Facilitated by David Beatty

FIVE Sessions of 45 mins each over five weeks will give those who are new to Mindfulness a basic grounding in simple practices they can take home to engage with each week between sessions. It is also recommended as a refresher practice for those who may already be familiar with Mindfulness or who have attended the longer eight week MBSR Course.

Mindfulness is well established as a deeply healing practice open to anyone with or without previous experience. Mindfulness establishes direct contact with what is taking place in the present moment in two senses: knowing what is happening while it is happening without preference; and secondly recognizing what is happening while it is happening without preference.

During the course participants cultivate an awareness of sensations, feelings, thoughts, which awakens our natural capacity for insight into the underlying causes and conditions of stress, dissatisfaction or anxiety.

This quality of awareness and insight can bring the opportunity to see the same situation, which is experienced as constricting, from a radically different viewpoint that is genuinely liberating, expanding our sense of who we are, beyond our fears and self-judgment. It reduces stress, brings clarity, and restores vitality to our daily living.

It enables us to discover inner resources that can change our everyday lives, broaden our perspective and deepen our courage to embrace change based on seeing things just as they are. This can transform our worldview from one of isolation to one of connection, openness and compassion.

Session 1:  Mindfulness of Eating

Cultivating mindfulness of eating can reveal how our relationship to the food we eat and share is anything but mundane, and can be the beginning of a journey of emancipation from habits of eating that are often unwholesome. We will explore the law of diminishing returns and the nurturing of the quality of attention needed to step out of the negative feedback loop at the base of addiction.

Session 2:  Attention and Mindfulness of Breathing.

From our school days we have all been told to ‘pay attention’. Yet it has hardly ever been suggested that we should pay attention to attention itself. What is attention? It is the key to transformation in mindfulness, along with curiosity. The attention practiced in mindfulness is not part of the attention economy, which is instrumental; it is not ‘attention-as-resource’. There is another attention that is exploratory, without any goal, an attentiveness that joins us to the outside world, and is a way of being alive to the world. We begin with attending to the breath, an autonomic process we are hardly ever aware of, in the sense of knowing we are breathing. This helps us to anchor the mind, to still its restlessness, enabling a deeper exploration that leads to insight into recurring patterns of thought, feeling and emotion.

Session 3:  Embodiment and the Body Scan Meditation

Embodiment is essential to Mindfulness Practice, to connect with the body through giving attention to bodily sensations, to be aware and sensitive to the body’s responses. If the mind is troubled or anxious whatever arises in the mind will follow the flow of sensations that have arisen in the body. In this exercise we scan the body with our attention noticing whatever sensation is there, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither, without preference, but bringing an affectionate, openhearted and interested attention to the various regions. It is a deeply healing practice.

Energy is the only life and is from the Body –William Blake

Session 4: Sitting meditation: Mindfulness of Thoughts and Feelings.

Exploration of the relationship between thought and feeling. The meaning of feeling-tone and how it can drive thought. Sitting meditation Pleasant, Unpleasant and Neutral Feelings, on Sounds and on the nature of Thought as Thought, not the content of thought.

We think more than we can say. We feel more than we can think. We live more than we can feel. And there is much more still. Eugene Gendlin, Focusing.

Session 5: Ethics of Mindfulness: Relationship and Insight Dialogue.

Short talk on the ethics of relationship as foundational to Mindfulness, and the relevance of the African notion of Ubuntu. If it is possible a short dyad exercise may be appropriate at suitable social distance. Finish with Loving Kindness Meditation and the importance of the Four Perfections Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and  Equanimity.

The flute of interior time is played whether we hear it or not. What we mean by “love” is its sound coming in. When love hits the farthest edge of excess, it reaches a wisdom. And the fragrance of that knowledge! It penetrates our thick bodies, it goes through walls…Kabir.

   D.E.E.P. Centre for Diversity Ecology Ethics and Practice

  0788 344037