Penny Nicholas

Penny Nicholas

I attended my first MBSR course in 2009 and knew that I had struck gold. Since 2010, I have worked as an instructor to create a network of people who use mindfulness in their daily life, both professionally and personally. I work in the private sector. With the MBSR course at the core of what I provide, I also offer 1-1 coaching, introductory days, support groups and retreat days.

Much of my time and energy is spent developing a secular sangha, which I see as a crucial development if mindfulness is really going to flourish in Britain in the coming decade. The pillars of the group are interconnectedness and common humanity, held together with kindness and care. To provide a space where folk of any age, any faith or no-faith, with different life experiences can gather together to refresh and inspire their practice gives me huge pleasure.

I started my career as a dietitian and then went on to be a life coach, focusing mainly on parenting skills and confidence building. My understanding, practice and delivery of mindfulness is at the heart of all areas of my work.


  • Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living (MBCL) – Frans Koster and Erik van den Brink in England March – 2017
  • Teacher Training Retreat 2 – Bangor University – Triche Bartley and Cindy Cooper – 2013
  • Supervision Training with Exeter University – Alison Evans – 2012
  • Teacher Training Retreat 1 – Bangor University – 2009
  • Life Coaching Diploma – 2002
  • Qualified as a Dietitian – Leeds – 1988
  • BSc Human Biology Kings College, London – 1986

Teaching Training Specialisms

  • MBSR
  • MBCL

Supervision Experience

Since 2012, I have offered supervision sessions to instructors working with MBSR. It has been a privilege working in this way and is an important aspect of my work. I have supported people along the Bangor and Exeter supervised pathways.

I particularly enjoy seeing instructors creating their own way of working with this material while also staying true to the curriculum. In life we rarely get the opportunity to be listened to and the framework of inquiry enables supervision to be a time that is fruitful and inspiring. Sometimes when I finish a session I am not sure who has been most touched by the session me or my supervisee. Supervision is a time to honour all the time, effort and dedication that instructors are putting into their delivery of this life enhancing material.

Supervision Specialisms

  • MBSR

Personal Practice

My personal practice is an ongoing challenge. I have a regular daily formal practice although the time dedicated to practice varies. A helpful tip I received a few years ago was to go to the cushion each day at a regular time even if the time to sit was only a few minutes. Yoga and mindful walking in the woods are also a key time of formal practice for me. Over the last 10 years my informal practice has flourished.

There is no doubt that my commitment to practice is strengthened through my supervision sessions, through the books, stories and poems that I read, the YouTube videos that I listen to and the retreats that I attend. However, the most powerful inspiration comes from all the people that I am fortunate enough to work alongside.

Research Activities and Interests

  • Development of a secular sangha
  • Working with people with chronic fatigue and other chronic health conditions.
  • Working with young people in their early 20’s.
  • One day I hope to draw together a booklet so I spend writing when I get the opportunity.