Introduction to Mindfulness
The Introduction to Mindfulness course offers a brief taste of mindfulness practice and theory in a format intended to be accessible to anyone new to mindfulness.
This course is designed for anyone interested in exploring some key mindfulness themes and practices in ways that might support them personally, in everyday life and work.
What will you learn?
The course takes place over 3 sessions, each of which explores a core theme:
- Understanding the mind’s natural tendency to be scattered and to wander; how we can train attention to create choices about where and how we place attention, and how this can fundamentally shape our experience.
- Exploring different ways of being and knowing; recognising how much of our experience is shaped by thought; that other more experiential and observing modes are also available to us, and how we can learn to use them to help us flourish over time.
- Recognising the difference between reacting and responding; developing ways to create the space to make choices between them, and exploring how this understanding can shape our experience and the quality of our lives.
What happens during sessions?
The sessions are group-based, and involve a combination of teaching, mindfulness practices, trying out what is learned in everyday life, and discussion. Each session builds on learning and experience from the previous session.
You will also be invited to continue to practise the sessions’ themes through some ‘home practice’ between sessions.
What does home practice involve?
Like any new skill, the real learning and understanding happens through regular practice.
You will be given ‘Home Practice’ guidance each week, which will usually include following a short recording of a guided practice every day, as well as building ‘informal’ mindfulness practice into your everyday activities.
You will have the opportunity to share your experience of home practice in each weekly session.
What are the challenges?
Many of us lead such busy lives it can take time to become familiar with mindfulness practice, which invites us to pause and pay attention to whatever is happening in any given moment, with qualities of care and interest.
It is often assumed that mindfulness is a great way to calm down or relax. While this can sometimes happen during practice, this paying attention can also flag up just how distracted, tired, sad or irritable the body or mind might be in that moment. This is quite normal. In fact, recognising how we are, and developing different ways to respond and resource ourselves in these moments is one of the many things mindfulness practice can teach us.
Like learning any new skill, it can take time to begin to experience any benefits from practising mindfulness. The invitation is to stick with it, and know that you can ask your teacher for support during and between sessions.
What are the benefits?
Even though this course involves only 3 sessions, we hope you’ll experience some of the following within a relatively short period of time:
- A sense of having more space or time in the day
- Greater appreciation of what is pleasant and enjoyable in life
- An ability to resource yourself in more challenging moments such as distractedness, stress or anxiety.
- An ability to begin to respond throughout your day with greater clarity, compassion in ways that align with what’s important to you
While we can’t guarantee you will experience all of these benefits, knowing such benefits are possible, can make the challenges of participating worthwhile.
What if I want to do more beyond the Introduction to Mindfulness course?
The next logical step after completing the Introduction to Mindfulness course is to attend an 8-session Mindfulness for Life course. This will support you in deepening and expanding mindfulness experience and understanding.
Please note: It is possible to attend the 8-session Mindfulness for Life course without having completed the Introduction to Mindfulness course, but having completed it will give you a strong foundation of mindfulness experience from which to develop over the 8 sessions of Mindfulness for Life.