From Bidushi to Inhere: London’s meditation studio
I started Bidushi in 2013 when I was looking around for cures for depression. Although I have not suffered from clinical depression, among my close circle many have. At the time I was practicing meditation fairly regularly, so I wondered if there is any evidence to suggest that meditation might help depression. This way, instead of saying “you may want to try meditation” based on a hunch that it could help, I would be able to point to evidence. I just wanted them to get better.
This is how I came upon the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, their Mindfulness-Based-Cognitive-Therapy, and the research suggesting it is as effective as anti-depressant pills for recurrent depression. This started an investigation into the research on all the effects of meditation that was then proliferating across leading institutions of the world, from Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, to Stanford University ‘s Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, to UCLA’s “The Mindful Awareness Research Center“.
I was interested, and I felt others would be too; finally, some evidence base behind an age-old practice. This is why, as I read scores of scientific papers, I decided to write summaries of their findings in accessible language – to share what I was learning.
Since 2013 my practice and understanding has deepened, although I know I’m still scratching the surface. Since 2013 mindfulness has entered common vocabulary, inspired an All Party Parliamentary Group and has become a multi-million dollar industry. The one thing that hasn’t happened since 2013 is the appearance of places to practice meditation where people need it most – in the middle of the city.
This is why last week on Mental Health Awareness week, we opened the doors to London’s first teacher-free meditation studio, Inhere, right in the heart of the City of London. Inhere offers a beautiful, quiet space to just be, even for just 5 minutes. Currently offers meditation sessions lasting 20, 30 and even 5 minutes, it is an intimate studio with 9 seats that has been designed to give a sense of leaving the city behind, and to feel a sense of privacy. There are no teachers – only soothing soundscapes, gentle lighting and simple to follow audio guidance. I wanted to take away any barriers that might stand in the way of a city professional dropping in to clear their head.
Inhere was born because there is still a lack of places to go and practice even a few minutes of meditation in the middle of the city, unless you are happy to go into a temple, listen to an app on the road, or sit in the office with a mindfulness coach. It is a first release, a gentle introduction.
I hope it helps many enjoy the benefits of regular meditation – from simply relaxing and relieving stress, to getting a deeper understanding of our own minds.