John Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus, defines mindfulness as:
"The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment."
Mindfulness meditation is some 2500 year old practice which originates from India and is the 7th element in the Buddhist 8 fold path, known as right mindfulness or samma sati.
It is extremely important to recognize the difference between “Right Mindfulness” which is an essential practice for human transformation and well being, as opposed to “Wrong Mindfulness”, (miccha sati).
“Right Mindfulness” is not something learned after attending a yearlong “certified course”, but comes from committed practice over many years. Therapists offering Mindfulness therapy after completing a short course are both misleading themselves and their patients. The practice of mindfulness will certainly reduce stress, anxiety, depression and such, however, it also has significant transformational impact on the practitioner, which within the current “secular” offering of mindfulness is unaddressed, unknown and unethical.
The word meditation or mindfulness until recently was seen by the general population in the West as something either connected to mysticism or some sort of religious activity.
However, this has been as a result of misunderstanding what actual meditation is. In fact the word “meditation” is somewhat misleading, as it is derived from the Indo-European word “med” which means to measure.
Meditation is called Dhyan, Symran, Smirtti or Sati in traditions that have been practicing it for thousands of years. Dhyan simply means awareness, being aware is the only way to “know” awareness.
Mindfulness is paying attention purposefully to our moment by moment experience, with an accepting and non-judgemental attitude.
Meditation is only known by practicing it. For example, if you are hungry no-one else can not eat for you or will listening to descriptions of food nourish you, only by consuming the food yourself can you be nourished, the same applies to meditation. Only by practicing mindfulness can we know meditation, more importantly, reap its remarkable healing benefits amongst other benefits.
Our lifestyle has become such, that most people operate on “automatic pilot”, state of mindlessness where our unawareness dominates our mind, almost half awake not available to the moment to moment life experience. You may “see” this for yourself when you get drive or even get into a shower. Even when we deliberately try to focus on one thing, we quickly discover how slippery it is to hold our awareness.
Our thoughts and emotions easily overwhelm our awareness clouding our awareness of the present. Our thinking mind is easily drawn by some sight, sound, feeling, taste or smell that captures its attention. During this period, whatever its duration, we are lost in our thoughts and unaware of our actual experience.
We spend most of our time thinking about the future or replaying some aspect from our past. Meditation is not about trying to feeling anything special or getting “somewhere”, in fact, it’s allowing yourself to be where you are, openly experiencing moment by moment unfolding.An authentic experience of mindfulness can be seen not just as “someone” being present in the moment, but the Presence of the present moment.
Meditation for beginners introduces the practice of mindfulness meditation through guided practices, brief talks and discussions.
Mindfulness can be considered to consist of three essential elements:
- Intention - why
- Attention - what and how
- Attitude - how
Intention means knowing why one is paying attention, a conscious and purposeful direction.
Attention is the direct knowledge of moment-to-moment unfolding of experience as it is actually happening in a focused and sustained fashion.
Attitude defines how one pays attention, in an open, caring and accepting fashion.
Therefore mindfulness can be defined as:the awareness that arises out of intentionally paying attention in a kind, open and discerning way.
Typical 1 day workshop schedule*
- Duration: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
- Location: UK and mainland Europe
*Subject to change depending upon workshop, course or retreat.
What does the Mindfulness Workshop include?
- Stress physiology
- Learning to recognize stress, anxiety and fear
- Mind-body connection
- Breath as anchor to mindfulness and bridge between mind and body
- Learning simple practical methods for self-regulation
- Defining and experiencing mindfulness per se
- Mindfulness of breath
- Mindfulness of sensations
- Mindfulness of emotions
- Mindfulness of sound
- Experiencing mindfulness in everyday activities
- Exploring mindfulness in movement
Who should attend this workshop?
This workshop is especially beneficial for:
- Anyone wishing to learn mindfulness from professional and experienced facilitators
- Anyone wishing to reduce the harmful impact of stress, anxiety or depression on their life
- Anyone wishing to bring peace, tranquility and calmness into their lives and relationships
- Every parent who wishes to teach their children essential skills which will positively benefit their education, health and life in general
- The workshop offers
- Professional training and practice resources
- Immediate and practical impact
- A safe, supportive, stimulating and enjoyable learning environment.
- Complete resources MP3 audios or CD’s practical diary practice sheets and online support
- Step-by-step instructions on mindfulness meditation
- Practical guidance based on over 15 teaching mindfulness experiences
- Insights from contemporary research in neuroscience, mindfulness and psychology
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