Here are some key quotes:
"...got me a place on a six-week, NHS-funded MBCT course at the Maudsley hospital in south London. And – there is no less cliched way of saying it – that course, and the meditation practice I've done every single day since, changed my life.
I drove off shopping one morning and, only yards down the road, was overwhelmed with panic. My husband had to come and rescue me. I tried to shake it off but it happened again and again – once, scarily, causing a minor prang on a country road...
I was also beginning to remember why I'd resisted the idea of meditation for so many years: it was difficult, dull and uncomfortable. What was the point?
Quite how this changed – but change it did, and profoundly so – is hard to say. Somehow, somewhere, across those six weeks, something happened inside me – in my head? my body? my soul? – and I began to understand. Sitting still became a boon and a comfort, even a luxury, rather than a threat or an irritation. And the present moment, right here, right now, began to seem a very comfortable (and comforting) place to be, bereft of dread and full of the possibility of peace and calm.
I could see that they were simply that: thoughts. I did not have to judge them, act on them or indeed do anything very much about them. Sometimes they were interesting, sometimes less so, but they were no more than "events" that arose in the mind and then dispersed again. They did not, as I'd previously imagined, have the power to undo me. Only someone who has suffered from chronic, debilitating anxiety will understand quite how exhilarating this realisation felt. I had made peace with the workings of my mind. I was no longer afraid of myself.
It didn't feel as if I had done much to make this happen, apart from turning up and being prepared to sit there. But that, of course, was everything. Still, it felt oddly effortless, as if something in my head had been subtly rerouted. And it turned out that there was far more space in there than I'd ever realised. Like finding a whole new room in your home that you never knew existed (imagine the excitement), I could wander around my mind and luxuriate in the boundless space.
As our teachers memorably told us, there is no such thing as a "bad" meditation, apart from the one you don't do. Mindfulness is not about trying to change things, but accepting them as they are, non-judgmentally, with as much kindness and gentleness as possible."