Lovely interview with long time member Nicky Angelone in our MA Q&A
How long have you been teaching, what type of meditation do you teach and where?
I trained with Matt Young in 2017 and have been teaching intro to meditation courses and facilitating mindfulness meditation sessions ever since, in both corporate and community settings, with groups and individuals.
What is the story behind your first meditation experience?
I was introduced to meditation through my yoga teacher Helen Kershaw. Helen ran yoga philosophy sessions in addition to yoga classes and it was in these sessions I learnt about meditation. My first meditation experience was in the weekly yoga classes I attended with Helen and I found these to be most supportive with my busy work and family life and a child recently diagnosed with a chronic illness. I realise now the yoga asana (movement) supported me to be able to meditate at the end of class. I expect going straight into meditation at that time would have been very challenging for me; I lived in my head, completely detached from my body.
How long did you meditate for today?
My first meditation for the day is lying in bed, practicing loving kindness; sending heart felt well wishes to the people I am interacting with in the day ahead. I then sit for 10-20 minutes after my walk, in silence, self guided. I incorporate mindful moments or spot meditations in my day – before a client session and/or after a client session, to pause and be for a few moments; aware of my experience in the moment. I enjoy what I think of as active meditation through gratitude, reminding myself ‘I get to do this’ and flavouring and savouring experiences. I book end my day lying back in bed and scan through for moments of gratitude to again flavour (bring my senses along as I relive the memory) and savouring (feeling the appreciation resonate in my body).
Do you use a mediation app?
I don’t use any external tools to meditate; I like to sit in silence and guide myself. If I do use an app it is insight timer, mainly for the timer with the lovely gong sound at the end of the sitting. I do love Molly Birkholm’s iRest Yoga Nidra for Healing Trauma. It’s my go to if I wish to be guided through a practice.
What or who inspires you?
My yoga teacher is my biggest inspiration; still teaching at nearly 80 years old, with so much wisdom to share. I am inspired by so many meditation teachers. In particular I love listening to I am inspired by so many meditation teachers. In particular I love listening to Rick Hanson and Tara Brach. I am also a big fan of Dr Judson Brewer and his work with mindfulness and craving and addiction. And mother nature’s beauty inspires me every day.
What’s a golden key you have learned about teaching or facilitating mediation?
Everyone has a different taste and different practices suit different people. This is why I like to offer a variety of spot meditation practices when I teach people mindfulness meditation; and encourage them to share so they appreciate our differences and similarities.
What fills your heart gratitude?
So much! Mainly elements of nature; the awe of seeing the changing phases of the moon, the wonder in resting my gaze on a rainbow after the rain, the changing nature of the sea on my morning beach walks, spring blossoms…. I could go on..
What was the last thing that made you smile or laugh 😊
My boston terrier, Cinque. She makes me laugh and smile each and every day. Whether it is fluffing up her bed, letting me know she’s ready to be fed or walked, jumping up on my lap to join me in my work; her spunk and personality bring so much joy.