8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Courses
The most popular way to learn mindfulness worldwide today is the 8 week course. This well-structured series of eight weekly classes is suitable for everyone, guiding participants into a deepening exploration of mindfulness in a supportive group environment.
The 8 week course is an ideal way to experience the benefits of mindfulness and to significantly increase our well-being and quality of life.
Free Introductory Evenings
In advance of each 8 week course we offer a free introductory evening where you can get a taste of what mindfulness is and meet us. For those people who have already booked on the course, this provides an overview, some initial experience of mindfulness practice and a glimpse of what mindfulness can offer you. If you are not yet ready to book, coming on this introductory evening will answer your questions.
What to expect in the course
Each week is based around a certain theme and introduces different aspects of mindfulness. The overall structure is pragmatic and practical, looking at how mindfulness can help us in our daily lives. Guided meditations using the body and breath bring the mind back to the present moment and help us become more aware of what is actually happening in our experience. Inquiry is another aspect of the course, involving dialogue between teacher and participants using gentle questioning to explore our experience more deeply. Throughout the course we emphasise the importance of being comfortable, taking care of ourselves and only taking part in activities if we feel we can.
The group as part of the course
The usual size of a group is about 10 – 20 people. Working together in a group is important as we are all able to support each other’s learning within a safe and confidential space. It can be helpful to realize that we are not alone in our struggles and can also be inspiring to share with others how we are integrating the practices into our lives. For some people being in a group of this size can be challenging, especially at first. While there is an element of pair work and whole group enquiry, all aspects of the course are optional and there is no requirement to share in front of the group. If being in a group poses a big challenge then it may be worth considering the option of doing the course one to one. Contact us to find out more about this.
At present our courses are held in English. We always aim to offer participants the option of pair work in Welsh if they wish, however this depends on the make-up of the group.
The All Day of practice
The All Day Session is held in the second half of the course and is a wonderful opportunity to deepen and enrich our mindfulness practice. We encourage all participants to attend if they can. We guide all the different practices we have been learning through the course and introduce some new practices too. We are available if anyone needs to talk during the day but otherwise it is held in silence until the last hour when there is a chance to share anything we may wish to about the day. Please arrive in good time for a 9.45am start and bring a packed lunch. Other refreshments are provided.
Commitment and Home Practice
The practice of mindfulness is a way of being—it is not information you learn. Therefore, it calls for commitment. The 8-week course can be surprisingly demanding and it requires regular daily practice. Generally you will be encouraged to practice for at least 30 minutes most days for the two month duration of the course. If you are not able to make this commitment at this time, and if you know you are likely to miss two or more of the weekly sessions, we suggest you postpone taking the mindfulness course until you have the time to devote to it. This is so that you can get the most benefit from the course.
What to bring
It is good to wear comfortable loose fitting clothes. We will provide mats, cushions and some meditation stools, but you may wish to bring your own yoga mat and cushion to make yourself more comfortable. Please bring a blanket to keep yourself warm when we do lying down meditation. All of the meditation practices are accessible for everyone and can be done in any posture that is comfortable for you, so if you have difficulties with lying, sitting or doing gentle movements then it is fine to adapt the practice to suit your own needs. We are happy to give guidance on this.
Support during the Course
The teachers will be available to participants during the course to respond to questions or concerns by email and by telephone (by appointment).
Undertaking a course of this type offers an opportunity for change and change can be challenging at times. It is considered wise to be in a relatively stable phase of your life when doing the course rather than attempting it soon after a major upheaval or loss. The teacher is there to support your learning; however, we encourage you to consider if you may need extra support in place to help you get the most out of the course. If you have a counsellor, therapist or mental health worker it is a good idea to discuss the course with them.