Up and coming:

Project DRASIC is on its way!

We are delighted to announce an important project for 2022, funded by the Emergence Foundation. Project DRASIC focuses on Dismantling Racism And Social Inclusion Collectively and will center delivering Mindfulness-Based Inclusion Training (MBIT) to people of colour who identify as black or brown.

Watch this space for more information or contact us to register your interest

Bantabaa – A contemplative meeting space / group for black and people of colour men coming up on the 13th February. More information here

Past events:

Multicultural Mindfulness Community Practice, Conversation and Unity Gatherings

Alternate Monday Evenings Starting 1st March 2021 

Time: 7.00pm-8.30pm

All Sessions are offered on a donation basis.

Please make a donation of your choice for each session here

If you are unable to make a donation due to financial constraints please email us: unity@urbanmindfulnessfoundation.co.uk for access

People of Colour Mindfulness Emancipation Gatherings

Alternate Tuesday Evenings Starting 2nd March 2021 

Time: 7.00pm-8.30pm

All Sessions are offered on a donation basis.

Please make a donation of your choice for each session here

If you are unable to make a donation due to financial constraints please email us: unity@urbanmindfulnessfoundation.co.uk for access


And we’re back

Join us for a Mindfulness Based Inclusion Session

Date: Saturday 3rd October 2020

Throughout the lockdown we temporarily moved online!

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic lock down we moved our community  mindfulness sessions online to ensure we maintained physical distancing whilst maintaining social connection. 

Sessions have paused whilst we take a summer break. We look forward to resuming in September.

Covid-19 Mindful Resources:

> Mindfulness for Staying at Home & After

> Clear Mind International – Living Resource

> Free mindfulness resources during shut down

Saturday 20th June 10am-12pm – Free online session

Mindful Ageing – for all ages

We are delighted to invite Dr. John Darwin and Mike Pupius to offer this wonderful session on Mindful ageing as part of our evolving inclusive community of practice.

The Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement is based in Sheffield, UK.    Our courses in Mindfulness Based Life Enhancement have been taken by over 750 people in the last decade, and for several years now we have been running courses and continuation sessions in Mindful Ageing.   We also spoke on this theme to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness last year.

Over the past three months we have prepared a free online version of our Mindful Ageing course, which can be taken by participants in their own time.  In this session we will outline what we mean by Mindful Ageing, and show through practice, mindful movement and material developed for our course how mindfulness can contribute to active and positive ageing.

Shunryu Suzuki [‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’] was once asked “Why do we meditate?”.  He answered with a laugh “So you can enjoy your old age”.   That is our view too, and we would like to explain why in this session.

As co-founders of CMLE we have been exploring and practising mindfulness for many years.  We both have a Master of Science Degree in Mindfulness Studies from the University of Aberdeen.

This experiential session of teaching, practice and sharing will be lead by Dr John Darwin and Mike Pupius of the Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement.

We look forward to welcoming you!


Saturday 23rd May 10am -12pm – Free online event

Engaged Mindfulness

Embracing social and environmental issues with Kristine Mackenzie-Jansen, Mindfulness Association Teacher and creator of the Engaged Mindfulness programme inspired by the work of Joanna Macy

Mindfulness is probably most well known for its ‘inner practice’, where we sit still and meditate, mostly focused on our inner world of thoughts, feelings and sensations. However, there is a growing movement within the mindfulness world that feels its important to remember that our well-being is inextricably linked with the larger world around us, and so it may be a good thing to deliberately look at the social and environmental issues of our time within the mindfulness context.

The ‘state of the world’ is something that might be tempting to turn away from as being too overwhelming, too dire to really look at, or too divisive to talk about – but what is mindfulness if not turning towards the places that scare us?  We do this internally in our practice whenever something comes up that is uncomfortable, and we can do the same with what’s uncomfortable and scary out there in the world. Not to then add fuel to the fire with arguing viewpoints and opinions, but to explore the possibility of an ‘outer practice’.

From a place of interconnectedness and care, how might we engage in mindful and compassionate action? Or in the words of Fredrick Buchner: where does your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet?

