A variety of mindfulness courses, workshops and retreats are offered to the general public.
If you are new to mindfulness or your time is limited, the Introduction to Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World course is an ideal place to begin. It is based on the renowned Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course and teaches the core skills with shorter meditation practices, making it more accessible for busy people. It offers simple yet powerful practices that can be more readily incorporated into your daily life. Home practice is an important part of mindfulness courses. It can be challenging to make time for home practice in our lives, however many people find learning mindfulness within a group is supportive in establishing and maintaining a regular practice.
Please note that this is a skills based course and is not therapy. It is not suitable for individuals who have significant mental health difficulties, who are currently suicidal or who have substance abuse issues. If you have had a recent bereavement it may not be the best time to embark on this course, but please do make contact to discuss this further.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course – MBSR
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an internationally recognised 8-week programme developed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, and later adapted by Mark Williams to form the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme for people with depression.
The MBSR course is a practical and experiential introduction to a variety of mindfulness meditation practices and exercises. Sessions consist of guided meditation practices, presentation of weekly themes (e.g. the stress reaction, self-care), and group discussion. The benefits of the MBSR course are largely dependent on participant’s commitment to engaging in daily home meditation practice. Participants are supported in their home practice with guided meditation CDs in addition to discussion during classes.
” Excellent course, life enhancing if not life changing ” – AnitaB
What does the course include?
- 8 x 2.15 hour weekly classes
- Day of mindfulness practice
- An orientation to ensure this is the right time for you to engage in MBSR
- Course materials – 2 guided meditation CDs and a workbook
- Yoga mats are provided though you are welcome to bring your own
- To fully benefit from MBSR participants need to engage in daily home practice.
“I really enjoyed the course, even the parts I struggled with as they helped me to understand myself better and be kinder towards myself and others” – AnnC.
What skills will I learn on the course?
- Awareness of the nature of the mind;
- A new way of being with experience;
- How to re-connect with yourself and the present moment;
- How to savor life more;
- Acceptance of yourself as you are;
- Cultivation of kindness, patience and acceptance;
- How to respond to stress rather than react out of habit.
“Excellent course and great facilitator; I would recommend the course to others as I found it very beneficial” – JonathanW.
Feedback from previous MBSR participants:
- More awareness of myself and reactions to situations
- Better understanding and acceptance of myself
- More aware and accepting of thoughts and emotions
- Feeling calmer and happier
- Enhanced ability to deal with stressful situations
- New more positive focus in life.
“Helen has an aura of calmness. She was a confident teacher and put everyone at ease. She personifies what mindfulness is about” – MarieH.
Background of MBSR
Mindfulness practice originated within Buddhism over 2,500 years ago as a way to reduce self induced suffering caused by the habitual ways we tend to react to our experience – i.e. how we attempt to cling to “pleasant” experiences and avoid or resist “unpleasant” experiences.
In the late 1970s, Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn based at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, developed an 8-week structured mindfulness skills training programme accessible to everyone, regardless of their belief system. This programme came to be known as MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). It is currently being used in a wide range of contexts including communities, hospitals, prisons, education, and businesses.
MBSR was later adapted by Segal, Williams and Teasdale (2002) to form Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as a way to prevent relapse in recurrent depression. Like MBSR, MBCT is structured into 8 weekly sessions that teach a range of meditation practices and exercises. The main difference between the two programmes is that MBCT includes a cognitive therapy component with a focus on supporting individuals with depression.
Research on the Effectiveness of MBSR & MBCT
Information about the research on the effectiveness of MBSR and MBCT can be found on the following websites:
These 2 hour workshops are primarily experiential and provide an introduction to a variety of mindfulness meditation practices, including the body scan, short sitting practices and mindful movement. They are ideal for individuals who are curious about mindfulness and would like a taste of the 8-week MBSR course.
Mindfulness Practice Days (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
The mindfulness practice days are for individuals who have completed an 8-week mindfulness course. The day takes place in silence which affords an opportunity to deepen your meditation practice. Guided meditations include the body scan, gentle movement, sitting practices, mindful self-compassion and mindful eating.
What is included: guided practices, tea & coffee, use of yoga mats
What to bring: Lunch to share. Please bring your own meditation cushion, blanket and yoga mat if desired.