Mindfulness is cultivated by a gentle effort. You cultivate mindfulness by constantly reminding yourself in a gentle way to maintain your awareness of whatever is happening right now. Persistence and a light touch are the secrets. Mindfulness is cultivated by constantly pulling yourself back to a state of awareness, gently, gently, gently.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness may be described as the capacity to bring non-judgmental awareness to the moment to moment experience of your life; a way to bring inner kindness to yourself. It can be cultivated with practice, and through it there is the opportunity to learn directly about the nature of who you are and the experiences of stress so common to our lives.
Mindfulness brings you more “in the moment” and enables you to be less caught up in the experiences of the past or the imaginations of the future. It allows you to manage your time better and become clearer and more able to make stronger choices.
Mindfulness does not claim to rid you of illness or difficulty yet it can help you adopt a more helpful, kind and accepting attitude towards the difficulties you face. As you bring more mindfulness into your life, you also begin to see how your negative habitual reactions often complicate things further and block yourself off from a more fulfilling life.
Mindfulness has a way of opening you up to new possibilities, of seeing that you are not defined by your situation alone, and that you can, amidst the hurly-burly of your life, quickly and simply access the massive reservoir of internal resources that we all have at our disposal.
Mindfulness practice is ideal for cultivating greater awareness of the unity of mind and body, as well as of the ways the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviours can undermine emotional, physical and spiritual health.
To find out how mindfulness and becoming mindful can help you deal with stress, everyday life, managing your time and helping you deal with life’s challenges, please do get in touch to with your enquiries or to discuss booking onto one of the courses.
Mindfulness as a practice has its roots in wisdom dating back more than two and a half thousand years. Two important approaches, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), have been developed in recent years.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) emerged in 1979 at the Stress Reduction Clinic, part of the University of Massechusetts Memorial Medical Centre. Now called the Center for Mindfulness, it was founded by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, who saw the potential of the hospital setting in training people in meditative awareness. Dr Kabat-Zinn had many years of deepening into his own practice of meditation and yoga. Since its inception, many thousands of people have attended these courses, shifting and healing their relationship to their suffering of chronic pain, untreatable illnesses, and the stress and emotional pain caused by these difficulties. The MBSR programme is now famous worldwide for its success in enabling people, wherever and however they are in their own lives, to live more fully, irrespective of their particular suffering or condition.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been developed by professor Mark Williams, Dr John Teasdale and Professor Zindel Segal. MBCT is a form of MBSR that includes information about depression as well as cognitive therapy-based exercises, which link thinking and its resulting impact on feeling. MBCT demonstrates how participants can best work with these thoughts and feelings when depression threatens to overwhelm them and how to recognize depressive moods that can bring on negative thoughts. MBCT is now recommended as a treatment of choice by The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2004, p76) for people who have suffered 3 or more episodes of depression.
MBSR has become a part of a newly recognised field of integrative medicine within behavioural medicine and general health care. The effectiveness of this programme has been demonstrated by extensive research. Chantek Mary McNeilage offers Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Courses which includes a combination of both MBSR and MBCT.
The MBSR Mindfulness courses are held across East Anglia whether you live in or near Saffron Walden, Cambridge, Chelmsford, London or Bishop’s Stortford. These courses are offered as group courses, courses for individuals or couples and group retreats in the UK and Menorca, Spain.