Breathing Space is the London Buddhist Centre’s mental health and well-being project. The project was borne from the desire to use our deep understanding of mindfulness and meditation, gained from decades’ worth of experience, to help people with their mental health.
We are a not-for profit organisation. The courses are led by experienced practitioners and supported by volunteers who have benefitted from the tools.
Community is integral to what we do. All of our activities offer opportunities for people to connect and form lasting friendships.
We are Buddhists. Mindfulness is our way of life. We share an in-depth knowledge and have a deep respect for the roots of mindfulness.
We believe that everyone can be supported to lead a healthy and rewarding life. Our activities are open to all.
In 2004, NHS consultant psychiatrist and ordained Buddhist, Dr Paramabandhu Groves, saw an opportunity to bring together his professional background and Buddhist practice to offer courses in mindfulness to help people recover from recurrent depression, stress, and addiction. He developed an approach to mental health that coupled extensive training in the Buddhist tradition with the latest evidence-based material. A team of Buddhist teachers were then trained to teach MBAs under Dr Groves’ supervision, delivering the material in an entirely religion-free manner. In 2007 the LBC received lottery funds to build a dedicated secular mindfulness centre, and Breathing Space became the first purpose-built mindfulness venue in the UK.
Since then Breathing Space has become a hub for mentalhealth and wellbeing in East London, helping over 5000 people to lead a healthyand rewarding life. We are well connected across London, working closely withlocal councils, GP practices, mental health organisations and charities. Weoffer a varied program of mindfulness activities, including workshops, courses,day retreats and residential retreats. We have also developed a free-of-chargestress reduction program for unpaid carers, giving hundreds of local carersmuch needed respite from their responsibilities.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Breathing Space London has moved some of its activities online, running a well-subscribed and successful programme of courses and events that directly address the evolving challenges of current times. Our online programme has reached over 3000 people across the globe and has turned Breathing Space London into an international community.
Breathing Space teachers and staff are Buddhists practicing within the London Buddhist Centre community. Mindfulness and meditation is integral to our way of life. Many of our teachers have more than a decade’s worth of experience practicing and teaching mindfulness and meditation, giving their time freely. In addition, all Breathing Space teachers have been trained to teach specific mindfulness based approaches.