What Happens in an 8-week Course?
Each week, course participants learn mindfulness meditation practices in a supportive group environment. The programme offers an opportunity to develop awareness of our bodies, emotions, belief systems, and how stress operates in our lives in order to learn how to better work with our challenges. This structured course of eight two-hour weekly sessions will include a full day of practice (Saturday or Sunday) partway through the course.
At home, participants practice mindfulness meditation daily, both formally, using guided audio CDs, and informally, by bringing greater awareness into daily life. It is essential to be able and willing to find time to practise between sessions, as home practice is seen as the main vehicle of transforming our outdated habitual ways of relating to our experience.
The formal meditation practices that are instructed include body scanning, sitting, and walking meditation, and gentle, mindful movement. Participants are also asked to reflect on their experience during the week in simple recorded form. Handouts are issued each week – so there is no need to take notes during the sessions.
Not a Therapy Group
Although voluntary discussion of experience of mindfulness practices takes place in the group, this is not a form of group therapy. Nor is it – specifically – training in relaxation, although most people do report that their ability to relax is definitely enhanced. The training is in awareness. There is also no need for participants to talk about their past or present problems. It is more like a class than a therapy group: everyone is there to learn skills rather than talk about problems.
Is this class for me?
The programme has helped people facing stress related to work, school, money, relationships, grief, sleep, time, food, or the sense of being out-of-balance. The programme has also helped individuals address a variety of physical and psychological health issues, including high blood pressure, headaches, IBS, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue, skin disorders, sleep disturbance, depression and anxiety. It does not, however, constitute a replacement of therapy or medical treatment for a specific condition.
An Experienced Meditator?
The course is also suitable for those with a personal interest in meditation, including people who may already have (or have had) a meditation practice and would like the support of a group programme to re-establish their practice or explore further. However, no previous meditation experience is necessary.
The full fee of the course is £220. This fee includes 8 weekly sessions, an all-day mindfulness retreat, a set of CDs with guided meditation, a Mindfulness Course Manual, and email or telephone contact between sessions if required. We offer concessions for people on a low income.