IMPORTANT UPDATE :
The beautiful St Mary's Community Room is now open, and I am delighted to be able to offer the next course in person with measures in place to ensure our safety including reduced numbers and stringent cleaning protocols.
As we are adapting to the challenging situation of not knowing what will happen concerning covid infection rates, this course will be offered with the flexibility of moving online via zoom should circumstances change. In this way we can use our practice to meet these challenges of life together in a supportive and held way.
This course will be small and intimate with a maximum of 9 participants to ensure we can maintain space with ease whilst in the community room. This also offers us a unique opportunity to build trust and community as we learn how mindfulness practice may support us in our lives.
The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course is the most widely researched mindfulness approach with more than 20 years of evidence underpinning it. It was developed by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn in the late 1970’s to support those experiencing chronic health conditions, and is now delivered all over the world for the enhancement of well-being.
The course explores a range of mindfulness meditation practices to cultivate our awareness of what goes on in our mind, body and lives, so that we can see clearly and respond more wisely and compassionately to the challenges that we may face.
We know from the research and from the experience of participants’ that there are many benefits of taking a committed mindfulness course. If you would like to know more about these please visit our resources page to watch the short videos that are available.
What does the course involve?
The course consists of 8 weekly 2 hour sessions, with an additional full day of guided practice after week 6 (22 hours of contact time in total). The urban retreat style day is held usually on a Sunday between week 6 & 7.
Included is a comprehensive workbook to support you through the course, and all guided practices to download for you to keep.
Brief telephone orientation sessions are offered prior to the course start so that you can ask questions and ensure that you have all the information that you need prior to starting.
During the sessions we will be exploring a range of different mindfulness practices with time for discussion and group exercises to support our learning. In this way we will be learning to deal more skilfully with the challenges of modern day life and daily stress. By paying attention to what happens in our bodies and mind, we can learn to spot our early ‘warning signs,’ giving us an opportunity to find new ways of responding, rather than reacting in automatic, and often unhelpful ways.
Here is a brief overview of the sessions:
Week One — Waking up to our automatic pilot
Week Two — Being awake to our experience
Week Three — Mindfulness of breathing and the body in movement
Week Four — Stress – Patterns of reactivity
Week Five — Stress -Using mindfulness to respond
Week Six — Communication and interpersonal mindfulness
Urban Retreat Day — A day of guided practice
Week Seven — Mindfulness and self-care
Week Eight — Keeping your mindfulness alive
The most important part of the course is the daily home practice, as without this the muscle of attention will not grow, and our mindfulness will not be there when we most need it!
The home practices are on average 40 minutes daily, 6 days per week, with a small amount of reading, and an invitation to record experiences in the workbook. Informal practices are also built into the course, but this doesn’t require any extra time, just a commitment to try and remember to do them!
On completing the course you will be invited to join our online weekly meditation group to support you with your on-going practice. This is offered freely and is lovely way to stay connected with others from the course and also past students.
Is the course for me?
The course is suitable for everyone wishing to improve their general health and well-being, but may be particularly helpful for those experiencing stress or feeling ‘dissatisfied’ with life. While it is commonly reported that practising mindfulness not only helps in reducing symptoms of stress, it can also enable us to be more present in our daily lives, giving us a greater appreciation of the times we are experiencing ease and joy.
While there is much research indicating how this course may be useful for a variety of physical and mental health conditions, this programme is not being offered as a treatment for a specific illness. However, it may support us in managing our various health needs so that we can respond wisely to ourselves without adding more stress and difficulty.
As part of the booking we will ask you for information about your physical and emotional health so that we can support you appropriately whilst on the course.