thank you

Thanks a million to Pete McCormick and Mrs Sheree McC, who a doing their second fundraising event for the Peace of Mind Project: running the Angelsey 'Ring O Fire': you can sponsor them here and leave messages of support. Good luck Pete and Sheree, and thank you!!

A huge thank you A huge thank you to Vicky Cropper and First Great Western trains for very kindly giving the London Meditation Project train travel sponsorship for veterans, Service personnel and Peace of Mind Project team members to participate in 'Peace of Mind Project' events for military veterans and Service personnel.

First Great Western supported our first residential meditation retreat for veterans and Service personnel in December 2014, and in 2011, they supported us to lead a meditation course for combat veterans in Cornwall. The London Meditation Project connected with veterans' charity Surf Action to set up some meditation training in the mornings with a group of veterans from Surf Action and a Cornwall-based veterans PTSD group, and then off for a the fantastic Surf Action 'beach clinic', walking or surfing on Gwithian Beach in the afternoons - beautiful!

A set of sleeper train tickets made it possible for Catherine to arrive well-slept and bright-eyed on a Friday morning in Penzance, to lead a meditation session with this brilliant group of veterans, and to travel back to London again Friday night. These guys have been amazing - It has been a joy and a privilege to work with them. They have been an extremely impressive group - open-minded and courageously willing to give meditation a try - they just kept on turning up, relaxing more, being themselves, bringing trust and openness, and thinking differently about things - an inspiration. I have huge respect for them all. See some of their testimonials below...

Every week as I walked along platform 1 at Paddington station, it was a poignant reminder to see the statue of the soldier reading his letters from home: the monument honouring the men and women of the Great Western Railways who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Sincere thanks to First Great Western for generously supporting the well-being of British combat veterans in current times too.

Thank you to Surf Action for the invite, practical support for running the meditation sessions, and some great surfing lessons - that was amazing, loved it! Thank you also to the brilliant sleeper train staff for that friendly wake up call with a cup of tea early in the mornings - what a wonderful way to travel.

read veterans' testimonials from Cornwall meditation course

War Memorial Paddington Station

Combat veteran, participant of Peace of Mind meditation course and day retreat, 2011
After being diagnosed with PTSD four and a half years ago I was sent away by the NHS and told there was a three year waiting list for any treatment. I was not able to sleep, and having frequent flashbacks. I have been struggling to function in normal society for all this time. I have seen counsellors and doctors and been given all sorts of medication, which have never stopped the flashbacks or helped with sleep. In the day when the flashbacks happen I can usually ground myself and get back to reality, but at night when I fall asleep I cannot manage to do this. For this reason I only manage 3 hours sleep throughout the night and it has been like this for me since 2006. This year I was given access to Surf Action by my mental health team and they were about to run a meditation group with the London Meditation Project's 'Peace of Mind' project for military veterans. I was asked if I would like to try it. After all the counselling and EMDR therapy, I was willing to try anything that may make a difference to my sleep pattern and the flashbacks, so I started meditation sessions about five weeks ago, for two hours at a time. I found this started to have a positive effect on my behaviour and my sleep patterns. I felt safe within the group and found that I was able to relax at the time of the meditation. This was something that I started to try at home and found that I was relaxing more and having fewer flashbacks at nights. After all the other therapies I have tried this is by far the best therapy for me so far. It has not been a cure but has definitely had a positive impact on my PTSD.

Combat veteran, participant of Peace of Mind meditation course, 2011
The methods I have learnt from attending the meditation group have taught me a safe way to try and find peace. Being safe is most important and being able to talk about what I felt at the time, and being able to find peace and quiet even though at times I found it difficult to let go of my thoughts and be present in the moment. The grounding techniques were important. I enjoy the sessions and found the starting, middle and the end pleasurable. I found I could communicate slightly better, I was relaxed at the end, and yes energised, for a short while away from the real world and at peace with myself. I would like the sessions to be longer as I do find it difficult to unwind totally. I would like to thank Catherine for her devotion, trust and energy to help, guide and reassure us.

Combat veteran, participant of Peace of Mind meditation course, 2011
I think meditation can help me and other veterans with relaxation and reconnection with myself. The teaching is very clear with good feedback. It is important to me to be with others in an environment of trust and openness, with the opportunity to share with others. The meditation is teaching me to relax and let go of the emotional drag of life. At the end of the session I feel more relaxed and composed. I would definitely recommend meditation to other veterans. I think a structured residential meditation retreat would be great.

Veteran, Northern Ireland
It is good - it helps me with all the things I have been bottling up for years on end. I feel it is helping a lot and I feel a little bit better after each session. We should learn it from day one to help with the PTSD.

Veteran, Iraq and Afghanistan
I think meditation could help me and other combat veterans with managing memories and triggers, and with sleep and relaxation. I have found the meditation teaching very clear and the most important thing about the sessions is the relaxation and calmness. I found the meditation useful, relaxing, and it was good to have other thoughts.

Veteran, Northern Ireland
Meditation can help you relax and come to terms with yourself. All the parts of the session are helpful in their own part - quiet time, learning new relaxation and meditation skills, open discussion, and being together in an atmosphere of trust. I am enjoying the practices and I would definitely recommend this to other veterans.

Thank you very much to Kate Levy and Shambhala publications for sending us a box of copies of 'At Hell's Gate' to give to UK veterans. This book is a great gift to veterans and civilians from Vietnam war veteran, Zen Buddhist monk and advocate of Non-Violence, Claude AnShin Thomas. And thank you to Claude AnShin Thomas for making a special visit to our Peace of Mind project to meet UK veterans and Service-people in July 2011.

Lottery Funded

Thank you to our sponsors the Big Lottery

Catherine's sponsored swim

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored Catherine's 108km swim to fundraise for the Peace of Mind project for meditation for veterans and service-people - still a way to swim - sponsor her here!


London Meditation Project Gwithian Beach Great Western Sleeper Train Cowslips War Memorial Paddington Station At Hell's Gate