This experiential session of practice, reflecting and sharing is lead by Kristine Mackenzie-Janson who is a tutor for the Mindfulness Association, and is inspired by Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects.

We look forward to welcoming you and Kristine!


Urban Mindfulness Foundation Mindfulness Based Inclusion taster online session

As part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Mindfulness Association there will be a free, online members retreat from 15th -17th May 2020 to set the path going forward by coming together  to make our world a better place.

On Sunday 17th May 9:15-10:30am we will be collaborating with the Mindfulness Association to host a mindfulness Based Inclusion Training session exploring social aspects of mindfulness. One aspect that we will discuss and contemplate is social conditioning and how this impacts all of us and can create social injustices and suffering in society.

Through reflection we will look at the role of mindfulness in society and how mindfully embracing equality, diversity and inclusion can be a catalyst for social change.




Mindfulness & Social Change

Paula Haddock session with the Urban Mindfulness Foundation - Paula Haddock

Join us for a session with Paula Haddock, co-organiser of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network, a mindfulness teacher and one of the training team at the Ulex Project

Saturday 9th May 10am -12pm – Free event

In what ways might the popularisation of mindfulness just perpetuate ‘business as usual’ systems that produce social, economic and environmental inequality?

In what ways might efforts by social change makers to bring about positive social change be hindered through reactive, autopilot approaches and dynamics? And what then does mindfulness practice & social change efforts look like when they work together?

We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Paula Haddock who will be engaging us in an introductory exploration of these questions on Saturday 9th May. This session will include some mindfulness practice, some group reflection, and some collective debate and discussion.

Paula is a co-organiser of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network, a mindfulness teacher and one of the training team at the Ulex Project (a training centre for social movement, impact and resilience in Spain).

We look forward to welcoming you and Paula!


Mindful Heroes

Join us for an afternoon with Vin Harris, Meditation Teacher, Co-editor of Mindful Heroes and Founder of the Hart Knowe Trust.

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020

Time: 2pm -5pm

Location: The Red House, 13 Upton Avenue, Forest Gate, London, E7 9JT

Donations welcome – Proceeds go to Hart Knowe Trust & The Urban Mindfulness Foundation

We look forward to welcoming you!

Welcome to 2020 drop in sessions

From: Saturday 18th January (fortnightly)

Time: 10:30am -12:30pm

The Red House, 13 Upton Avenue, Forest Gate, London, E7 9JT

To reserve your seat or cushion, please RSVP by email or via Meetup

We look forward to welcoming you!

Past Events:

Responding Mindfully To The Crises We Face

Written by Cathy-Mae Karelse and Jo Gillibrand

This is a guest blog from Cathy,-Mae Karelse and Jo, who are trained in mindfulness and coaching with Clear Mind International.

We currently find ourselves immersed in the unprecedented escalation of the climate and ecological crisis, rising social inequalities, and, in the UK, prospects of a post-Brexit recession. This is unfolding against a backdrop of the culture of individualism, which is wrapped up with power and systematic dispossession. This individualisation generates isolation and social atomisation, making us feel personally responsible to cope alone with both psychological uncertainty and poor health alike. We are left feeling powerless.

In response to stress, anxiety and ill-health, we are told we need to become stronger, more resilient and well. Such mounting personal and social pressures can generate helplessness and despair. It is usually at times like this that we turn to practices like mindfulness to help us endure and make sense of life.

We are familiar with the sizable research base that says that mindfulness helps individuals reduce stress and improve mental health through learning how to navigate challenges and adversity. Neuroscience studies show that it’s possible to change our relationships to anxiety-provoking conditions and to respond with greater clarity and wisdom if we unlearn our knee-jerk reactions of avoidance and/or insatiability.

Yet, within these changing landscapes, mindfulness itself is coming under the spotlight for the ways it may add to the suffering caused by individualisation. Mindfulness models generally refrain from discussing social conditions and causes of distress. Mindfulness-based interventions, although delivered in group settings, primarily emphasise an individualised bio-physiological appraisal of stress and depression and train participants to have a, less reactive response to difficulty. We learn to drop-in to our resourcefulness and to change our responses in order to alter our lives and survive for another day.

