Mindful Journeys Series - Semester 1: 2018

 Thursday evenings 5:10 – 5:50pm (with the option to remain afterwards for further discussion)

Venue:  AC215 x 12 weeks:   (Turn right at Bank of Ireland, then left)

 Thur 13/9/2018 – 29/11/2018 (subject to someone volunteering to share, so be sure to check here each week)

 Mindful Way @ NUI Galway has a database of nearly 1000 students, staff and members of the public who engage in a variety of ways in the practice of Mindfulness, both individually and collectively. The Mindful Journeys Series is part of this initiative, in response to requests for a forum where discussions around Mindfulness can take place, and where people interested in Mindfulness can meet and connect. 

 On Thursday evenings, mindfulness practitioners volunteer to share their Mindful Journeys and the role Mindful practice plays in their lives. Speakers include people who work, study, teach and research at NUI Galway and other universities, as well as practitioners from industry and public service around the world. 

Each Thursday will include a shared meditation practice, a sharing of knowledge and experiences, and a discussion between 5:10 pm and ending at 5:50pm, with the option to remain afterwards for further discussion. 

 Interested in presenting?  If yes, please send your bio, photo, a proposed title for your session along with a brief description to ann.t.walsh@nuigalway.ie, along with dates (Thursdays!) that would suit you to present!

Session No

Date Speaker  Topic Title
1  13/9 Nicola Williams  Mindfulness for healthy personal boundaries
2  20/9 Eoin Barry  Mindfulness and the practice of continuous improvement:   a discussion for individuals and organisations
3  27/9 Dr. Easkey Britton  Mind waves: The impact of being in nature, especially water, on the mind-body connection
4  4/10 Prof. Lokesh Joshi Mindful Journey of a Science Researcher
5  11/10  TBC  
 18/10  Eric Van Lente  From mindfulness to nondual awareness: A brief introduction to the science and experience of oneness
 25/10  Sarah Brennan  Skin to skin of the newborn, Mindfulness and Resilience, Empathy and compassion generation 
 1/11  David Mothersill  
10   15/11  Jackie Carroll  Pathways to Teaching Mindfulness (2) Bangor University 
11   22/11  Sandra Healy  Pathways to Teaching Mindfulness (3) Jon Kabatt Zinn & UCD
12   29/11    


Week 1:  13th September

Mindfulness for healthy personal boundaries

This talk looks at how the practice of mindfulness is an integral part of having healthy personal boundaries, and offers a live opportunity for participants to explore this for themselves.

Most of us are born with a strong inner sense of our personal boundaries; what we feel a YES to, and what we feel a NO to, from moment to moment. However as we grow up, messages and conditioning we receive, and experiences that we have, can interfere with both our inner knowing of what’s right for us, and our ability, confidence, or willingness to honestly communicate our boundaries to others. For example, if our NO wasn’t accepted and respected as we were growing up, we may have learned to cut off from our NO and YES feelings as a strategy to survive. Although this may have helped us get through some difficult situations in the past, not being fully in touch with our YES and NO feelings makes it very difficult to navigate life, to live as we wish to, and to stay safe in the world. Practicing mindful awareness, listening deeply to ourselves as we are present in our bodies, is essential for being in touch with our authentic NO and YES feelings, and the subtle changes that happen within us from moment to moment. Only then can we clearly and mindfully communicate our boundaries to others, and live from our authentic No and Yes.

Nicola Williams

Nicola graduated from NUI Galway with a Masters degree in Community Development in 2003 and hasworked in the field for 15 years as a trainer, coach and researcher with individuals and organisations (e.g. NUIG students (Mind, Body and Spirit program), the Shout LGBT youth group - Galway, Swansea Young Families project, the Galway Travelers Network, Neath Port-Talbot County Borough Council, Galway Technical Institute, the McGuire Programme - speech support group).   Nicola is hugely passionate about supporting people to empower themselves with healthy personal boundaries, and to live with greater confidence, and freedom and fulfilment in everyday life. Nicola has practiced daily mediation and mindfulness for around 15 years and promotes these practices through her work.

Week 2:  20th September

Mindfulness and the practice of continuous improvement:   a discussion for individuals and organisations


Mindfulness is part of a path to identify and achieve the changes we need to improve ourselves and help others.   This path is reflected in the pattern of improvement pioneered by one of the world's most admired companies and is a path which has been attempted by most major corporations.  By exploring mindfulness in different contexts, as a part of a path of the cultivation of wisdom and personal development and by contrasting mindfulness with practical, systematic process improvement activity; we might learn more about both.   In doing so it can help us accelerate positive wholesome change as well as help us build on the progress and benefits we achieve; it may also help to sustain us as we strive to achieve greater personal and group happiness, wellness and peace. 

