My teaching is usually derived from MBSR. Introductory courses and tasters draw from this.
MBSR Course Outline
Do I need any skills, experience or qualifications before I join the course?
No. For the MBSR course, which is more demanding, there will be a short interview with the tutor to ensure that the course is appropriate. For the Introduction to Mindfulness course there will be no pre-course interview.
Materials will be provided free, online. Printed copies can obtain them at cost.
What activities will I take part in and how will my course be structured?
The MBSR course will have a structure and content as below.
Week 1: Coming to our senses
The first week will introduce mindfulness and some exercises that are intended to make us much more aware of what is going on in our bodies. The intention is to start to move away from automatic pilot, where we are driven by our inner thoughts and feelings, and to become more in touch with the world around us.
Week 2: Learning to respond
By being more in touch with our body and feelings, and noticing how we react, we can start to take a little more control. Our natural tendency to challenges is the “fight or flight” response. That might have worked well in more primitive times, but in modern times the tendency is to contain our reactions which creates stress. Having learnt to take the controls, we can begin to steer more skilfully around the obstacles we all face. This session will explore practices that give us a bit more space to respond.
Week 3: Being present
Staying in the present moment and not getting lost in thoughts or daydreams is an important skill to practice. This session we looks at meditation practices that can be long or short. There will also be some mindful movement practices that help to gently wake us up to our bodies.
Week 4: What is stress?
This session we looks at how we respond to stress. Stress is not just the events in our lives, but the way we deal with them. Different people respond to the same events in different ways. By now we have explored some useful tools, and we will see how they can be applied.
Week 5: Responding more effectively to stress.
This session looks at how we can transfer the skills we develop in practices such as meditation into daily life and deal more effectively with difficult situations. By bringing greater awareness of our thoughts, feelings and sensations to bear, we can waste less energy and approach problems more effectively.
Week 6: Dealing with others.
Mindful communication can help us deal more effectively with others. Often it is our relationships that cause the most stress. This session looks carefully at some aspects of communication in stressful situations, and through some simple practices learn how to deal more skilfully with ourselves and others.
Week 7: Taking more care of ourselves.
Life is a game of snakes and ladders, but if there are too many snakes and not enough ladders it can be a tedious game. Often we pile pressure on ourselves, and forget to relieve that pressure. We can do that until we come to breaking point. This session looks at how we can mindfully rebalance our lives.
Week 8: Keeping it up.
Well that 8 week course really made me feel better. What next? How often have we been on some course, felt wonderful after it, and then a week later been back to square one. Before we finish, we will look at how each of us can keep up the practices we have learnt, and grow in awareness.