Wellness for Law is supported by Gillian Higgins in providing practical meditation specifically designed for lawyers.
Gillian Higgins established Practical Meditation in 2016. She qualified as a meditation teacher with the British School of Meditation in the same year and has been meditating for the past 4 years. She is passionate about using meditation practically in the workplace. Last year, she designed and led meditation sessions for barristers, solicitors, mediators and accountants in and around London.
In her other life, Gillian is an international barrister and specialises in war crimes and crimes against humanity at an international level having appeared before the International Criminal Court and the UN ad-hoc International Tribunals in The Hague and Tanzania. She practices from The Chambers of 9 Bedford Row. She is also a civil and commercial mediator and teaches with the London School of Mediation.
The following mindfulness meditation practices can be used at home or in the workplace when you want to take a few moments for yourself.
Conscious Breathing Practice: The conscious breathing meditation practice uses the breath as a point of anchor, a place to return to when your mind starts to wander. A short and effective practice to restore a sense of calm.
The Three Minute Breathing Space: This practice is aimed at bringing us into the present moment. Step out of automatic pilot mode for just three minutes and feel the effect.
Uniqueness of Breath: This meditation centres on the uniqueness of each breath. Noticing any sensations or thoughts as they arise, the breath can be used as an anchor to the present moment when the mind starts to wander.
The Body Scan: This is a central practice of mindfulness meditation and helps us to connect with our bodies and in doing so, disconnect the mind from its ideas, opinions, beliefs and judgements.
Sounds and Thoughts: This meditation helps us to understand that we can let both sounds and thoughts come and go, without attachment. In this way, we can gain space to decide how best to respond.
Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation: This meditation introduces the resonant sound of a Tibetan singing bowl. Here, we use the sound of the bowl as an anchor to our present experience.
Nature’s Sounds Meditation: This guided meditation uses the sounds of nature as an anchor to the present moment.
A link to Gillian’s website ‘Practical Meditation’ can be found here
The Oxford Mindfulness Centre
The Oxford Mindfulness Centre, within the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, has been at the forefront of mindfulness research and training since 2008.
The work of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre is providing ground-breaking clinical and neuroscience research on mindfulness, building up an extensive, peer-reviewed body of knowledge and developing and teaching new approaches to mindfulness-based interventions.
Their website can be found here
Associate Professor Craig Hassed was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Wellness for Law Forum who spoke about ‘Mindfulness for Resilience, Wellbeing and Sustainable Performance’. The presentation from the 2017 Forum can be found here.
Mindfulness-based approaches have attracted great interest in recent times because of emerging evidence of its capacity to enhance resilience, physical and emotional wellbeing, and performance. The keynote address explored the science, philosophy and application of mindfulness with particular emphasis on its relevance for the law. Topics explored included the role of mindfulness in stress, mental health, executive functioning, communication, decision-making, cognitive bias and physical health.
In the video below, Monash University senior lecturer and GP Dr Craig Hassed talks to MO about using mindfulness meditation to treat some types of mental illness.