An Introduction to Mindfulness
- 15th January 2017
- The Crown Hotel, Harrogate
- £132.00 members / £258.00 visitors
Continuing Professional Development
TO BOOK CLICK HERE
9.30 - 17.30
This Masterclass, will introduce you to the key concepts of Mindfulness, which can be easily integrated into your daily life. During the day we will be engaging in various activities to foster mindfulness. These include formal meditation practices, as well as small things we can do in the midst of our daily lives, such as doing a routine task mindfully, taking a break, slowing down a little. In particular we’ll be using the body sensations and the breath, to help develop awareness. The aim of meditation is not to prevent the mind wandering off - which it will do, repeatedly - but to get into the habit of learning to check in with our experience. This in turn, can significantly reduce stress.
- What One Resists Persists. Much of our stress is exacerbated by our resistance to unpleasant experience, and what we resist tends to persist. So we are caught in a trap: the more we resist the more it persists! Mindfulness allows us to accept experience rather than reacting to it, which - paradoxically - allows us to let go of it. This lightens our load considerably, allowing us to get on with our life quite happily, even though it’s not completely sorted. (And will it ever be?)• Coming to Our Senses. When we’re stressed we naturally try to do something about it, and this usually entails thinking - problem-solving. The trouble with this strategy is that it doesn’t work very well! In fact it’s more often than not counterproductive. Thinking about our stress keeps us stressed! An important aspect of mindfulness practice is to pay more attention to our senses - body sensations, sounds, sights, tastes - which brings us back to our actual experience in the moment. This greatly reduces stress.
- A Penny for Your Thoughts. Thoughts are one of the main causes of stress, trapping us in a loop in which we try to solve our problems, while the very act of trying to solve the problem keeps us tied to the problem. But what to do? We can’t just stop thinking! One of the skills you’ll learn is to notice thoughts as they arise in your mind and let them go. This is a liberating insight for people who attend the course.
- Your Buttons Don’t Have to be Pressed. Life, as you know, isn’t easy. Financial worries, issues around the way we earn our living and with work colleagues, difficulties in our relationships with family and friends - who doesn’t have them? Mindfulness doesn’t make everything nice and smooth and easy. Rather, it enables us to develop skills and inner resources to cope better - in fact to flourish - in the midst of the sometimes difficult and messy aspects of life. Learning how to be with unpleasant, difficult experiences without allowing them to ‘press our buttons’ is a key skill that you’ll learn.
- The Pleasure of Small Things. Not that life is unremittingly difficult either! There’s pleasure, enjoyment, beauty and love out there too. When we experience some difficulty in life, we have a tendency to focus on it, often to the exclusion of all else and especially the good things that are happening. We encourage you to widen your gaze a little and notice the small pleasures of life, which often go unremarked - the sun coming from behind a cloud and warming your face, a vase of yellow and blue flowers, a compliment from a friend, a job well done. We’re not trying to ‘think positive’, just trying to level the playing field. By noticing the good things and letting them affect us we’re working against what neuroscientists call the inbuilt ’negativity bias’ in the brain.
- The Tender Gravity of Kindness. In a way the word mindfulness gives a wrong impression. People often associate the mind with the head, with the brain, with cool, analytical thought. Mindfulness certainly isn’t that. It’s simply awareness, and not a cool and detached awareness either - it’s warm, gentle, and kind. Self Kindness isn't a weakness, in fact, scientists have discovered that fostering self-kindness can help us to overcome difficulties and change behaviour in the long term
Presented by Martin Grindrod, Master Trainer/Founder, Inspire Mindfulness