Originally from New Zealand, Vidyamala sustained a spinal injury when she was sixteen. Over 30 years ago she started exploring mindfulness and meditation to manage her own persistent pain. This included moving to the UK in 1990 to live at a retreat centre in Shropshire for five years, training further in meditation and preparing for ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order.
In 2001 she co-founded the Breathworks organisation with the vision of offering all she had learned to help others living with pain, illness and stress.There are now Breathworks’ trainers in over 25 countries and Vidyamala is an internationally recognised leader in the field of mindfulness for physical health.
Vidyamala wrote Living well with Pain and Illness - how mindfulness can free you from suffering in 2008 and in 2013 she co-authored Mindfulness for Health - a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring well-being with Danny Penman. This won first prize in the British Medical Association book awards in 2014. In 2016 she co-authored Mindfulness for Women - declutter your mind, simplify your life, find time to 'be'. Vidyamala trains regularly in the UK, USA, Europe and Australasia, including leading intensive meditation retreats, and is a sought after speaker at conferences internationally.
Mindful Living Show Presentation
Saturday 3rd February 2018
"Engage. Connect. Act. How mindfulness and kindness can change the world"
Vidyamala will explore the connection between the inner work of meditation and the outer work of social engagement. This has long been a fascination of hers and was part of her motivation when founding Breathworks back in 2001. Drawing on her own long experience of living with pain and disability, she was curious to see if she could help others in a similar predicament. She set about developing Mindfulness-based Pain and Illness Management (MBPM) which had always had an equal weight on mindfulness and compassion practices. There are now Breathworks teachers in over 25 countries and so the seeds continue to take root in the world to help people ease their pain and lead more connected and satisfying lives.
Vidyamala will also talk about how we can enable mindfulness courses and programmes to reach the more marginalised parts of our society.