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Five minutes with... Andy Amos

Can you describe yourself in three words?Centred, creative and convincing.

How did you get introduced to meditation?I was searching for ways to manage stress and become more focused. At the time I was managing a team responsible for the ‘business systems’ at a trading bank in London (Rothshild). The environment was high pressured and required consistent focus. I was introduced to yoga and began to explore how this could help me manage this challenge. My journey then accelerated when I met my first teacher three years later. I met her as a result of searching for answers to a significant health scare that had suddenly emerged in my life; I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Why should we meditate?I don’t feel ‘should’ helps us. We don’t seem to take too well to giving directives to ourselves. Much better to consider how something new might be of assistance to shift us from where we are today. If what we are doing is not working and you genuinely want to change then consider something new. My experience so far is that meditation helps with the development of our minds and helps us experience more our humanity; to access more of the great capacity that resides in each of us. Modern research is also providing insights to the many practical outcomes that emerge as a result of practicing meditation. We become more focused; we learn to respond to stress more effectively; we improve the quality of our sleep and positively support our energy and immune response; we ‘create’ more time and become more productive; we learn to relate to and empathise more easily with others; we make better decisions for our life; and we access greater creativity - this is a big one that may not be on the top of everyone’s list, but it is the way we are going to solve the challenges currently facing the world.

What’s the best way to start a practice?Start slowly, find a teacher who is practising what they are teaching, and commit to a short amount of time on a regular basis each week. Build from there. The full and extensive impact of meditation becomes obvious when practising daily however positive benefits begin to show up relatively quickly and from as little as practising a couple of times each week. And to begin this can be as little as 10 minutes each time.

Who are your most influential teachers?Good teachers are lifelong students in my experience. The people I have studied with and learnt from have therefore remain my teachers. My true development in meditation came through my studies in metaphysics and the mystical traditions of the major religions. There were two key people who provided this guidance. Erica Bagshaw my first teacher, and then after a period of time, I became a student of her teacher Dr Reza Samvat. There have been many influences since then as I’ve undertaken extensive self study and engagement with the works of a number of teachers. This continues to this day.

Easiest place in the world to meditate?To begin it helps if you can be consistent with where you practice. You come to know that when you sit in this place it’s for the purpose of practising your meditation. Having said that, when you start meditating I encourage people to do so where ever is convenient. The logistics of creating time in your life for something new, can present an obstacle, so making it as accessible as possible is important.

If you could give meditation students a single tip to help with their practice, what would it be?Be patient. Change will happen remarkably quickly once you start committing but it’s important to remember you are working with developing your mind - the most intricate and sophisticated system in the world.


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