How can you learn mindfulness in ways that support your well-being? How can you build it into your busy schedule? How can you adapt what you’ve learned as your life changes? How can you keep learning and practicing?
For twenty years the University of Oxford has led the world in developing psychological approaches to mental health. We all know physical exercise supports physical health. There is a growing recognition that psychological therapies like cognitive-behavioural and mindfulness-based therapies can support our mental health. They are becoming more and more accessible in health services, schools and workplaces around the world.
Mindfulness is a natural capacity we all have to pay attention, without judgment to the present moment. It is rooted in ancient wisdom and practices. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy combines this ancient wisdom with cognitive behavioural methods developed in modern psychological science. When ancient wisdom and modern psychology come together they are no longer a set of ideas or practices but an illumination that guides us to be more present in our lives, with ourselves and with others, with clarity, kindness and ease.
At the OMC we offer three main mindfulness-based programs. They make the benefits of mindfulness accessible to all. They are based on a psychological science model of the mind and teach mainstream cognitive-behavioural and secular mindfulness practices. They will guide you all the way from introducing mindfulness through to mindfulness becoming a part of everyday life.
You will learn
- To recognize how often our minds run on autopilot, and practice bringing mindfulness to present-moment experience.
- Skills in how to pay attention.
- A range of formal and informal mindfulness practices and exercises.
- Keeping our balance through life’s ups and downs, responding skilfully when difficulties arise, engaging with what is most important to us, and opening up to moments of joy, contentment, and gratitude. We learn to flourish.
The first program, Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World, introduces mindfulness through six 1.5 hour sessions and uses briefer practices. The second, Mindfulness for Life, is more in depth. It offers more in terms of the teaching, length of the classes and resources. It also asks more in terms of time and commitment. As every long-time practitioner of mindfulness knows, the benefits of mindfulness extend far beyond 8 weeks. We’ve developed a third program: Mindfulness: Taking it Further. This is for people who have been through a mindfulness programme and are looking to deepen their learning and practice. This course is made up of 12 themes and we offer it in three formats, weekly, monthly and through residential retreats.
Research & Evaluation
Everything we do at the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre has its foundations in world-leading research. There is a robust evidence base for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. The Oxford Mindfulness Centre has an ongoing programme of research on the effectiveness, acceptability and mechanisms of mindfulness courses. We are also always looking to improve. So we formally evaluate all our classes by asking participants to give their feedback on the mindfulness courses and teachers.