JAYA RUDGARD – co-founder, now guest teacher 

Mindfulness has been part of my life since I first discovered it as a teenager in the 1980s. From 1996-2005 I lived as a Theravadan Buddhist nun in the Forest Sangha in the UK with Ajahn Sumedho as my teacher. In this tradition mindfulness in all aspects of daily life is the cornerstone of practice, so I learned first hand why the Buddha described it as the “direct path” out of suffering. This is because it takes us beyond any religion or dogma to learn from our direct experience and begin to see clearly for ourselves what leads to suffering and what leads to freedom.

My passion is sharing this inquiry and path of practice with others whatever their religious beliefs or none. This is why I like to teach both inside and outside the context of traditional Buddhism. I am constantly learning with and from my students about how mindfulness and contemplative wisdom can be integrated into and inform our ordinary daily lives in a way that supports our own deeper wellbeing and that of those around us.

Zoe and I began our MBSR teaching journeys together and in 2010 co-founded Go Mindfully. Since then as well as teaching both MBSR and Mindful Self-Compassion for Go Mindfully until 2017, I have completed a four year training as an Insight Meditation teacher with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein in the USA. I now mostly teach residential retreats in Insight Meditation and Mindfulness in the UK and overseas and have moved to Oxford where I run a weekly sitting group for Oxford Insight Meditation. I also occasionally teach for, and am an Associate of, the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. You can read more about me and my current activities at  www.jayarudgard.co.uk.

Although I am no longer formally involved in the running of Go Mindfully I still take a keen interest in its work and in the community Zoe and I established, which has continued to grow and thrive under Zoe’s care. I teach occasional Go Mindfully top ups and co-teach retreats for Go Mindfully with Zoe when possible. I am always especially happy to see Go Mindfully graduates at any of my other teaching events.