Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 12 September 2010

An Insight Into Meditation: Create A New You & A New Way Of Thinking

You can find many classes and workshops in Brighton and Sussex claiming to teach the secrets of successful meditation. So when Brighton Magazine heard about some new meditation classes with Andy Lucas in Brighton we wondered what makes Andy's classes different from the rest.
Andy Lucas With A Lama In Manali, India

We caught up with Andy and asked him to come out of trance for a few minutes to answer some down to earth questions about his approach to teaching meditation in Brighton.


The Brighton Magazine (TBM): We hear a lot in Brighton about meditation, but what exactly is meditation Andy?

Andy Lucas (AL): One of the problems with understanding meditation is to do with the English language actually, because we tend to talk about processes as if they are things, as if they are somehow outside of us, as if they happen to us.

The word meditation, being a noun, sounds like a 'thing', which you either have or don"t have. And we are so used to buying things in our society we might imagine meditation is yet another product that we buy somewhere in Brighton. You might think if you pay enough money somebody will sell you the right kind of meditation.

So let's change our mindset for a moment and talk about the verb, the action, a process we can learn to do – 'meditating' rather than 'meditation'. When you start considering meditating as actually doing something, you take the first step towards understanding what it is all about.


TBM: Interesting. And how would you describe the process of meditating Andy?

AL: I am sure you would get many different answers depending who you ask. I can tell you about my experience of meditating and why I am passionate about sharing my experience with others by giving practical tuition.

When I first learned to meditate I was astonished at the immediate impact I was able to have on my thinking, my emotions and my behaviour. This is because when you learn to meditate you learn to create stillness and peace in your mind, whether you do this for a few seconds, minutes, hours or even days.


TBM: What do you think people get from learning to meditate like that?

AL: It seems to me you get two benefits from learning to meditate.

Firstly you are learning to take time out, to release some noise or tension from the day and to discover a calmness and tranquillity for yourself. This is a great way to maintain a healthy perspective on your life, to withdraw from compulsive self-absorption and to gain an ability to see things from a different perspective.

Have you ever noticed when you are immersed in a situation you sometimes have difficulties finding solutions. Some people deal with this by taking a holiday, going on a retreat or just taking a walk.

Those activities can help to change your perspective, because they remove you from total absorption, they give you some distance. But you cannot always withdraw from a situation in that way.

This is where meditating can really help, because it is a process of shifting your thinking and changing your state instantly. It is very practical and extremely effective. And you will access levels of thinking and awareness way beyond your previous limitations.


TBM: And the second benefit?

AL: As you develop a meditation routine, as you make meditating a normal regular activity in your life, you are able to gain greater freedom from old habits of thinking and feeling. You become skilled at observing your own thoughts and guiding those thoughts in more useful and constructive ways.

There is a lot of talk about 'positive thinking' by new agers and in self-help books, yet I prefer the idea of 'constructive thinking', of being in the driving seat of your own mind and steering it in directions that are the most productive for you.

When you are free of old habitual thinking you inevitably develop greater flexibility in the way you solve problems, how you create new ideas and methods for achieving your goals. You become more intelligent in your thinking, your emotions and your responses.


TBM: It sounds like you have a lot to say about the advantages of meditating. I guess many of our readers already know it's a good idea, but aren't there enough meditation classes in Brighton. Why do we need another one? What is different about the way you teach meditation?

AL: Obviously I do not know what every meditation instructor is teaching in Brighton and I certainly don't see myself as competing with any of them. Actually I think it is fantastic there is so much choice available here. And I would encourage people to shop around to find an approach to suit them.

I guess one thing I tend to do differently is to dip into a variety of approaches to meditation. I"m not really attached to one particular tradition or doctrine. Nor do I expect my students to adopt a particular set of spiritual beliefs to enjoy my classes. People of any or no spiritual belief will benefit from my style of teaching meditation.

