Introduction to Buddhist Psychology Workshop (Oxford, UK)

Workshop details

Course Leader

Chris Cullen

How long is the Workshop?

One day from 9:30am to 5pm

Who is the Workshop for?

Teachers of MBCT and those training to teach MBCT

Where is the Workshop?

POWIC Building, Oxford

How many people on this Workshop?

Up to 30

How much does this Workshop cost?

£135 including lunch and refreshments

Available workshops:

30th Sep 2020

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Introduction to Buddhist Psychology 

30th September 2020

What is this Workshop about?

Mindfulness is clearly acknowledged to have its roots in the foundational Buddhist tradition that stretches back two and a half thousand years. Yet, we may ask, what can this foundational tradition add to our current understanding of MBCT founded, as it is, in contemporary understandings within neuroscience and cognitive psychology?

Nevertheless, when we begin to examine this two and a half thousand-year-old tradition it presents us with a highly nuanced psychological understanding of what mindfulness is, how it functions and what it means to be a flourishing human being that is highly congruent with many of the contemporary approaches.

The psychological models of Early Buddhism have been a significant influence on the development of contemporary Mindfulness Based approaches such as MBSR and MBCT. They turn out to be remarkably congruent both with the discoveries of Cognitive Neuroscience and psychological research into the mechanisms of depression, anxiety and a wide range of mental health conditions.

The experience of training mindfulness teachers at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC) over many years has confirmed that it is very helpful for mindfulness teachers and teacher trainees to have some understanding of these Buddhist psychological models in order to support the effectiveness, integrity and depth of their work. Such study comprises an integral component of all the Mindfulness teacher training pathways offered at the OMC and other major European centres.

This workshop will provide an introduction to the key relevant components of Buddhist psychology that can inform, enrich and deepen the work of Mindfulness teachers. We will examine the nature of human distress, to which Mindfulness is directed, and the aetiology of this distress together with a close examination of the self as a process rather than as something fixed, and why this important to understanding MBCT in the contemporary world.

Chris Cullen

Chris works part-time as an MBCT teacher and trainer for the OMC. He also teaches Insight Meditation retreats in the UK, US and mainland Europe, and has a psychotherapy practice in Oxford.

For the OMC, he teaches Buddhist Psychology component on the MSt in MBCT course, runs the programmes of Mindfulness courses and classes in Parliament, and assists with planning and teaching the annual Summer School. Chris also contributes to various trainings and masterclasses for mindfulness teachers.