Mindfulness and Meditation. Breathing, Subconscious and Conscious. How do these all link up with a criminal barrister?
On this Monday Night Live, you will find out.
The special guest is Andrew Henley a criminal barrister, which is just one of his considerable talents.
Andrew left school at 16 and joined the army. After his training in Bovington, Dorset he was posted to Northern Ireland in the times of the troubles with the IRA
When Andrew left the army he joined the Surrey police. Frustrated with the leadership he trained in Law at London University.
He qualified as a barrister in criminal law and left the police. Many of his cases are criminal issues around road traffic incidents
A lifelong learner he studied meditation in the Himalayas and teaches these skills in hospitals to nurses and patients alike.
Tonight is going to be a fascinating session with so many takeaways:-
Mindfulness and Meditation
Here are some summaries of Andrew’s replies to Derek Arden’s questions:-
“When I came out of Northern Ireland in the late 1970s, post-traumatic stress was not yet recognized as a condition. It’s clear that I was suffering from it.
To cope, I got on my motorcycle and rode for about eight months, trying to clear my head.
Eventually, I turned to meditation as a way to heal.
Through my practice, I became curious about the psychology behind meditation and how it overlapped with the law. As a criminal lawyer, I have always had an interest in psychology. By studying Eastern mysticism and Western psychology, I was able to understand how they intersected and how they could benefit me as a lawyer.
This helped me understand people’s motivations and how they were affected by the psychological and emotional stresses of the legal system.”
Learning Meditation From East
“If you’re interested in meditation, particularly the mystical system, it’s important to understand that it’s not a traditional academic course with a set curriculum.
The mystical system provides general direction and guidance, but it’s not specific.
It’s more like exploring a landscape where you’re given a general direction, but you must discover and explore it for yourself. It’s an internal journey, where you’re not sure where you’re going, but you know the general direction.
After 20 years of practising, I realized that I needed more structured instruction. I wanted to learn from the masters of the Eastern system, instead of relying on second or third-hand teachings from the West.”
Finding The Decision Makers
“Being present in mindfulness is crucial, and it’s different for me when I’m in court. I focus on allowing my mind to be completely still, engaging in listening without thinking, and allowing my subconscious to process information.
By doing this, I can intuitively identify the decision-makers in the jury and communicate with them effectively.
It’s important to respect all members of the jury, but by understanding the decision makers, I can tailor my communication and influence their decision.”
Meditation For Patients With Cancer
“I have been volunteering at a cancer ward where there is a group of alternative therapists.
I go in once a week and run meditation sessions for the patients and stressed staff.
By using the techniques I learned from Eastern mysticism, I aim to change the energy in the room and bring patients to a deeper state of relaxation.”
Negotiations in Court
“When it comes to negotiation in court, it’s important to understand the role of the judge and jury.
The judge’s role is to ensure a fair trial, and the jury is responsible for making decisions on the facts of the case.
The judge’s summation of the case can be influential, but most judges are fair and reasonable.
As a lawyer, it’s important to adjust your approach depending on who you are communicating with, whether it’s the judge, the jury, or a witness.
This includes using logic and specific language when speaking to the judge and using intuition and a different approach when speaking to the jury.
It’s also important to be consistent and authentic, as the jury is constantly observing, including your body language.
By being aware of how the jury is thinking and assessing you, you can have a greater influence over their decisions.”
Training For Police in Court
“Empathizing and understanding the different perspectives of the people in court is crucial. When it comes to police officers giving evidence, I use my past experience as a police instructor to train them on how to give evidence in court.
I help them realize that their skill set as a detective is similar to that of a lawyer, and by role-playing as a lawyer in cross-examination, they learn that they are just as capable as a lawyer in giving evidence.
This helps to boost their self-esteem and confidence, and they are better prepared for cross-examination.
I enjoy supporting police officers and helping them to be better at their job.”
Identifying The Issues
“For police officers giving evidence, the key is to understand the issue in the case, which is usually straightforward. For example, in a self-defence case, the issue would be self-defence.
By identifying the issue, police officers can predict the questions they will be asked and prepare accordingly.
Through training, police officers realize that the questioning they do in the police station is similar to what lawyers do in court and that by understanding the defence case and the questions of law, they can predict the areas of questioning.
It takes time to get across, but by putting the pieces of the puzzle together, it becomes clear.”
Meditation and Breathing
“Exercising pranayama, the Science of Breath can be dangerous if it’s not done correctly.
Instead of pausing the breathing, the key is to simply observe and witness the flow of breath.
The purpose is to calm the mind, not to do complicated things.
In preparation for meditation, don’t get too caught up in the details, just focus on observing and allowing the breath to calm the mind.
With practice, eventually, you’ll be able to calm the mind without the need for breath control.”