to mental health.
In 2004, former NHS consultant psychiatrist, Dr Paramabandhu Groves, saw an opportunity to bring together his professional background and Buddhist practice to offer courses in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The courses proved hugely successful, so along with senior meditation teacher Maitreyabandhu, they developed an approach to mental health that coupled extensive training in the Buddhist tradition with the latest evidence-based material. A team of Buddhist teachers were then trained to teach MBAs under Dr Groves’ supervision, delivering the material in an entirely religion-free manner. In 2007 the LBC received lottery funds to build a dedicated secular mindfulness centre, and Breathing Space became the first purpose-built mindfulness venue in the UK.
Since then Breathing Space has become a hub for mental health and wellbeing in East London, helping over 3500 people recover from recurrent depression, addiction, stress and anxiety. We are well connected across London, working closely with local councils, GP practices, mental health organisations and charities. Programmes are delivered by a skilled team of committed practitioners who are extensively trained in mindfulness and compassion through the Buddhist tradition.
Breathing Space is dedicated to serving the local community, aiming to reduce the effects of loneliness and mental health issues by promoting peer networks, social cohesion, and empowerment. Funded by Tower Hamlets council, we have offered over 500 free places on these courses and retreats. We have also developed a free-of-charge stress reduction program for unpaid carers, giving hundreds of local carers much needed respite from their responsibilities.