8 week course, live your life to your full potential
“I am calmer, more in touch with my emotions, thoughts and sensations. I can detach from situations that are disturbing me more easily and asses them better” Spring 2017
Think of the mind as being like the ocean, sometimes calm, sometimes full of waves of conflicting thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness is like becoming a skilled surfer, knowing how to ride the waves of worry and anxiety. And if you should get knocked off balance and fall, then you know how to recover quickly and return to surfing rather than be immersed in the waves.
Stress, worry and anxiety can all feel overwhelming in our hectic modern world. Over the 8 weeks you’ll be introduced to a series of meditations that build up into your own tool box of practices. Each participant finds different practices most relevant to them and by themed of the course have their own bespoke approach to mindfulness. You may find it is the gratitude practice that helps you reconnect with a feeling of excitement and joy about your life. Or the mindful movement practice that helps you feel alert and energised in your body. Some find the body scan practice a way to explore deeply their experience of being embodied whilst others enjoy resting in a deep place of calm attending by sitting with their attention resting on the feeling of the breath rising and falling in the body.
The course is largely based on the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy MBCT) programme developed in Oxford, but also has elements of compassion based practice as well. Over the course of the 8-weeks, you will learn how mindfulness can help you to recognise when you become entangled in worries, self-criticism and ruminative thinking. As you recognise you automatic thinking and the story telling mind you’ll find a way to be more free, spontaneous and happy.
This course was very powerful and has been life changing. It has really helped me to focus on the ‘Here and now’ rather than getting caught up in ruminative thinking. I have a tendency to worry about the future and about events that have not yet occurred and this was making me feel very stressed. Applying the techniques and mindfulness strategies I learnt on the course I feel better able to cope and although I still feel anxious this tends to diminish more quickly.
Kensington Council 8 week course participant, 2016
The course consists of eight, two and a half hour sessions, and will include mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching and movement, group dialogue and discussion, home practice assignments, and guided audio practices. There is also a full-day retreat that will include a variety of soothing practices, a silent lunch and an afternoon of meditation and sharing.
You’ll receive a course workbook and guided meditations to download and keep. Weekly emails will offer guidance and support and remind you of the practices for that week.
The charts below show the changes in two participants in the Spring 2018 course. Both participants already had a high level of awareness in the ‘describing’ section at the start of the course, so there was no alteration here, but other areas increased significantly.
Observing: this relates to noticing sensations as they arise – the sensation of water in the shower, the taste of food, smells etc
Describing: finding words to express how you feel and feeling comfortable with expressing your emotions
Non-judging of inner experience: self-criticism v self-acceptance. Judging thoughts as good or bad. Telling ourselves we should not be having certain thoughts.
Non-reactivity to inner experience: the ability to note thoughts and feelings with calm awareness rather than getting lost in them. The ability to pause and reflect rather than react to distressing thoughts or images.
Acting with Awareness: the ability to be focused, present and aware, or to be drifting and lost in day dreaming and distraction. Being caught in auto-pilot, or being fully present.
“The course has really helped me gain more insights into thought patterns and how our mind works. Key for me are the use of practices such as Loving Kindness, nourishing activities, creating mind space with meditation and being open to our experiences” Richard, Spring, 2017
25th October, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th November and 6th and 13th December.
7.00 – 9.40 pm
Chadswell Healthy Living Centre
Nearest tube: Kings Cross. The venue is a ten minute walk from Kings Cross station.
£200 – concessions for unwaged, students and those in need
Booking confirmed on receipt of full payment.