A BUDDHIST monk and author who has taught mindfulness to some of the biggest stars in Hollywood visited Taunton this week.

Gelong Thubten has taught about mindfulness and meditation internationally at workplaces such as Google, Deloitte, hospitals, schools and universities.

He was also the 'meditation consultant' on the set of Marvel's movie, where he trained Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in meditation techniques while they were filming.

Gelong Thubten was in Taunton on Sunday, teaching a workshop on mindfulness and meditation at The Sangha House in Taunton.

His new book 'A Monk's Guide To Happiness' has reached number three of the Amazon bestsellers list.

"I am very pleased and pleasantly surprised by how the well book has been doing," Gelong Thubten said.

"I have been teaching in this field of mindfulness for 20 years and it is great to see that it is becoming a global movement.

"It is encouraging that people are turning to these techniques and discovering how effective they can be."

Thubten says that with the strains of modern society is more important than ever to take time to relax.

"Everyone could do with taking some time out each day for themselves; some time out for the mind.

"We will go for walks, exercise and eat healthy food for our body, but we ought to do something for our minds as well - now more than ever as we are living in such a fast-paced society.

"In my book I try to break in down in simple techniques that can help, whether its five or 10 minutes.

"This is my second time in Taunton and it is lovely, the people at Sangha House have been very welcoming.

"There has been a real openness and people are keen to find out about mindfulness and meditation."

Thubten was educated at Oxford University, before becoming an actor, but at the age of 21, huge amounts of stress led him to join a monastery.

He ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1993 at Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, and has spent six years in intensive meditation retreats.

Thubten collaborated with Ruby Wax and Ash Ranpura on the best-selling book “How to be Human”.

'A Monk's Guide To Happiness' was published in June 2019 by Hodder & Staughton and is available now.

The Sangha House is a mindfulness-based holistic health centre based at Mitre House in Tower Street.

To find out more visit thesanghahouse.co.uk.