On September 15, BridgeTalks was joined by Mindfulness expert, Michael Chaskalson as he presented “Mindful Leadership” at the Courthouse Hotel.

Michael is one of the UK’s leading mindfulness trainers, author of The Mindful Workplace, and the founder and director of Mindfulness Works Ltd., a major European provider of mindfulness-based interventions.

Delegates enjoyed complimentary seated massages from Therapy Solutions during registration and were ‘blissed out’ and ready to be mindful when the talk began at 7pm.

The talk was opened by Dale Smith, Director of Creation at Bridge Training & Events. Dale introduced Michael by speaking to the delegates on his experience of mindfulness by using a conscious mind; being aware of the task at hand, finding calm in any environment and setting a daily alarm to remind himself to be mindful.

Michael opened his talk by introducing the concept of mindfulness and what it actually means. He then took delegates back to his beginnings in the subject – as a practising Buddhist, Michael went on to study mindfulness as a formalised subject at University of Bangor. He was the first graduate of his course – at a time where were just 44 peer-reviewed articles on the subject (there are now 50 publications per month). While doing so, Michael realised his future career was to be found in increasing people’s mindfulness, leading to a better work environment for themselves as well as for others.

Michael then continued with examples of the successful results of mindfulness training, particularly in US Marines. Michael explained the necessity of mindfulness and clear thinking, as an act by a marine can lead to great personal and political effects. Therefore, decisions have to be made consciously.

Delegates then experienced mindfulness first-hand with a guided meditation. Each guest was handed a raisin, and Michael guided delegates consider the raisin mindfully, by consciously touching, feeling, looking, smelling and tasting the raisin.

Delegates gave their feedback as Michael asked how they experienced the raisin and how mindful they were when the raisin was consumed so consciously. Some delegates considered the raisin’s journey, some realised they actually liked raisins and others were sad when the experience was over.

Michael illustrated that by training the mind in mindfulness for just 12 minutes a day, decision-making becomes better.

Delegates enjoyed drinks and canapés at the networking reception following the talk, in the Courthouse Hotel bar.

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