My Qualifications

I did my mindfulness teacher training (TTR1) with Bangor University.

I trained to teach mindfulness in schools with Mindfulness in Schools Project. I'm now a trainer for them so I teach school teachers to teach mindfulness.

I also trained in Mindfulness-Based Self-Compassion and Non-Violent Communication.

Apart from my formal training, I have completed several silent 7-10 day meditation retreats and one solitary retreat. I also have a daily meditation practice, which is very important to me, not least in walking my talk!

My Story

Trying – and failing – to change the world

At university I became a passionate and committed climate activist. I stopped eating meat and flying, became president of the university’s environmental society, joined marches in London, and went to the UN climate negotiations twice. My nickname was Captain Planet.


But my views and actions isolated me. It wasn’t meant to be a one-man mission – everyone was supposed to be joining me. But they didn’t want to, and I didn’t understand why.

But my point of view made me incredibly judgmental. I couldn’t understand why people didn’t care as much about this issue as I did. Why were people standing around in the Students’ Union getting drunk and leaving the lights on when the whole world was on the brink of collapse? Were they stupid? Heartless? Wilfully ignorant? It was baffling and infuriating.

It seemed everything was wrong with the world: everything we bought, ate or drank; every time we got in a car or on a plane; every time we bought clothes… it was all contributing to global warming.


But my views and actions isolated me. It wasn’t meant to be a one-man mission – everyone was supposed to be joining me. But they didn’t want to, and I didn’t understand why.

My turning point: discovering mindfulness

After several years of being obsessed with the issue, and after the failure of the UN negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, I was left disillusioned and despairing. I felt that nothing anyone was doing was making a difference. I decided to step away from being an activist, stop reading the environmental news, and put everything to do with climate change out of my mind. I still thought it was the number-one issue facing humankind, I had just run out of energy to do anything about it.


A few years later, I discovered mindfulness while researching ways to help a friend who was struggling and I joined a meditation group. For the first time, I was paying close attention to my own mind and body instead of focusing on what other people were doing. I soon realised that I was not as ‘fine’ as I always told people I was. I was physically agitated, mentally distracted, and out of touch with my emotions.


As I started to meditate, not only did I become more aware of these things, but they started to change. I had some profound experiences. I started to feel more peaceful than I’d ever felt in my life, and more able to focus and be present. I even experienced bliss and euphoria, and felt far more connected to people than I ever had before.


Another thing I noticed was that ordinary moments took on a whole new significance. Somehow, having a friendly chat over a cup of tea with someone in the office felt deeply fulfilling to me, whereas, before, only saving the world mattered. And I felt like this most of the time – life in general had come alive to me and felt meaningful. I could sense that something dramatic had changed in my perspective on life.

Mindfulness as a force for change

I felt like an activist again – this time, advocating the benefits of mindfulness. But there were a few big differences. Rather than trying to persuade people not to do things they loved doing - eating meat, driving their car, air travel, I was encouraging people to do something that made them feel good. I also wasn't fighting against anyone any more.


I came to believe that my new attitude was striking at the heart of what needs to shift if we want to change the world. Rather than a them and us perspective, a sense of us all being on the same team. The more I can see that the less conflict there is within ourselves and between each other.

I used to think that unless I was contributing to solving climate change, whatever I was doing was pointless. Now I get so much meaning and fulfilment from seeing small ways my own life and the lives of people around me change through the being more aware, kinder and more accepting. Paradoxically, the less pressure I put on myself to change the world, the more impact I think I'm likely to have.

© Andy Hix

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