Live online on Zoom starts Tuesday 19th September 6.30-8.45pm 2023
Concessions are available for those on low income and arranged on an individual basis. Payment in instalments also available.
Mindfulness for Life is a contemporary course for beginning to build mindfulness into daily life
The intention of this course is to establish resilience, stability and appreciation amidst the ever-changing joys and challenges of being human. To discover a new and constructive way of being with adversity; enhancing appreciation of the good, beautiful, nourishing and uplifting moments that are always present in our life, but so easily overlooked. And cultivating a real flourishing in all aspects of our life, whatever it brings – a qualitative enjoyment that’s so much more than simply coping, reaching targets or getting through the day.
Mindfulness for Life has evolved out of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, a world-renowned course developed by Professor Mark Williams, his colleagues and Jon Kabat-Zinn, the visionary pioneer and founder of the original 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. Mindfulness for Life is built on the main practices and principles of these two original courses with an emphasis on integrating mindful awareness into daily life – for life.
Who is the course for?
For anyone who is seeking more balance, stability and calm amidst the stresses and demands of our fast-paced life. Mindful awareness is even more relevant and needed now in this time of great uncertainty, increasing challenges, and climate-change anxiety. It’s for anyone who’s feeling stuck with the same old thoughts and sense of self, or just simply feeling dissatisfied, while sensing the potential in life and in themselves – wanting to discover how to be more fully alive in the present moment, longing to really savour life and feel fulfilled.
It can also be extremely beneficial for anyone coping with physical pain, a chronic medical condition, or depression or anxiety.
The course teaches fresh, constructive ways of relating to difficulty or pain, whether mental, physical or emotional, by gaining familiarity with reactive patterns of mind which can lead to unhelpful behaviour and action. It helps us learn to pause, step back and respond in more wise and skilful ways,
The course consists of 8 weekly evening classes and one all-day session, usually between weeks 6 & 7. For this 2023 course the day will be 4th November.
What does the course involve?
To best appreciate and really learn mindfulness principles, skills and attitudes, and benefit from the practice, participants are encouraged to commit to:
- Eight weekly evening sessions to learn the principles and practices of mindfulness
- One all-day session which helps to bring the learning together (usually 10am-4pm)
- Practice at home of 20-45 minutes a day (6 days a week), with links to audio guided practices
- Applying mindful awareness into everyday life and activities – putting into action the skills learned in the classes
What happens in the sessions?
Learning the principles, practice and benefits of meditation with mindfulness meditations and practices to reconnect the mind and body. Examples of practices are:
- Body Scan – a sensing journey through the body, becoming familiar with body sensations and where emotions can be located
- Sitting Meditation – gently building the capacity to sit in stillness, learning to manage thoughts, feelings & body sensations
- Mindful Movement – awareness of living in our body with Yoga stretches and walking with mindful awareness
- Some cognitive exercises provide insight into the nature of the mind, to habitual thinking processes and perceptions that can influence and drive our behaviour
- Learning to notice and connect with our direct experience during practices, with group enquiry and discussion; information and guidance on practice for the coming week
What’s the size of the group?
I like to teach with small groups so the maximum size of each course is usually 8-12 people. In every session we also break up into pairs or threes, which is very helpful for those of us who don’t speak easily in groups. It’s important to emphasise there’s no obligation to speak in the sessions, but usually everyone finds that expressing what’s they’ve learned or experienced benefits everyone, especially themselves. And listening is just as important as speaking.
What do I do if I’m interested? And how do I know if the course is right for me?
It’s important to feel ready and willing to learn mindfulness. So to find out if the course and timing is right for you, it’s best to come to the online Taster Session to experience some mindfulness practice first and find out what’s involved in the course. The learning is experiential rather than conceptual taking-in information. The Taster Session offers you direct experience of the practices and this way of learning. Mindfulness training has many benefits and can be transformative, but there is also some challenge, so it’s important to gain some understanding of what the 8-week course involves. There’ll be space to ask your questions.
It can also be very beneficial to take the course for a second time – maybe if you had your first course in mindfulness some years ago, or your practice has lapsed, or just feeling the need to ‘begin again’. Or maybe you took a different course and want to experience Mindfulness for Life. Many people appreciate the course even more the second time round, experiencing a deeper understanding.
Next Taster – Tuesday 12th September 2023, 6.60-7.45pm
Live Online on Zoom – it’s best to use a computer rather than phone or iPad.
What participants have said:
“I’ve long intuited that there must be more to this life than I have, up to now, allowed myself. The insights I’ve gained throughout this course – in coming to better understand my mind and be increasingly accepting of events as they unfold – are tools that allow me now to navigate each day with greater aplomb and balance. I’m smiling more (much more). As for paying mindful attention to whatever I’m engaged with – I’ve discovered a depth and vitality to experience that, whilst on some level I knew must be there, is irresistible. I look forward to taking it further.”
“The Mindfulness course has literally transformed my life for the better… taught me how to accept and believe in myself for who I am…how to appreciate what I have now in my life and how to not dwell on the past or be consumed by worry for the future I have no way of controlling. I wish I had discovered it years ago! A lifeline to me. I am happier within, more calm and appreciative of the small things in life. Eternally grateful to Sara and Mindfulness.”