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    


Creature Creature can, via the imminent release of their first collection of self-penned tracks, Two Finger Tantrum, be labelled the new flag bearers of rock. The Brighton-based five piece have furrowed a new burrow at the summit of an age old genre. With this debut album they will be looking over their shoulders at the also-rans for many years to come.


Migrate Art, the art organisation fundraising to support displaced and homeless people, has partnered with ten major contemporary artists and illustrators to create limited editions of re-usable, reversible face masks.

Romesh Ranganathan is Straight Outta Crawley, in West Sussex, and on his last nationwide tour, Irrational, he was pondering whether he has an irrational viewpoint on the world or whether that can be attributed to absolutely everyone else.

Returning after four years away, Aidan Knight's penchant for astute observations and personal reflections remains a compelling component of his songwriting.


Young people across the UK will have the chance to find out what it's like to be a record label boss, a film director or a theatre producer through a new podcast series from Lookout that brings together industry professionals from stage, screen and music to share their invaluable insights and experience on how to get into the creative industries.
Credit J. Taylor

Extinction Rebellion Brighton held a socially distanced protest on Hove seafront calling for a bigger public say in how society rebuilds following the coronavirus crisis.
Credit Andrew Gambling

The South Downs National Park photo competition is now open, with a first prize of £250 on offer to the amateur or professional photographer who best captures this year's theme of 'My tranquil haven'.

"In rock music, it's really easy to talk about partying and shagging girls and all that kind of stuff," says Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin. "But for us, what we were singing about had to be deeper, it had to mean something. We had to talk about our experiences and what we were going through."

Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition - especially with schools and shops currently closed. 
Credit: Andy Sturmey

Barely a year since their debut album Dogrel, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. are set to return with A Hero's Death.

The Rec Rooms is an independent music and comedy venue in Horsham, West Sussex, which was opened by three locals just over eighteen months ago. 

This Saturday, 30th May, Together Co, the Brighton & Hove based charity that exists to end loneliness, is hosting a virtual music festival that will see more than twenty bands perform for free to raise money to help the most vulnerable and isolated.  

Following Brighton Festival's digital programme during lockdown, poet and author Lemn Sissay MBE has confirmed he will return as guest director in 2021. 

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