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The Joy of Insight

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A lovely 5 day Insight retreat was led by Rob Nairn and Choden ( Mindfulness Association in the UK), assisted by Jenny Canau and Jo Anne Crossley from Mindfulness Africa.

The retreat was successfully attended by 50 participants at the Meditation Centre ( Kagyu Samye Dzong) in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

The retreat focused on developing one’s mindfulness and compassion practices, thereby creating the conditions for psychological insights to arise. A wonderful book called “From Mindfulness to Insight” co-authored by Rob Nairn and Choden will be available in late April, for people who want to do Insight training.

The retreat focused on settling, grounding, resting and using a soft focus as mindfulness support, in daily meditation practice, and in daily life. The emphasis was on accessing the more subtle thoughts and feelings that lie below the surface of our awareness and to bring deep self-compassion to ourselves, especially when we experience difficulty. We worked with difficult emotions and how to let them arise, self-display and self-liberate so that we can learn from difficulty without suppression which causes inner-conflict. We also explored and shared gratitude practices and found deep benefit in the mindful movement practices and how to bring these into our daily lives. The retreat enabled us all to take a deeper look at our habitual way of thinking, feeling and being in the world and it offered us skillful and gentle ways to enhance our daily life and meditation practice.

Jenny Canau

Introduction to one of Mindfulness Africa’s Directors- Nan Lutz

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I’ve come a full circle in my mindfulness mediation journey.

Since meeting Rob Nairn in 1994 when I attended a weekend meditation training course with him in Johannesburg, to qualify to teach mindfulness meditation, and more recently in supporting and teaching with Rob in his courses and retreats.  Although I’m no longer employed in the corporates financial services sector, I have been back – only this time teaching Mindfulness Africa’s 8-week Mindfulness Based Living Courses to a number of corporates. What a journey.

Before meeting Rob I was living in India, Nepal, and Tibet for three years and I been exposed to many types of meditation, including attending a 10-day Vipassana meditation with Goenkaji.  But while it inspired me, nothing had really worked for me.

Then attending Rob’ course, he made it all come alive for me and was able to translate these ancient teachings into a western context that I could understand and relate to. I was hooked.   I immediately asked him – What next?  And he replied, Now you do a one- week silent meditation retreat with me.  Which I did. Three months later, we’d sold our house and moved into the meditation centre and thus began my journey of learning and studying mindfulness mediation under Rob Nairn’s guidance.

I was working in corporate financial services sector at the time and was typically very stressed and driven focussing on my career. I was fortunate to be able to accumulate my leave and this allowed me to attend Rob’s annual 10-day and then later 30-day silent retreats with him at the beautiful Tara Rokpa Centre (a beautiful healing retreat centre near Groot Marico, North West Province www.tararokpacentre.co.za).  This helped to relieve the stress, bring me back to balance,  and to deepen my understanding of mindfulness and meditation and my own personal practice.

My teacher, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, advised that I should focus on Inner and Outer Healing (Shenang in Tibetan) so after 20 years working in corporates I left and set up my own wellness practice in 2012. I qualified in holistic and sports massage and together with my Mindfulness Africa qualifications I am now teaching both the 8 week Mindfulness and the Compassion Based Living Courses.

Shenang Wellness is now well established and focusses on bringing the benefits of authentic compassion-based mindfulness training to others through teaching Mindfulness and Compassion courses workshops, retreats, talks and presentations for corporates, private individuals and groups.

Nan Lutz