Dr. Lauri Bower
Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, Lauri’s journey into mindfulness has opened up many avenues and provided her with a teaching pathway that brings her work, social and spiritual life into harmony.
Lauri’s experience of mindfulness began many years ago, being introduced to meditation and present-moment awareness exercises by an innovative and insightful Youth Theatre Director in Sheffield. Having now practised for more than half her life meditation is an essential touchstone to everything else that takes place. In 2014 Lauri completed a Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, the key teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, available to buy from Lauri or here.
Lauri was taught sewing and knitting by her Nannan as a youngster and has pursued many creative activities since then, including calligraphy, poetry, book- making, hand embroidery, printing and sewing. Her creativity practices have deepened considerably over the past few years as she recognises they are enhanced through practising mindfulness. She regularly posts poems to her blog and creative projects to Instagram, as well as selling through her Etsy shop.
Lauri’s teaching life began in a small Primary school in Leeds as well as leading and organising retreats since 1994. From 2013 she has concentrated on teaching mindfulness to adults through The Northern Centre for Mindfulness and Compassion in York. Her teaching work has since expanded to include days and retreats combining mindfulness with creativity.
Lauri’s Ph.D. research led her to practising within Plum Village UK, Thich Nhat Hanh’s community in the UK, and forming, with others, a weekly Sangha in York. Since 2016 she has taught the community’s unique Be Calm Be Happy mindfulness course and will also be offering this in THE Creative S P A C E.
Clare is the artist-in-residence at Helmsley Walled Garden and can often be found painting in the garden. She studied Fine Art at Newcastle University and completed her postgraduate in Drawing & Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, exhibiting regularly since then. For over twenty-five years, Clare has drawn and painted in two walled gardens. Her work is a daily, animated study through the seasons - winter earth, first shoots, blossom, fruit and leaf fall. This constant change generates a natural curiosity for her to search for ever more fresh observation.
Clare has been fully committed to a practice of mindfulness for over ten years, first encountering Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings through his books and retreats from 1998. She now practices regularly with Plum Village UK and facilitates a Sangha in Kirkbymoorside. The Plum Village tradition has enabled Clare to work with the demands of a complex life managing a large shared household to benefit the needs of adults with special needs, alongside bringing up her own four children.
Clare’s mindfulness practice is deeply rooted in her daily practice of drawing and painting. Her practice transforms and enlivens everything she does.