Food and eating can be a source of great joy, but it can also be a source of great suffering and struggle. This retreat is based on a combination of the principles of Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating and also draws on techniques from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy that enable us to become aware of - and manage - the sometimes destructive patterns and habits around food, eating and our bodies. The focus is on creating a healthy relationship with food, using a non-judgemental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us when, what and how much we eat, also examining our rules around food. We will look at how to deal with cravings and urges through the development of mindfulness skills. Through a process of enquiry, we will explore the emotional triggers that often lead us to overeating and binge eating, and how these may be understood and effectively dealt with. Using mindfulness and examining our conditioning around food, we will gain an awareness of our habitual behaviour and begin a process towards a joyful and peaceful relationship with food and our body. This retreat will also help us to explore the habits and thoughts we have developed (often mindlessly) around other areas in our lives.
Richard-John Chippindall had an academic career in Microbiology until attending Louis van Loon’s retreat in the 1990’s. This introduction to Buddhist philosophy inspired him to study clinical psychology. After qualifying, he spent eleven years working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London where he gained extensive experience in providing mindfulness-based interventions to patients with emotional and psychological difficulties, as well as chronic health problems. He is now in private practice in Johannesburg.