In this broader context, when the burden for wellbeing is placed on the individual while structural causes of illness remain intact, individuals can be seen as not trying hard enough, not coping, and even being a burden to society.


Yet, as we see the world changing rapidly through environmental and political ‘heating’, it is less and less possible to see stress in individual rather than structural terms. The links between socio-political, economic and environmental factors and poor health are becoming starker and more widely accepted, even giving rise to ‘Brexit-anxiety’.

The idea of mindfulness as ‘waking up’ can potentially, if we are willing, help us come to see more things even more clearly. It can lift the denial of the structural roots of illness. At the same time, it can help us see through the false separation of personal and social freedoms.

In times of despair, mindfulness can make a difference. It can potentially support us in cultivating the long view of history that takes account of generational privilege, power and oppression as the roots of our current crises and inequalities. It can also remind us of the struggles against these systems of domination and inequalities, and enable us to acknowledge progress. Such a mindfulness can help us see our own place in these structures of power and also help us act to change them. In other words, it is a mindfulness of the inner, outer, multidirectional and liminal, seeing these realms as interconnected and inseparable.


When mindfulness helps us become more aware of our own power, we are better able to act with greater effect to change systems, not only ourselves. And mindfulness can certainly help us shift from the despair of isolationism to the hope of community, within our mindfulness worlds, our various social contexts and beyond. It can help us become part of a greater social transformation that’s intrinsically connected to our inner changes.

Shifting from Despair to Hope is the first in a series of teachings that CMI is delivering to the mindfulness community to engage mindfulness differently. These inclusive sessions are grounded in the long-standing wisdom of ‘do no harm’. They encourage us to locate ourselves in relation to our various communities, including the one that forms around these teachings, and to see ourselves as part of the world.

In this online and live programme, we learn a more radical framing of stress that explains how isolation feeds despair. We unpack the nature of our societies and their dominant narratives and look towards community as an antidote. The presentation includes practices that allow us to pause and feel our way through the landscape of our collective realities.

The series is designed to help us see ourselves in relation to the societies that shape us and that we in turn create. It encourages a growing awareness of the world and our immediate environments and how we may live and act in ways that transform systems and expand our hearts. To apply mindfulness towards the creation of worlds that are diverse, that value difference, that embrace equality and justice, join us as we shift from the “I” to the “we”.

For mindfulness trainers, this programme will help you navigate these new perspectives, offer some personal practices, and provide some insights to enliven still further your group teaching experience. While we are fully aware that mindfulness is not the panacea that it was once presented as in some parts of the media, we are now beginning to see how a new perspective on the community aspects of mindfulness can make radical contributions to the reduction of suffering and the increase of all types of wellness.


When: Tuesdays 19th November, 3rd, 10th and 17th December 2019, 19:00-20:30

Where: Online via Zoom. Sessions will be recorded, so don’t worry if you can’t make all of them, and you’ll be able to keep the series to come back to afterwards. As well as the recordings, a comprehensive Resource List and a pdf of the slides will also be provided to you after each session.

If you have any questions you’d like answered to help you decide whether to join us, please contact jo@clearmindinternational.com

Tutor: The course will be facilitated by Cathy-Mae Karelse, mindfulness trainer and an MN Supervisor. Sessions will moderated by Jo Gillibrand, a CMI-trained mindfulness teacher and coach.

Bursaries: these are available, both to request for yourself or to gift for someone else to benefit from. Please email CMI, in confidence, and we’ll get back to you soon.

Cost: £95

Final registrations and payments by Tuesday 12th November, please.

Thank you, in advance and we look forward to seeing you on the programme.

The Mindfulness Based Inclusion Training Retreat and Workshop Day, Saturday 26th October 2019, 10am-5pm

Suggested Donation £75 (Concessions available for Newham residents and UMF Members. Email us)

 Join us for a day of dialogue, contemplation and practice exploring inclusion, where we will be inquiring into questions such as:

How might mindfulness practice positively influence positive individual and pro-social change?

