Who is Bridgeen Rea-Kaya?
Bridgeen is a pioneer of mindfulness and mindful self-compassion classes for the general public in Northern Ireland. She has a Masters in Mindfulness Based Approaches (Msc) from Bangor University, Wales. She is an accredited and trained Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Teacher, a qualified yoga teacher (YFNI), Reiki Master and an all round lover of the slow down movement. You can watch her 2014 TEDx talk here.
A proud member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing with the dharma name: True Profound Happiness. She has studied extensively with the international Plum Village mindfulness community for the past 12 years.
Bridgeen has an MBA and a BSc in Communications, Advertising and Marketing. Bridgeen’s foray into the holistic business began in 2005 when she began teaching yoga. Immeasurable Minds was originally a part-time business but she gave up her safe Civil Service job and went full-time with it from January 2014.
Bridgeen’s personal motto is “There’s no need to run, strive or struggle: just be.’
It is very important that the mindfulness and wellbeing teacher you choose follows UK best practice guidelines and is registered and accredited. See Bridgeen’s listing on bemindful.org here.
Personal more detailed bio!
I am a dedicated and enthusiastic student and teacher of mindfulness meditation.
I first began practicing mediation seriously in 2003 when I took a Vipassana course in Victoria, Australia. Prior to this I had some meditation experience though yoga practice and study. My interest in yoga stemmed from the result of serious accident when I was 21. I was knocked down by a car and suffered severe injuries, ending up in hospital for 22 days and being on crutches for six months (even having time in a wheelchair). Even when I recovered I couldn’t really do much exercise and yet I wanted some movement so I learned about yoga.
I still suffer from the effects of that accident including restricted movement in my left arm, a muscle hernia in my left leg and stiffness in my left hip – but I still love and need movement practice, especially mindful movement! You will find me every Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Spring and Summer on the Loughshore, Jordanstown teaching ‘Khi Cong with a stick’ – if you do one of my retreats you’ll also get a chance to learn this amazing outdoor exercise – I’ve been given the transmission by Brother Phap Linn from Plum Village 🙂
In 2003 in a yoga retreat in Rocklyn, Australia I discovered the book Peace is Every Step by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master who is world renowned for his teachings on mindfulness and author of over 100 books. He lives in a wondrous place Plum Village, France, which I call my ‘happy place’. I fell in love with Tháy (pronounced ‘tie’) as he is known to his students, his monastics and the environment there on my first visit in 2005. I have been retreating to Plum Village at least once a year, every year since then.
I even visited Vietnam with Tháy and the international Sangha twice (in 2007 and 2008). As well as travelling to France I’ve attended Plum Village retreats in New York (Blue Cliff), San Diego (Deer Park), Nottingham and Kilarney! I invited Tháy to Belfast in April 2012 where he addressed an audience in Parliament Buildings and led a walking meditation down the famous Stormont mile.
In fact I’ve been organising visits by Plum Village Monastics to Northern Ireland from 2009 when I first organised for Sister Jina to give a free public talk in conjunction with the NI Interfaith Forum at Rosemary Street Church. I’ve gone on to organise for Brothers to give talks at Queen’s University, Belfast and for Sister Insight to give a talk Queens Psychology Department. I also organised the very first Plum Village retreat in Northern Ireland at Corrymeela in 2015. We did it again in 2016. In 2015 70 people attended and in 2016 there was 100 people including 14 children. In 2016 I also helped organise public talk for Sister Insight in Sligo and a retreat for 50 people in Cavan.
I have had a Sangha in my home since 2007, a sangha is group of people who come together in harmony to practice and discuss mindfulness. You can find out more on the Mindfulness Ireland website which I belong to.
In June 2012, in Plum Village I was ordained by Sister Chan Khong as member of the Order of Interbeing (OI) or Tiep Hien with the Dharma name is ‘True Profound Happiness’. The OI is a group of monastics and laypeople who have committed to living their lives in accordance with the 14 Mindfulness Trainings.
So it’s clear I am very inspired and enthused by the practice of mindfulness as taught by Tháy and the Plum Village monastics – but I also studied and got properly qualified in the secular field of mindfulness. I spent five years (part-time) studying for a Masters (MSc) in ‘Mindfulness Based Approaches’ at Bangor University in North Wales. I am the only person in Northern Ireland to have this qualification. My thesis which I completed in 2015 is on the experience of silenc ein mindfulness practice. I am a big fan of quiet! During this time I studied with and attended lectures by many of the great mindfulness teachers and authors including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mark Williams, Rebecca Crane, Dusana Dorjee, Melanie Fennel, William Kuyken, John Teasdale, John Peacock, Chris Cullen, Christina Feldman, Vanessa Hope, Judith Solsbury, Sarah Silverton, Trish Bartley, Cindy Cooper, Taravajra, Michael Chaskalson,Vidyamala Burch, Tony Bates, Padraig O’Moran, Eckhart Tolle, Ruby Wax and Sharon Salzburg.
As a qualified and experienced teacher of mindfulness, I adhere to the Good Practice Guidelines for teaching mindfulness-based courses, developed by the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teachers. I am registered with the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Organisations – this the professional register for the whole of the UK. I’m also listed on Bemindful.co.uk
For the past three years I’ve been studying Mindful Self-Compassion and have trained directly with Paul Gilbert, Choden, Chris Germer and Kristen Neff. I am accredited and listed with The Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion.
I am also a qualified yoga teacher with the Yoga Fellowship of Northern Ireland, and I completed a one year course in Yoga Studies at Mangrove Yoga, NSW. I studied reflexology and for a Certificate in Counseling (Level 2) from the Northern Regional College in Newtownabbey.
I have a BSc (Hons) in Communications, Advertising and Marketing (2:1) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) both from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown. I spent almost 20 years working as a communication professional in the public and private sectors (including the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency, easyJet Airlines and the Northern Ireland government’s Executive Information Service), before deciding to pursue full-time mindfulness teaching in Janaury 2014, I had been teaching part-time for several years prior to this. See my professional profile on LinkedIn.
Mindfulness enriches and enhances my life in immeasurable ways and I have met so many wonderful people and friends through the practice – I really enjoy teaching and sharing it with others. I see it as a vocation rather than a job and for that reason I feel really lucky and grateful to have found what I’m to do with ‘my one wild and precious life’!
If you have any questions about my courses or experience please call me on 07981 623 566, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact Me form on this website.