Malcolm Henderson


I came to understand mindfulness through Buddhism, having completed a course with the Buddhist Society of which I am now a member. This was some twenty years ago after returning from the Far East (Beijing and Seoul) where I had worked for three years and during which time I had first discovered Buddhism through visits to the numerous temples which I encountered.

I was particularly taken by Buddha's teaching on suffering (dukkha) and its causes.: suffering caused by three factors, one of which is anger and ‘negative’ emotions. Some kinds of suffering are an inevitable aspect of life: anxiety surrounds illness and death, for example. We all suffer and in today's world we are often negatively affected by the pace of life, the pressure to succeed, the international political tensions and war as well as personal circumstances and relationships which can sometimes harm us. Anger, fear, conflict, hatred, envy and other ‘negative’ emotions are, in some way, the product of feelings of isolation, separateness, division, disconnection and alienation.

My own life hasn't been free of these experiences: there were times of great stress when I was a teacher up to the age of 36 and a dreadful 'low' due to a bad experiences when I was Director of Training in not one but two financial services companies. Working for almost a year in China and two years in South Korea, I came across Buddhism through visiting temples in my spare time and on my return to the UK joined the Buddhist Society and completed their correspondence course. I have been practising a secular form of Buddhism ever since.

In Blue Lotus, we are aware that living mindfully helps alleviate our suffering. One of the ways of learning how to alleviate our suffering is through meditation. Blue Lotus focuses on meditation and mindfulness: its where the concept of observing one's thoughts and actions first comes from. 

Blue Lotus provides courses, retreats and weekly meditation sessions so that we can learn together. Academically, I am well qualified to teach mindfulness as I have both a B.Ed from Chester and B.Phil(Ed) from Birmingham University. My own experience as a practicing secular Buddhist enables me to teach and coach from the standpoint of my own experience and conviction. However, one doesn't need to be a Buddhist to practice mindfulness! One  does need a desire to be at peace with oneself and the world. All of us at Blue Lotus have a desire to help others find a way out of anxiety, anger and stress and that's what matters.