Eoin Barry

Eoin Barry is principle management consultant and results facilitator for ARV Excellence Teo, a company he founded in 2007; he has been practicing meditation since 2005. He has consulted and worked with large companies such as AstraZeneca, Covidien, Honeywell, nPower, Roche, SKF, UL Hospital Group and other large medical device companies. Over the last two years he facilitated a series of programmes for leaders and coaches at Rolls-Royce and Royal Mail; he particularly likes working with local SME's (Small to Medium Enterprises) and not for profits such as credit unions and he has helped software companies, pizza parlours and independent professionals achieve better results.    The benefits are felt in stronger companies, healthier places of work with happier and more engaged staff, better customer outcomes and ever improving capacity, quality, yield, cost and cycle times. 

 Eoin is a graduate of UL where he studied Materials Science and Business Administration. Eoin lives with his family in Knocnacarra. 


Week 3:  27th September

Mind waves: The impact of being in nature, especially water, on the mind-body connection

Waves, and the waves we choose to ride, shape our mind. Energy moves in pulsing, rhythmic waves. We are surrounded by waves - sound waves, ocean waves, gamma waves… In this session Easkey explores ‘mind waves' and shares the effect of being in nature, especially water, on the body and the mind. Easkey draws on her experiences from big-wave surfing and shares her understanding of flow, an active form of 'body-mindfulness'. Dive into a creative exploration of the mind-body-nature connection. 

Dr Easkey Britton

Dr Easkey Britton is a social ecologist with a PhD in Environment and Society from University of Ulster. Her work explores the relationship between people and nature, especially water environments. As a post-doctoral research fellow at the Whitaker Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, she contributes her expertise in blue space, health and social wellbeing on national and international research projects including NEAR-Health, SHEER-Wellbeing and SOPHIE, an EU-funded Horizon2020 project on Oceans and Human Health. A life-long surfer, her parents taught her to surf when she was four years old and she channels her passion for surfing and the sea into social change. Her work is deeply influenced by the ocean and the lessons learned pioneering women’s big-wave surfing in Ireland and introducing the sport of surfing with women in Iran, which led her to be invited to give an inspiring TEDx talk in 2013: Just Add Surf. Passionate about facilitating creative & collaborative processes, she founded Like Water, a platform to explore innovative ways to reconnect with who we are, our environment and each other, through water. She uses the sea and surfing as an active metaphor to dive deep into the power of presence & trusting in the process. Britton designs and delivers international summits and global leadership programmes specialising in experiential learning, nature connection, community engagement and social impact.

Week 5: 4th October 

Mindful Jourrney of a Science Researcher

Lokesh is the Vice President for Research and SFI Stokes Professor of GlycoSciences at NUI Galway. Lokesh received his PhD in Biological Sciences and Biochemistry from Bath University, UK and went on to gain Post-Doctoral and Research Associate experience at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He was an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Director of Center for Glycoscience and Technologies in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Lokesh's research focuses on the role of complex sugars in health and diseases including chronic illnesses and host-pathogen interactions and he has published over 100 research articles in international journals. Lokesh grew up in the tradition of yoga and meditation and has been practicing mindfulness since his time at Cornell University. Lokesh is interested in individual and organisational wellbeing to develop a sense of purpose, higher performance and a greater contribution to society.

Professor Lokesh Joshi

Week 5:  11th October 2018



Week 6: 18th October
From mindfulness to nondual awareness: A brief introduction to the science and experience of oneness


In this talk Eric will give a brief introduction to his PhD research in which he is exploring the relationship between mindfulness, nondual awareness (oneness) and well-being. He will go through some exercises which attempt to elicit the experience of oneness or nondual awareness directly.

 Eric Van Lente

Eric Van Lente is a PhD Candidate in the School of Psychology and is currently conducting research on the relationship between mindfulness, oneness (nondual awareness) and well-being. Prior to this Eric has been involved in health, medical, educational and mechanical engineering research. Eric has been interested in meditation and a secular approach to spirituality practices for 30+ years.  He is a well-known face among Mindful Way @ NUI Galway regulars, as he co-ordinates and often leads the weekly Mindful Shared Practice which takes place on campus every Wednesday at lunch-time.  ‌

Week 7: 25th October

Skin to skin of the newborn, Mindfulness and Resilience, Empathy and Compassion generation

Sarah Brennan