Actress, mental-health campaigner and best-selling author Ruby Wax will lead a humorous and stimulating discussion on the value of mindfulness as part of the Pure Land Series at China Exchange on September 28. Drawing on personal experience, as well as her own academic work on the subject, Ruby will explore the impact of modern life on mental health.
“We are not equipped for this century,” she has said. “It’s too hard, too fast and too full of fear; we just don’t have the bandwidth. Our brains can’t take so much information in a world where we’re bombarded by bad news and force-fed information.”
Ruby’s professional interest in the workings of the mind began when she graduated in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has subsequently gained a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from the University of Oxford and written the bestselling book Sane New World. In 2015, she was appointed a Visiting Professor in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Surrey.
She has also undergone well-documented crises in her own mental health, suffering from depression and anxiety throughout her life. This has led to Wax making an online series on mental-health issues for the BBC and working with mental-health charities. Her efforts were recognised in 2015, when she received an OBE in the Special Honours for Services to Mental Health. Ruby is now involved in a programme to create Frazzled Cafés – walk-in centres where people who are feeling “frazzled” can meet on a regular basis to talk and share their stories in a safe, anonymous and non-judgemental environment – a place where “it’s OK to not be OK”.
At the event, Ruby will also introduce her most recent book – A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled – which includes mindfulness advice for relationships, parents, children and teenagers, and a six-week course based on her studies of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy with Professor Mark Williams at the University of Oxford. Ruby’s humour makes these subjects easily accessible and creates deep impact.
The event will draw to a close her UK tour, which begins in May, taking in a London residency during June and a performance at the Edinburgh Festival in August.
The Pure Land Series at China Exchange invites inspirational speakers and like-minded people to share their visions of a world grounded in compassion, empowerment, spirituality and creativity. The series is hosted by the Pure Land Foundation, supporting charitable endeavours to promote social, spiritual and emotional wellness. It also aims to enrich lives through art and music.