Mindfulness Courses

Finding Peace in a Frantic World

The Finding Peace mindfulness course is based on the book Mindfulness – Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams and Danny Penman. The course was informed by the renowned, evidence based Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme, developed by Professor Mark Williams at Oxford University, along with his colleagues.

The Finding Peace course takes place over eight consecutive weeks and introduces participants to a variety of mindfulness practices that can be readily incorporated into daily life. Through practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, participants learn to develop more awareness of both the internal and external world. Building on this awareness throughout the course, participants will learn how to respond rather than react to difficulty, and how to cultivate more compassion towards themselves and others.

This course is distilled into shorter classes of 90 minutes duration to make it more accessible for everyone. The course offers participants simple yet powerful practices that can be readily incorporated into daily life.

In the first half of the programme, the emphasis is on learning to pay open attention to different aspects of the internal and external world through various mindfulness practices (e.g. the body scan meditation, sitting meditation, and gentle movement). The second half of the programme builds on this work, giving you practical ways to see thoughts as mental events and helping you to cultivate an attitude of acceptance and compassion towards yourself and others.

What is included?

  • Pre course orientation phone call
  • 8 x 90 minute classes
  • Course materials

I found the Finding Peace mindfulness course very beneficial and I would recommend it to others. Jonathan

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

The MBSR programmme offers a practical and experiential introduction to a variety of guided mindfulness meditation practices including body awareness, sitting meditations and gentle mindful movement. Each class explores a different theme, such as how we experience stress in our lives and how mindfulness can support us to respond to it.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme, known as MBSR was designed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. It is an internationally recognised, evidence based 8-week programme, suitable for beginners to mindfulness as well as for individuals with prior meditation experience.

In order to benefit fully from the course, a commitment to attend all eight classes and engage in daily home meditation practice of 30-40 minutes is required. Home practice is an important part of all mindfulness courses. The benefits of mindfulness can only be gained through regular practice. While it can be challenging to find time to practice within our busy lives, a supportive environment will be provided within classes to assist participants to develop a mindfulness practice.

Please note that MBSR and Finding Peace in a Frantic World (see below) are skills based programmes delivered in groups, however they do not constitute group therapy and therefore personal issues are not explored. These programmes are not suitable for individuals who are actively suicidal or who have significant mental health difficulties or substance abuse issues. As MBSR can be an intense experience, it may not be suitable for individuals who are recently bereaved or who have experienced recent traumatic events.

What is included on MBSR Course?

  • 8 x 2 hour weekly classes
  • A day of mindfulness practice (held on a Sunday between week 6 and 7)
  • An orientation phone call prior to the course
  • Course materials

Excellent facilitator and course – life enhancing if not life changing. Anita

What skills will I learn on the course?

  • Increased awareness of the nature of the mind
  • Learn a new way of being with experience
  • How to re-connect with yourself and with the present moment
  • How to disentangle from critical thought patterns
  • How to savor life more
  • Cultivation of kindness, patience and self acceptance
  • How to respond to stress/difficulty rather than react habitually.

I really enjoyed the MBSR course, even the parts I struggled with as they helped me to understand myself better and be kinder towards myself and others. Anne

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 1979, Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn based at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, 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. It is currently being used in a wide range of contexts including communities, hospitals, prisons, education, and in the corporate sector.

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. MBCT is also structured into 8 weekly sessions that teach a range of meditation practices and exercises. The main difference between MBSR and MBCT is that the latter includes a cognitive therapy component with a focus on supporting individuals with depression. Information about the research on the effectiveness of MBSR and MBCT can be found at https://mtai.ie/ and at https://bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness/

Mindfulness Retreat Day

The mindfulness retreat day is for individuals who have already completed an 8-week mindfulness course or who have an established meditation practice. Participants are guided in a variety of mindfulness and self-compassion practices. The retreat takes place mostly in silence, which affords an opportunity to deepen your meditation practice. The venue for the retreat is the beautiful Clonlea Yoga Studio in Blackrock, Co. Dublin