There is no need to have studied some theory or spiritual teachings or to achieve some intellectual understanding to succeed at meditating. In fact it works the other way around - as you meditate you enhance your mental processes, you improve your intellect and you somehow access your own inner wisdom.

I only started reading and studying the theory of this subject after experiencing certain understandings from my own practice of meditating. This seemed the right way around for me. Maybe it will seem like that for people reading this too – I hope so.


TBM: You are launching some new workshops and classes in October. What are your plans right now?

AL: Firstly I am planning to teach at least one three hour workshop each month starting on Saturday October 9th at The Studio, Aloka, East Street, Brighton. Each workshop will run from 10am to 1pm and will involve very practical instructions for achieving skills in meditating. I will start with an approach called Yoga Nidra and I will be incorporating ideas drawn from other traditions including NLP and Huna.

Then I am going to announce details of my weekly one hour meditation classes very soon.


Brighton Meditation And Yoga Nidra Workshop @ The Studio, Aloka, 14 East Street, Brighton, on Saturdays 9th October / 30th October / then monthly. Workshops run from 10am to 1pm & cost £30 in advance / £40 on the door (subject to availability).

To book your place visit Andy"s website @ www.springtomind.co.uk


by: Claire Watkins




Share    


Etta James' frantic recording and touring schedule coincided with her ever growing addiction problems and over time she not only sang the blues, she lived the blues. 

This month the 'sophisticated and stylish popsters' All Saints will play an intimate gig in Brighton, on behalf of Nordoff Robbins, the UK's largest independent music therapy charity.

Make way for protest singer, LGBTQ+ activist, folk singer, socialist and social commentator Grace Petrie.

Sat in the TV room at The Courtlands Hotel, in Hove, on the evening of 1st December 1973, with just one other guest. That was a twelve year-old me (ed) and a sockless and scowling Brian Clough. On the screen were 'the highlights' of Brighton & Hove Albion getting hammered 2-8 by Bristol Rovers. Clough was the co-manager of the Albion!

Northern psychedelic punks The Lovely Eggs have unleased their new album 'This Is Eggland', ahead of a date in Brighton.

A full twenty-five years after the release of Baka Beyond's debut album, Spirit of the Forest, the band celebrate their beginnings with a date in Sussex, re-joined after a long absence by Paddy Le Mercier, a member of the original line-up.

A follow up to Sue MacLaine's award winning work Can I Start Again Please, Vessel takes inspiration from the remarkable history of Anchoritism to ask if voluntary solitude could ever be defined as a political act. 

In the year that has seen knife crime in the UK soar to an unprecedented level, writer and actress Ambreen Razia, presents POT, which goes inside the corrupt and violent world of inner city gang culture. 
Photo by Delaney Brooks

Sussex-based music charity, AudioActive, has taken a big step towards their vision to establish the UK's first centre for excellence for the talent development of marginalised and under-represented artists in Worthing, thanks to £92,618 National Lottery funding through Arts Council England.
Barbara Windsor Memory Walkers

Sussex resident Arianne McGarrigle recently joined a tide of people to unite against dementia at Brighton and Hove Memory Walk


Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have taken inspiration from real life events for their new play Trial by Laughter, based on their critically acclaimed original BBC Radio 4 drama of the same name.

Multi-award winning songwriter and musician, theatre maker and published writer Kartine Polwart's seventh release, Laws of Motion, is the follow-up to last year's A Pocket of Wind Resistance, which was an innovative blend of folk music, spoken word & sound design. 

Benefit Cosmetics joined forces with Alice Skinner and a team of street artists to create two inspiring murals. The artworks celebrate the collaborative efforts of women, who support each other's 'brow-raising' actions and accomplishments.  

Ahead of a one-off date at Brighton's Hope & Ruin, Bristol based multi-instrumentalist producer and visual artist She Makes War has released her new single Devastate Me, taken from her upcoming album Brace For Impact. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd