Too often we can spend our day lost in a sea of uncontrolled thoughts. Wanting material things that we think will make us happy, dwelling negatively on the past or fearing the future. Mindfulness is the awareness that we cultivate when we pay attention, in a non-judgmental and non-attached way to the present moment and everything that it contains. Our thoughts, feelings and our sensory perceptions of the world. We train our mind to recognise and appreciate the present moment. This gives us the perspective to see things for how they really are instead of them being clouded by our emotions or preconceived ideas. This perspective not only allows us to experience calm in the chaos but it also means we can be much more skillful in our response to any given situation.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl
Course Content - Mindfulness for Health and Wellbeing
Over the course we will explore a variety of topics including:
Stress and time pressures
Taking care of yourself and nurturing our wellbeing
Living at an elevated level of function
The meditation techniques that we cover include:
Counting the breath
Following the breath
Mindful movement including walking meditation
The practice of presence
This mindfulness course was put together by Zen Master Daizan Skinner, and as such draws on the centuries of experience and understanding passed down in the Zen school. The course that I teach is not Buddhist or religious, nor does it require you to be anything but inquisitive and interested in your own development. You need no prior experience to do this course, but to gain the full benefits you need to commit to 25 mins practice each day for the full 8 weeks.
Course Content - Mindfulness for Insight and Grounding
To quote Daizan on this course; “The practise of meditation and mindfulness is not only good for you. It could also lead you to finding your true selfand living your most powerful and authentic life.”
This course is a natural progression for those people who have completed the Mindfulness for Health and Wellbeing course and are ready to deepen their practice and understanding. Like the first course it is centered on practice. But here we do go more deeply into the history and philosophy behind the methods and as such it is more overtly Buddhist. However in my view Zen Buddhism itself is essentially a practice and not a belief system.
Working with the Breath Breathing Meditation
Uncovering your Fundamental Adequacy Unborn Meditation
Your Burning Question Meditating with a Koan
From Sickness to Health Soft Ointment Meditation
Cultivating Guts Energising your hara
Standing Strong Energising the legs
Activity’s Wheel Runs Free Unblocking and Re-Orientation