Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course
We are incredibly excited to announce that Andrew Smith will be running a Mindfulness Course at the new Thaxted Yoga studio starting in October.
The first course begins on Wednesday evening 5 October and runs for 9 weeks through 30 November from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
**Please note that due to popularity our first course is already FULLY BOOKED. If you wish to register your interest in future courses please use the contact details included below.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness, at its simplest, is about awareness.
In particular, it is about awareness of what is happening to us physically, mentally and emotionally in the present moment.
Many of us spend significant amounts of time thinking about what may happen in the future or going over the past so that as a result we fail to be fully aware of what is going on in the present moment.
In so doing we may miss out on much of what is pleasurable, sustaining and meaningful in our lives. Also, turning things over in our minds in this way can end up being tiring and, eventually, demoralising.
Clinical trials have consistently shown that the skills learned during an eight week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course are valuable in building mental resilience so that we are better able to face the challenges that life throws at all of us from time to time. What’s more, these skills – once learned – are available to people 24/7 for the rest of their lives!
Participants on the course are taught, among other things, about meditation and encouraged to meditate regularly themselves. This ‘Home Practice’ is an important part of the learning process and to a great extent what people get out of the course is dependent on what they are willing to put in! One of the objectives over the eight meetings is also to help people become aware of habitual thought patterns which may have been present for many years and to change them if necessary. Inevitably this sort of process requires some effort and self-discipline.
Those taking part are encouraged to adopt an inquiring attitude which says:
“I’ll give this a good try, with an open mind and just see what happens. At the end of the course I’ll decide whether I’ve learned anything useful and what I can take away with me.”
MBSR groups are not “therapy” groups and so members are under no pressure to share any personal information. Mindfulness is not just another clever relaxation technique, however most people find the meetings are indeed relaxing as well as being non-threatening, interesting, enjoyable – though at times challenging.
Jon Kabat-Zinn who began the first MBSR courses in the USA in the 1980s puts it like this:
“The overall tenor of mindfulness practice is gentle appreciative and nurturing.”
Who can benefit?
- Those who would just like to live their lives in a calmer way.
- Those who would like to be able to cope better with the challenges life throws at us all from time to time.
- If you have had problems with depression in the past (and are possibly still taking medication) and would like to do something positive give yourself the best chance of not getting depressed in the future.
- If you have had problems with anxiety in the past
- Those who would like to gain greater insight into how their minds work and why certain situations ‘press their buttons’
- Those who experience low self-esteem, mood swings or insomnia
The course, which will consist of nine 2-hour meetings, will run on Wednesday evenings starting at 7.30 from the 5th October to 30th November 2016.
You can register your interest and reserve a place for yourself (subject to availability) by completing a Course Registration Form which is linked below.
Once the registration form has been received and your place confirmed, you will be sent a brief questionnaire asking about your general health, relevant past medical history and GP details for you to complete and return as soon as possible. This is to ensure there is no medical reason why you should not join the course. The information contained in this questionnaire will, of course, be treated in the strictest confidence. In addition Andrew would like to have a brief phone conversation with you after he has received your questionnaire to, among other things, confirm your place.
Please return both these forms to Andrew Smith at Spinners, Weaverhead Lane, Thaxted, CM6 2LE.
The course fee is £140. This covers attendance at all the 2-hour meetings (18 hours total), personal study folders, notes summarising the teaching material presented each week and a set of 5 meditation CDs (worth £23) for you to keep. It may be possible to offer some flexibility here so please get in touch if the course fee is a problem.
Cheques should be made out to Andrew Smith or direct payment details can be provided on request.
Andrew Smith was a GP for 30 years in Saffron Walden and then Suffolk up until his retirement from front-line NHS work in 2006. He has lead small groups for 20 years, been involved with mindfulness groups for 5, and lead MBSR courses over the last 3 years.
For more details please contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01371 830426. Registration forms and health questionnaire to be returned to Andrew Smith: Spinners, Weaverhead Lane, Thaxted, CM6 2LE.
Download the following forms below: