Hi, I’m Vidyamala. My work as a mindfulness and compassion teacher, speaker and author over the past 25+ years has been dedicated to helping people who struggle with pain, illness or stress live fuller and more meaningful lives.
Today, I am lucky to have a rich and happy life, but the journey has been long, slow and at times very tough. At age 17, I sustained spinal injuries that required multiple surgeries and left me with a complex back condition, chronic pain and partial paraplegia. After experiencing despondency, anger and hopelessness, I discovered mindfulness as a way to ease the mental torment associated with the physical pain. Soon I was meditating everyday, and the results were truly life changing and transformative. I’ve spent the subsequent years exploring my mind with all the depth and commitment I can manage. As a Kiwi, I’m a born nature lover and mountaineer; I like to imagine that I have now become a mountaineer of the inner world, where the peaks are infinite and the vistas awe-inspiring.
Through Breathworks, my mission has been to spread the knowledge and tools that have helped me in order to reach more people who are facing health challenges. I developed the first Mindfulness-based Pain Management Programme (MBPM) in 2001, and went on to write Living Well with Pain and Illness (2008) and Mindfulness for Health (2013). My most recent book Mindfulness for Women (2016) is an accessible guide to the benefits of mindfulness and finding time to 'be'.
My name, given to me at the time of my ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1995, means ‘Garland of Wisdom’. This is something I continue to aspire to. Alongside passing on the knowledge of mindfulness and compassion, my goal has been to make these teachings accessible to everyone, so that more people can benefit from experiencing a more meaningful life, whatever the circumstances.
I actively host retreats and events, and you can meditate with me in your own time through my recordings, or teachings on meditation apps:
For speaking opportunities or press interviews please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Named one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK by The Shaw Trust’s Power List in 2019 and 2020.
Awarded an honorary membership from The British Pain Society for outstanding contribution to the field of pain management in 2018.
Mindfulness for Health (2013) was awarded first prize in Popular Medicine by the British Medical Association Books Awards and named the best self-help book in its category by health professionals in the UK’s Reading Well Scheme.
Winner of the Millennium Commission Grant (2000) to develop a project to benefit the community in the new millennium (this developed into Breathworks)