I am a third year undergraduate student in Liverpool studying Applied Psychology. I found meditation by accident about six years ago when I began practising Aikido. I have since immersed myself in both the theoretical and practical aspects of meditation through traditional forms at my dojo and local Buddhist Centre. Further, I also investigate the more modern health care aspects in the form of the Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) More

Why do you practice?
My early childhood years in particular where characterised by great suffering, I became stuck in a perpetual cycle of self destruction and substance abuse in my teenage and early adulthood through great personal pain. Always trying to fill a deep emptiness within myself. My own personal suffering led to creating suffering for anyone who came into contact with me. Whilst my actions did not always illustrate it well, I held a a deep social conscience and had a great desire to be a force for good. Initially, my practice has allowed me to overcome psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression but has helped me to become  better Father, Husband, Son, Grandson and Human Being. It has allowed me to take back agency in my life and begin to fulfil my potential and in doing so has given me not only the skills to improve my own life but opened up the possibility that I may be able to improve the life of others less fortunate than myself.
How do you practice?

 I spend twice a week engaged in Zen meditation for forty minutes at a time. I practice Aikido at least once a week for two hours which in its purest form is considered Zen in movement. I attend my local Buddhist temple once a month for practice. I am currently engaged with understanding Fear, Love and Attachment. I have been studying these aspects for some time but find them extremely challenging. Intellectually they are not necessarily difficult concepts but understanding on a spiritual and practical level still eludes me. Much like other forms of faith I try to dedicate one day a week to complete mindfulness engaging as fully as I am capable with each and every aspect of the day from waking, brushing my teeth to walking and interactions with others.

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