The practice of mindfulness can take many forms. Below is a list of contexts for practising mindfulness in, ranging from getting a first taste to doing a Masters degree. If you are ready to start, re-start or continue to deepen your practice of mindfulness and are not sure which form suits you best at this time, please contact me and we can find your next step together.
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In the last few years, there has been an increased interest in bringing mindfulness into work settings as it often offers very good results for companies to invest in their people in this way (for example testified by this recent article). An introduction session can be a way to raise awareness of the possibility of mindfulness, start the conversation about how to care for our internal well-being, and gauge interest in starting an in-company training in mindfulness. Engaging, experiential and often fun, a session like this gives a good idea of mindfulness as well as a direct taste of what it offers.
Beginning – Introduction course
The most common form of an introduction course in mindfulness comes in the shape of an 8-week course, usually consisting of eight 2-hour sessions and a full day of practice between week six and seven. The Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) devised by the Mindfulness Association is an opportunity to start to make mindfulness a way of life. Currently I only offer MBLCs in closed groups, but there are many open programmes available by other teachers that I can recommend on request.
After completing a course in mindfulness, the foundations have been laid but the practice to establish it as an integral part of life continues. It can be very helpful to have frequent fresh inspiration, an ongoing source of support, and company of others on this path. I offer a drop-in session on the first Thursday and the third Tuesday of each month, 6.30-8.30pm in the Salisbury Centre in Edinburgh. Each session normally contains an introduction to the theme for the evening, one or two sitting meditation sessions, some mindful movement, and a group conversation. If you subscribe to my mailing list I will invite you to each one and let you know of the theme for the evening, you can also check the Mindfulness Edinburgh Facebook page for those details.
Continuing – Mindfulness Association weekend courses
As mindfulness is a life skill, it is possible to continue the training into increasingly subtle levels, meeting obstacles as part of the path and making it more and more part of you way of being in the world. The Mindfulness Association (MA) offers an initial 4-weekend Mindfulness training (level 1) which is designed to facilitate participants to be present, through various well-designed exercises and a wealth of material from the renowned meditation teacher Rob Nairn, founder of the MA. It continues with four weekends on how to mindfully respond with kindness and compassion in the next level (also known as the Compassion training), and then three weekends on seeing clearly (Insight training). The MA also facilitates a Teacher Training pathway.
The MA offers its trainings in many locations in the UK and abroad, please see their website for the full list of dates. For the courses in Edinburgh I’m involved in, please check the Happenings section.
I have been a trainer for the MA since 2010, soon after its inception. After having delivered both the Mindfulness and Compassion courses numerous times over the last six years in various places across the UK and abroad, I continue to love the material and the gradual invitation to drop into our own experience that it offers. Particularly the material around compassion has been life-changing for me personally (as you can hear in the little video here), and I love exploring the radical invitations that this course offers to each participant.
MSc in Mindfulness Studies
The University of Aberdeen offers a Mindfulness MSc which is run as a partnership with Mindfulness Association, with the MA delivering the experiential Mindfulness, Compassion and insight training for the program and the University delivering the academic training. It is a three year, part time programme which takes place in Samye Ling and on Holy Isle.
“The programme seeks to meet the needs of experienced professionals from a variety of settings who aim to enhance their practice and extend their professionalism. Participants must be in a position to study the relevance and application of mindfulness practice in a professional setting or context.”
This programme is a great way to enhance your understanding of mindfulness, compassion and insight through the conversations that take place, as well as the reading, the assignments and the research. I love the level of commitment and the depth of inquiry MSc students bring to their practice, a real joy to work with…
When teaching mindfulness, the Good Practice Guidelines suggest arranging for ongoing supervision, which “enables reflection on the supervisee’s mindfulness teaching practice and how this interfaces with their personal mindfulness practice and their life. The process is dedicated to developing and deepening the growth, understanding and effectiveness of the supervisee’s application of mindfulness, both personally and in their working life.”
I have trained with the University of Bangor in 2013 to offer supervision to others and I love engaging in this process of mindful inquiry. If you’d like to see if we might work together in this way and for more info about costs and other practical details, please get in touch.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it can be helpful to explore the practice of mindfulness in a one to one setting. This is not therapy, but rather a shared exploration of the process of mindfulness and any obstacles that might surface. These sessions often take place in the quiet Garden Room of the Salisbury Centre, though other options are available too. If you are interested in this possibility, please contact me.