About Us

Susie Hooper

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Susie Hooper set up Pause & Breathe, to share her mindfulness practice within her local community. Susie was introduced to mindfulness within her role as a Criminal Justice Social Worker, delivering group-work to men who have committed sexual offences. Initially, the aim of this was to introduce mindfulness to clients, however, Susie found practising mindfulness to be extremely beneficial, and started on her own mindfulness journey.

After practising mindfulness for some months, Susie realised how disconnected she was from her emotions. Mindfulness has helped her to be much more aware of her emotions; she is now less reactive to these in an unthinking way. Being more in tune with how she’s feeling has improved her relationships. She is more able to discuss the way she feels, without instinctively acting this out. She is much less overwhelmed by her emotions than she used to be. Life is still busy, but she makes more active choices about what she wants to do and to take part in, rather than feeling pulled along by the wishes of others. Perhaps the most important part of her mindfulness journey, and one she needs to continually put into practice, is her ability to be compassionate to herself. She is learning to ignore the self-critical voice that pops up on a regular basis, and instead to treat herself as she would a close friend.

After several years of practice, Susie undertook the One Year Teacher Training course with Youth Mindfulness. She has been facilitating mindfulness sessions within her local community since January 2017.

Susie is the National Trainer in Scotland for Mindfulness within Moving Forwards: Making Changes, a programme for sexual offenders which incorporates mindfulness practices. In this, she is involved in training Social Workers and Psychologists throughout Scotland. She has held mindfulness workshops at NOTA Conferences (National Treatment of Abusers) and also at forums within SPS Polmont Training Facility.

Susie has delivered mindfulness courses for both teachers and parents in schools, and delivered in various workplaces, such as A Drug Treatment and Testing project in Edinburgh. Susie also regularly attends Vegan Festivals to deliver mindfulness workshops.

Susie very much enjoys collaborating with other wellbeing facilitators. She has developed an excellent partnership with Lindsey Porter from Yoga-Nu-U, offering regular 4-week courses in Linlithgow that combine yoga and mindfulness. In 2018 she delivered a non-residential retreat, which included Pilates and Lomi Lomi Massage. From 2019 she will be running annual wellbeing retreats, which will include Yoga and Lomi Lomi Massage.

Phil Blackburn

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Phil is a well-recognised Martial Arts teacher, specialising in Japanese Ju-Jitsu. He has his own club, Kuroyaki-Ryu in Bo’Ness. Phil is a mindfulness teacher, having trained through Skilful Minds. He has also undertaken Youth Mindfulness training in their kids programme, and is qualified to teach this to 7-11 year olds. This material can be adapted as necessary for younger or older children. Phil also teaches Qi Gong – which can be seen to be a form of mindful movement. He can offer this to adults or children, or to a combination of both.

Training for a little over 40 years in Martial Arts, Phil has coached throughout Europe whilst studying Shaolin Zen (single point) meditation. Phil started his path of meditation over 25 years ago after being introduced to it by his martial arts instructor JF Yamaue, who is also a Shaolin priest.

Wishing to develop meditation more with his Martial Arts groups, including a focus on children’s education, he realised that single point meditation can be difficult for many people, particularly children, so started to look for other methods.

There are many reason Phil meditates but in the main it is for the calmness, relaxation and focus, which he finds of great benefit to him. These are just some of the benefits he can bring to others, both children and adults alike.

Over the years, Phil has developed a number of teaching programmes based on educating through Martial Arts, working with children and adults with anxiety, stress, bullying etc.

He feels that meditation is an excellent way of bringing these programmes and meditation together in order to increase the benefits and support these programmes can offer to both adults and children.