Entries by Gwennie Fraser


I was delighted to receive my copy of Swirl recently, a booklet produced by Andy Walton and Gina Yu, on overcoming worry and over-thinking. Andy Walton is a community mental health  nurse based  in the north-east who trained in mindfulness through the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course and works with military veterans through  Combat Stress, a charity that helps military veterans […]

Staying put

Following the thaw, life has returned to more normal routines, and everyone has been emerging from the Siberian blast with their accounts of having been snowed in. Here in the uplands of Northumberland National Park, the snow lay siege and fell continuously for several days. As the wind picked up, we watched as blizzards bowled […]

The value of retreat

Retreat, however long a time we can manage to commit to, enlivens practice and it enhances life. It supports the development of practice and our own potential for living a meaningful and fulfilled life. Just as simple moments of awareness bring us valuable space, clarity and  perspective in our busy everyday lives, retreat offers a unique opportunity […]

Starting Start the Week

On Monday, in the dark of a January morning at 7 30 am, I held the first online mindfulness Start the Week session by Zoom. Not having hosted a meeting before, I wondered how the technology would work out and how it would be to enable the connection to happen smoothly. Would it really be possible […]

The power of the present moment

When we begin to practice paying attention, we start to notice how strong the tugs and pulls on the mind are and how well developed our habit of distraction is. It can seem so engrained, so vivid, random and unruly. The process of building a new muscle of attention, a new mental habit of present […]

Mindfulness, distraction and the Christmas rush

At the last monthly practice support meeting held in Newcastle at the County Hotel, we explored how the lead up to Christmas can be a valuable and rich basis for our practice to support us amidst the increased pressures we may experience at this time of year. Where I live, which is in quite a remote […]

Aware and knowing it

Awareness is something that is inherently part of us, so developing awareness through the practice of mindfulness meditation does not mean adding something new or extra to the picture, it involves developing and enhancing skills that are already here, naturally within us. Mindful awareness can simply be described as knowing what is happening while it […]


The 6 week Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness course which I have been running in central Newcastle upon Tyne has recently concluded. It has been a rich journey of sharing and reflection together as a group.  The course  has offered a more expanded “vocabulary” for exploring how practice can be applied in the fabric of day […]

Barnacles don’t do Facebook

Returning to my favourite piece of shoreline in the NW highlands of Scotland, I am struck by how on the one hand it is so timeless, unchanged and familiar, yet just as I find it again in this moment. It happens to be a fine summer’s morning, a day of silk-screen blue sea, a mirror […]