The following definition is Emma's personal favourite and is primarily from Jon Kabat-Zinn with the ‘kindness to self’ added by our meditation teacher Sally Edward (www.kindmind.org.uk)
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally and with kindness to the self”
Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn
Robin, because he has a memory like a sieve prefers
"Be here now"
Learning to pay attention to our lives in this way is supported by a daily formal meditation practice which acts to train the attention/perceptual system.
The sessions will take two hours and will include an opportunity to practice mindfulness through a guided meditation. This will be an eyes-closed process. We will be using the chairs in the Community Room at the Carlile Institute, however if you have some experience of meditation and wish to bring your own meditation cushion/stool and mat then please do.
Personally we have found the benefits include feeling less stress, anxiety and greater clarity in thinking and better sleep! There is growing scientific evidence that mindfulness can improve mental and physical well-being and can even reduce chronic pain. It is a recommended treatment by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for clinical-level depression.
The sessions offered here will provide you with an introduction to mindfulness through meditation. After attending the course you may want to explore deepening your practice by attending for example the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. The benefits of mindfulness, like with most things, tend to improve and increase with regular practice!
The origins of mindfulness can be seen in Buddhist practices going back 2600 years. Some modern day mindfulness teachers such as Tara Brach and Pema Chodron continue to draw heavily on these teachings.
However the introductory course offered to you draws on a practice founded in the 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn a medic and academic working with patients with chronic pain in the United States (University of Massachusetts Medical School).
Dr Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) which is currently used across the USA in health settings. MBSR has been further developed for use specifically to deal with clinical depression by a team of psychologists at Oxford University called Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and is recommended by NICE.
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