Mindfulness and Compassion for Living Well
While many of us want to live and experience our lives in a meaningful way, we find it hard to slow down, to take the time to look below the surface busyness of our lives to find who we really are and what we really want and value. This course will introduce you to Mindfulness, a practice originating in Buddhism but now practised extensively in the West in secular contexts for stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and also by those simply wishing wish to live life more fully. The course will consist of exercises and discussions around being more present in daily life; an analysis of how we get stuck in reactive behaviour when we’re stressed, and ways of getting ‘unstuck’ so that we can respond more creatively and positively to stressful situations. You will learn meditations that develop awareness of the body, the breath and your mental and emotional states. We will also focus on ways to care for oneself, including an exercise to develop more openness to pleasurable moments throughout the day, and a meditation that develops positive emotions such as kindness and gratitude, and helps deal with more difficult emotions such as anger. You are asked to commit to a regular, daily practice of mindfulness for the duration of the course, so that you get the maximum benefit from the course. The emphasis throughout the course is on providing students with a supportive context in which to experience Mindfulness.
8 Mondays 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 Mar 4, 11, 25
(No Class Bank Holiday Monday Mar 18)
The following is a selection of recommended texts for those interested in reading further around the course content. We advise that you do not buy books in advance of the course as your tutor will discuss the list and suggest the most relevant reading for particular interests. Recommended reading:
- Burch, Vidyamala and Danny Penman, Mindfulness for Health. Piatkus, 2013.
- Germer, Christopher, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. London: Guilford Press, 2009.
- Hanson, Rick, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence. New Harbinger Publications, 2013.
- Hennessey, Gary, The Little Mindfulness Workbook: Everyday Techniques to Help You Combat Stress and Enhance Your Life. Crimson, 2016.
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon, Full Catastrophe Living. Piatkus, 2005. Kabat-Zinn, Jon, Wherever You Go, There You Are. Piatkus, 1994.
- Maitreyabandhu, Life with Full Attention: A Practical Course in Mindfulness. Windhorse, 2009.
- Williams, Mark, John D. Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn, The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. Guilford Publications, 2007.
- Williams, Mark and Danny Penman, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World. Piatkus, 2011.
- Santorelli, Saki, Heal Thy Self. Crown Publications, 2000.
Fidelma Farley (MA, PhD) worked as a lecturer for fifteen years before training with Breathworks and the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Bangor to become a Mindfulness Trainer. Over the last nine years, she has led mindfulness-based courses for people experiencing pain, illness or stress. Her courses and workshops place a particular emphasis on kindness to oneself and others, and on creating a warm, friendly and supportive atmosphere.
• How to be more in the present
• How to cope with stress
• How to be less reactive
• How to more appreciative of the good things in your life
• How to be more mindful in everyday life
• Cultivating Awareness of Body
• Cultivating Awareness of Thoughts
• Cultivating kindness towards oneself and others
At the end of the course students should be able to:
• Outline the most important qualities of mindfulness.
• Describe his or her experience during a meditation.
• Describe how stress is created in him/herself.
• Outline two or more ways to reduce stress in him/herself.
• Will have experience of three meditation practices.
• Connect with the breath to reduce stress.
• Be more aware of physical sensations in the body.
A mixture of teaching methodologies will be used, according the topics being taught, and to facilitate the different ways in which people learn. The main aim of the course is to give the students the skills to develop awareness of their own experience, and from that knowledge, have the confidence and ability to make choices in their lives. The workshops are therefore primarily experiential, providing information which the students then ‘test’ against their own experience. There is a strong emphasis on creating a warm, friendly and supportive environment. Teaching methodologies include: • Presentation by tutor (using whiteboard) • Group discussion with full group • Discussions in small groups • Discussions in pairs • Guided experiential exercises, e.g. breath awareness, relaxation techniques, meditations • Short written exercises to facilitate the students’ reflections on aspects of the course content • Visual enactments to demonstrate particular concepts, e.g. how to work with thoughts.