Mindfulness is a translation of a word that simply means awareness. It’s direct, intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it. It’s knowing what’s going on inside your mind and body, and what’s going on in the outside world as well. Most of the time our attention is not where we intend it to be. Our attention is hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our concerns and desires, by our hopes or worries for the future, and our memories and regrets from the past. Mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgement. It’s like training a muscle – training attention to be where you want it to be.
You’ll need to wear something that’s not too tight, so that you can move and breathe comfortably. We practice breathing meditation, sitting, walking, gentle mindful movement, and a body-scan which is usually practised lying down. We will provide mats, cushions, and blankets for everyone. If you prefer to use your own equipment, that’s fine. At all times you’ll be encouraged to select whatever position is best for you (so if you feel uncomfortable lying down, for example, you may want to sit in a chair for the body-scan).
MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, in the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It applies insight meditation techniques, which have a Buddhist psychological framework in a secular format. MBCT for recurrent depression was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. MBCT for recurrent depression represents an evolutionary development of MBSR within a cognitive scientific theoretical framework.
The MBSR programme has an 8-week format. There is a weekly class of two hours and participants encouraged to do some daily practice. There is also an optional day of mindful practice towards the end of the course.
People who have completed the course say that what they have learned has helped in various ways, sometimes finding new responses to symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, physical illness and pain. There are also some reports of increased energy, self-esteem and confidence, as well as improvements in relationships with others. Whilst we can’t make any promises, as the benefits are determined by many factors, attending weekly, practising daily and keeping an open mind can bring about some interesting developments!
No, however the MBSR can be adapted for a variety of needs based on the psychological understanding of specific groups of participants. It can also be adapted for groups with a wide range of reasons for learning mindfulness skills. Our MBSR courses can be useful for individuals suffering from recurrent depression who find that the stress of their lives is creating chronic unhappiness, exhaustion, anxiety and burn-out. Furthermore, the MBSR is suitable to people who wish to develop a mindfulness practice to enhance their lives in a variety of ways.
MBSR was originally developed and used with a range of people who had chronic pain and stress. Both MBSR and MBCT have since been adapted for specific kinds of psychological challenges. No studies have been performed comparing the effectiveness of MBSR and MBCT for different groups of people.
People like you! Participants on our courses are drawn from all walks of life, adults who have identified a need to learn a more mindful approach. Many people are looking for new ways of responding to difficulties such as anxiety, pain and illness and stressors such as work, family or relationships, or maybe a wish to become a more mindful professional, manager or parent. What brings you here is less important than your commitment to practice and learn. Our shared “humanness” and the differing perspectives and experience in the group usually prove to be a significant source of support and learning.
There are several options available:
Via Eventbrite - Bookings are normally available on Eventbrite. If you use this option, we will contact you with some associated paperwork (for 4-week course and MBSR programme). We will also request a very belief chat, in advance of commencing a programme or course, to ensure its suitability and to complete a health questionnaire. This aligns to the UK Mindfulness Teachers Good Practice Guidelines.
Book Direct - Alternatively, you have the option of booking directly with us.
For the 8-week MBSR programme and 4-week Mindfulness for Beginners course, you will need to print, complete, sign and return an application form together with a £50 deposit (payable by BACS transfer or cheque). Alternatively, if you wish we can post a form to you. We will also request a very belief chat, in advance of the course, to ensure its suitability and to complete a health questionnaire. This aligns to the UK Mindfulness Teachers Good Practice Guidelines.
Contact us ~ firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions at all, we’d be delighted to hear from you.
Yes, our permanent and associate teachers are qualified to a required standard. Supervision from an experienced MBSR teacher is required to maintain standards of teaching and to support MBSR’S teachers’ professional development. Please look at the The Mindfulness Network website for further information, the supervisor and teachers adhere to the UK Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness-Based Teachers, i.e. they are suitably trained, committed to continuous professional development, hold appropriate insurance and are receiving supervision for their teaching.