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Dharma Hermit
Meditation Teacher 
Permaculturist & Organic Grower

 

About Me

My name is Hosshin Ananda (formerly known as Leon Moore) and I am the director of the not for profit social enterprise Heartmind. I am a trained yoga and mindfulness teacher and have through Heartmind since 2008 run yoga classes, mindfulness courses, weekly meditation classes and retreats in Derbyshire, both with the general public and with various organisations, successfully training over 1500 people in my 'Heartfulness for Well Being' meditation and healthy living course. As a result, I was incredibly honoured in 2014 to be invited to develop and lead what became a 3 year project to introduce mindfulness and compassion practices to staff working for Derbyshire Police Constabulary, which at the time was probably a national first in the field of mindfulness in the UK. I also have a passion for growing food and studied a City & Guilds in Organic Horticulture at Broomfield Agricultural College between 2000-2, whilst also independently studying to become a Permaculture Designer. In 2010 I decided to study Sustainable Development at degree level because of my concern for the way human society is rapidly developing, I believe in the wrong direction, on this beautiful Earth. I am now in a new phase of life, where I have chosen to live full time as a 'dharma hermit' for want of a better term. This new path is so I can focus more on my own spiritual practice of heartfulness meditation and set up Heartmind Retreat, not only as a home and spiritual sanctuary for myself, but as a micro-living project that builds on my previous experiences to demonstrate, and thus inspire, a way forwards for others to embrace similar endeavours in their own lives. As Mahatma Gandhi once said;

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"

I have spent most of my working life since 1987 aged nineteen, serving people in the NHS and Social Services, initially training as a nurse for people with learning difficulties (RNMH) and then moving on to work in mental health and drug services, specialising in Relapse Prevention using Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation, before leaving the NHS in 2009. During that time I had a long standing personal interest in studying spiritual and philosophical traditions of the world, especially Eastern traditions, which started after an awakening to the spiritual life through a series of psychic experiences and some old cassette tape recordings of Ram Dass, just as I was about to start my training to become a nurse in 1988. When an opportunity arose in 2005 in-between work and family commitments, having already established a personal practice of yoga and meditation over the intervening seventeen years, I decided to train as a Yoga Teacher at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India, so that I could start to share the benefits of this ancient system with others. It was actually while on a month long journey across Southern India in 2003 a few years before my yoga teacher training, that I had another life changing moment of realisation about the interconnected nature of the heart, the third eye and the field of consciousness that in yoga is called Brahma. It was out of this experience that I later decided in 2008 to set up a social enterprise and call it Heartmind, dedicated to sharing the wisdom gift of this insight and helping others to experience its grace in their own life. I will write more about this insight and the wonderful synchronous events that happen in our lives in a future blog post.

After my training and practice of meditation in the yoga system, I developed a deeper interested in mindfulness meditation through my study of the Buddhist teachings. Seeing the therapeutic potential of this form of meditation in a healthcare setting lead me to do a Mindfulness Teacher Training (MBCT) course at Bangor University in 2006, in the early days when mindfulness as a therapy was just taking off in the UK. Having done both yoga and mindfulness training and working within relapse prevention, I started to integrate these approaches with relapse prevention theory and began running combined sessions within the NHS for people in recovery from substance misuse. This approach was really effective, but sadly changes in NHS management brought them to a stop, so I decided to leave the NHS. After leaving the NHS to do degree studies at UHI in Sustainable Development, I went on to study Buddhist Chaplaincy with the Buddhist Society in 2013 and was honoured to be asked to act as a chaplain to the Mayor of Chesterfield in that same year. After this, I decided in 2014 I was ready to make a more formal commitment to Buddhism, so found a sangha that met my needs with respect to my life commitments and that I felt drawn to because of its progressive approach. I then began the process of taking refuge and embracing the dharma name I was given, Hosshin Ananda, which I continue to live by today for its aspirational meaning and spiritual gift in my life. However, after being involved in the sangha for about a year, and some months after taking refuge, I discovered quite significant corruption taking place by the main teacher of the sangha, that I had been unaware of when I initially joined. So I left immediately, challenged the teacher about his behaviour and in the process of leaving ended up making other sangha members aware of the spiritual damage he was doing through his corruption. This resulted in the organisation effectively disbanding. It was for me both a sad experience and a great lesson that I will write more about in a future blog, as it provides so much spiritually to learn from, as I have personally found. After this, I continued to follow the Buddhist path independent of any sangha as a lay practitioner, sharing the benefits of my practice within my own community of 'friends' in my mindfulness groups. Although I am still deeply inspired and guided by the Buddhist teachings and many of the great teachers, especially those of the Zen, Chan and Pure Land traditions, I find the path I walk today, and share with others, is perhaps more one of a 'universal' sense of spirituality, neither for nor against any religious doctrine or tradition, but honour more simply a path of living in dharma arising from a good heart, which is what heartfulness is all about. There are some good articles on my blog page by other authors that explain more about heartfulness as a non-denominational or omniest approach to life.

 

In September 2019, I set out to pursue a long term heartfelt dream of living closer to nature, having been inspired by the lives of Aldo Leopold and Zen Master Ryokan, and was guided to find my new home in a derelict old cabin in the woods of Glendaruel. I moved here in March 2020 ironically on the day that 'lockdowns' started in the UK to enter into a life of permanent spiritual retreat to follow the path of a hermit in pursuit of my own deeper practice of meditation. The synchronous timing of which still amazes and delights me to this day. In this sense of living in retreat, I try to limit my interactions with the wider world, going out only for food shopping and offering only a few Living A More Heartful Life sessions online each week to 'friends' of Heartmind, as a way of continuing to help others and as a means of financially supporting my life in retreat. I also try to inspire others to live a more simple, sustainable and spiritual life in harmony with nature through occasional social media content and intend to offer short private retreats here in future for good hearted spiritual 'friends' (a concept I greatly admire from Buddhism) who support the aims of Heartmind.

 

In essence, I try to promote the benefits of a compassionate heart based approach to living that draws upon the centuries old wisdom teachings from many spiritual traditions, as well as the latest science research into fields of mindfulness, neuroscience, consciousness and the emerging understanding of the central governing role of the heart in experiencing human happiness. I also deeply care about the state of the natural world and how looking after the earth, living in harmony with it, is an essential part of promoting this goal of human happiness.

"The rain has stopped, the clouds have drifted away,
and the weather is clear again.
If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,
Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way."

Zen Master Ryokan

Hosshin Ananda
Hosshin with Lila
Heartmind Retreat at Cliff College
Heartmind Retreat at Cliff College
Meditation in Nature
Hosshin in India 2003
Hosshin in India 2003
Hosshin - Yoga Practice