What does the course involve?
- 2 ½ hour class once a week for 8 weeks plus one full day session (held on the weekend)
- Mindfulness meditation training, 4 practice CDs and course workbook
- Learning about the effects of stress on our bodies and minds
- Exploring patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving and their relationship to stress
- Developing strategies for applying mindfulness in daily life
- Learning through brief lectures, group discussion and experiential activities
What are the possible benefits?
Over 30 years of research into the MBSR program has found evidence for these outcomes:
- Greater capacity to deal with stress
- Increased sense of well-being and balance
- Lasting decrease in both physical and psychological symptoms
- Increased energy and productivity, feeling more engaged with life
- Stronger immune system
- Increased levels of attention and concentration
- Improved self-regard
- More creative problem solving and greater focus
- Increased sense of connection, meaning and purpose
In recent years research in neuroscience has made compelling discoveries about the brain’s capacity to grow and change, including evidence that meditation helps to create new pathways in the brain that increase our ability to be more positive and creative.
What should I ask the teacher to make sure they are equipped to teach me mindfulness?
You could ask if they:
Have their own personal meditation practice?
Do regular silent retreats?
Have trained in a reputable form of group-based mindfulness training (such as MBSR)?
If so, what form of training did they do?
Our commitment to excellent teaching
At Simply Mindful each of the teachers is following the Centre for Mindfulness (at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the USA) intensive sequence of training. In addition, we participate in professional supervision with mindfulness teacher colleagues and regularly attend extended silent retreats in order to deepen our own meditation practice.
The CFM recommends a sequence for MBSR teacher training involving foundational training, initial teaching, advanced training and certification. You can view the CFM recommended pathway for training to teach MBSR here.
Why should I do MBSR when I can go to a local meditation centre for free?
Many people come to MBSR because they specifically want a mindfulness training that is secular and has no particular spiritual orientation or beliefs attached to the process.
As well, most “free” meditation centres rely on people’s generosity to support and sustain their work and the teachings. In order for these centres to survive, they need to be considered as supported by the people who use them.
What is the difference between doing the MSBR course to learn mindfulness and doing an intensive silent retreat?
Both can be valuable pathways in learning mindfulness meditation. Many people find the intensive retreat process more manageable when they have some basic practice skills under their belt.
One of the advantages of the slower, more gradual 8-week process is that we are incorporating it into our day-to-day lives. We incorporate how we relate with ourselves, and also family, work and the world – finding out how to integrate a regular practice into the demands of ordinary life.