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Coming Mindfulness Courses and Retreat Day

MBLC Starts –  19th January 2020, suggested donation £80

CBLC Starts – 25th April 2020, suggested donation £120

MBIT Starts – 21st Sept 2020, suggested donation £160

Cinema Event: Akong. A Remarkable Life

Date: 17th June 2017

Time: 14:15

Location: Rio Cinema
107 Kingsland High Street
E8 2PB

Join us for an afternoon showing of Akong – A Remarkable Life followed by Q&A’s with Director Chico and Executive Producer Vin Harris

Proceeds go to Akong Memorial Foundation

To book go to: Akong A Remarkable life

A brief synopsis

Akong – A Remarkable Life tells the story of Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist master, compelled to flee his homeland in 1959 at the height of Sino-Tibetan tensions and forced into exile into unknown lands. Later he would become, along with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, one of the key pioneers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

In 1959, at a young age, Akong becomes the Abbot of Dolma Lhakang monastery in Eastern Tibet and the path of his life seems fixed. However, political turmoil changes everything as he is reluctantly forced to flee his homeland on a dangerous journey whose end is uncertain.

During the ten month escape across the Himalayas to India, Akong comes close to death, being one of only 13 of 300 compatriots to survive the arduous journey. As he lay, near death, in a cave in the Himalayas, he makes a promise that, if he survives, he will devote his life to helping others.

He makes it to India only to battle life-threatening tuberculosis. There Akong meets an Englishwoman, Freda Bedi, who runs a refugee camp in harrowing conditions. Together they create a home for young refugee Lamas, which Akong manages for three years until Freda arranges for him to travel to Britain along with his friend Trungpa Rinpoche.

In 1967 they co-found Samye Ling, in Scotland, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West.

In 1992 he is chosen as a member of the search party seeking the rebirth of the His Holiness, the Gyalwang Karmapa, the Tibetan Buddhist leader second in importance only to the Dalai Lama.

Akong increasingly turns his mind to the suffering and hunger of people and embarks on numerous projects to help. Most notably he co-founds an international humanitarian charitable organisation called “ROKPA”, the Tibetan word for help. He works incessantly founding schools and orphanages, providing home and education for former street children, as well as providing food, shelter and essential medical supplies in countries such as Tibet and Nepal and in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Akong’s fundamental message of compassion-in-action shines through and his example inspires thousands of people to work to make the world a better place. A number of those he inspired recount his story in the film.

Akong Rinpoche was in Chengdu, China in October 2013, about to embark on the latest of many humanitarian missions to Tibet, where he was murdered, senselessly, along with an attendant and his nephew. Despite this sad and shocking end to a remarkable life, the film ends on a message of hope.

An event that explores the arrival of Buddhism in the West, and its impact in modern society.

There is also the opportunity to go and see the film “Akong-a Remarkable Life” at the SOAS University in Russell Square London. Where the directors and invited speakers including Vin Harris, will be attending to participate in a round-table discussion.
Tibetan Buddhism Turns Global explores the arrival of Buddhism in the West, the factors that shaped its adaptation, and how it begun to gain influence in public discourse on religion and beyond.

In particular, it focuses on the journeys of two extraordinary individuals who crossed multiple borders and constructed extended networks of people and knowledge, leaving behind a much-treasured legacy. Their achievements are recorded in two films:

“Akong: A Remarkable Life” is an award winning documentary about how Akong Rinpoche’s dramatic escape from Tibet changed the course of his life, and the lives of many thousands of people around the world. (http://www.akong-remarkablelife.com/)

Film Length: 96 minutes

Director: Chico Dall’lnha

Executive Producer: Vin Harris

Cast: 7th Gyalwang Karmapa, 12th Tai Situ, 4th Jamgon Kongtrul, Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, Lord Steele, Kabir Bedi. Vin Harris

UK (2017)

To book tickets: Rio Cinema – Akong – A Remarkable Life 

Proceeds go to Akong Memorial Foundation

Facebook: Akong a remarkable life