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What is mindfulness?͚
Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. -Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn (2007)
At its most basic conceptual level, mindfulness is about noticing ‘x’, where ‘x’ can be anything from the breath, to the body to a tree to your thoughts and emotions. Through practicing noticing ‘x’, we become more focused on the present moment as it really is, rather than getting caught up in future worries or planning, past regrets, over analysing or judging ourselves or our experience. As we learn to do this, we let go of the past and allow the future to unfold and live the only life that is ours to live. The one that is in the present.
How does mindfulness work?
Mindfulness works on a number of levels. From a physical point of view, formal mindfulness practice (the meditations provided in this course) can help create the relaxation response. The relaxation response means your breathing slows, your blood pressure drops, you relax and feel calmer.
From a brain science point of view, regular mindfulness reduces the reactivity of the Amygdala, the fight or flight part of your brain. This means you become less reactive and less stressed out about things, in particular worries, and thoughts that previously may have caused you stress, are not so problematical.
From a psychological point of view, mindfulness allows you to start to feel and to experience a very natural and real sense of being totally OK. This feeling of OKness creates a high degree of self-acceptance and less striving to try and trying to perfect or fix yourself or your life (which most people find to be a highly stressful, not to mention futile activity).
Is the course suitable for everyone?
Almost everyone can benefit from this course. If you feel stressed or not stressed, if you feel low or happy. We can all benefit from learning to be more present and to find new ways of being in this world that are more helpful to ourselves and others. On a more global level, if everyone practiced mindfulness, the world would be a better place. There are some cases where this course WOULD NOT be suitable or would require some additional support. Please read our disclaimer
here before signing up.
If I am very busy, is this course for me?
There is a famous saying by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu
You should meditate for twenty minutes every day. Or if you are too busy, you should meditate for an hour every day
Many people find that practicing mindfulness gives them a sense of increased rather than decreased time. They become more focused, able to concentrate and more efficient. You also tend to not sweat the small stuff so much. It takes time though. At first it may seem that it’s taking up too much time but it will be worth
it in the end.
What age do I have to be to take this course?
The course is recommended for those over 18.
Do I have to have any previous meditation experience to take this course?
Not at all. The course is designed for those who have no experience at all to those who have practiced other kinds of meditation regularly.
If I want to teach mindfulness, is it enough to do this course?
In order to teach, you would need to take a regulated mindfulness teacher training course. However, in order to take one of these courses you will need to have been practicing mindfulness regularly so this course would be a good start.
What are the benefits of taking this course?
Thousands of scientific papers have been published on the benefits of mindful
ness. Among those listed are; reduced stress and anxiety, increased happiness and sense of wellbeing, increased health and better relationships.
How much time does it take to do the course?
You will need to set aside about one hour per week to read and listen to each week’s lesson. Then another 20 minutes per day to do the practices. That’s less than an episode of your favourite TV programme!
Is mindfulness a Buddhist practice and does it matter if I have a different faith?
Although mindfulness was originally practiced by Buddhists, it is more of
a life practice. This course is completely secular and does not require you to believe anything specific not will it ask you not to believe anything that you already believe.
If I can’t sit for very long, can I take the course?
Yes. If you have any physical issues that don’t allow you to sit for long then all the practices can be done lying down.
Is mindfulness about learning have a blank mind or no thoughts?
No. It would be completely counter productive to try and get rid of thou
ghts, as it is impossible. If you are someone who notices that you get very caught up in lots of thoughts and have thought that you will never be able to meditate, then this course is for you! Through mindfulness, we learn to observe our thoughts, let them come and go and refocus our attention on the present moment so that our unhelpful thinking has less impact on our lives.
If I suffer from anxiety or panic attacks can I take the course?
Yes. Mindfulness is very good for helping to deal with anxiety and many people find that it reduces it’s impact. If you have regular panic attacks, it can also be very good for you but we would recommend you get additional support from a psychotherapist. Please read our disclaimer here before taking the course.
Are there any risks associated with taking the course?
When choosing to participate in this course, self pacing and judgment are
encouraged and are essential.
With the Mindful Movement practice, there is a very small possible physical risk of strain or muscle injury and each individual is responsible for not going beyond her or his comfort. Participants are encouraged to take care of themselves by acknowledging their limits without overwhelming their body.
Some participants may experience increase in pain, depression, or anxiety within the first few weeks of the course as the they begin to look at as opposed to look away from aspects of their lives they may have been unwilling to explore in the past. You are encouraged to take care of yourself and seek help from a professional psychotherapist if you feel that you are becoming overwhelmed and that it is not getting better. In general, depression, and anxiety have been found in the research to be reduced by the end of the course. Please read our disclaimer here before taking part in the course.
Will mindfulness stop my negative thinking?
Nothing can stop your thinking. Actually trying to stop your thinking can be counter-productive, as you may have experienced whenever you have attempted it.
What mindfulness can do is to help you step away from your thoughts and refocus your attention so that you can be calmer and that they don’t affect you so much or drive your life. You begin to see thoughts for what they are, mental events.
Can I do the course whilst having psychotherapy?
Mindfulness can be a great complement to psychotherapy. We would recommend that you mention that you are doing your course to your therapist.
How do I cancel the course?
Go to My Account/Log In and visit Order History. You will be able to select your order and cancel. If you cancel within 14 days of enrolment you will not be charged.