What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness meditation is a way of training our minds to be in the present moment, through mind body meditation practices, rather than dwelling in the past or being caught up in the future. It becomes a way of life, also teaching us how to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others.
Everyone has the ability to be present with their experience and will naturally have times when they feel more connected, especially when participating in something that they enjoy, for example a hobby / special interest or during a positive interaction with a loved one. A mindfulness course can help us to cultivate this natural ability so that it might become more available to us in all aspects of our life
"We find that mindfulness is a transformative practice, leading to a deeper understanding of how to respond to situations wisely"
Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG)
Our MBCT teachers have rigorous training from the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, University of Oxford, which was founded by a co-creator of MBCT, Professor Mark Williams. We all work towards the UK Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness-Based Teachers of the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations. Dr Maret Dymond who leads our mindfulness courses is an associate trainer of teachers at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and a listed teacher on the UK Network website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why practice Mindful meditation?
Mindfulness can help us to better understand our patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving; teaching us new ways of relating to these. It is not a quick fix or a magic wand, however, evidence shows benefits for a variety of life challenges including stress, anxiety, low mood / depression, childbirth and parenting
Where do I start/What is the 'MBCT'?
The MBCT, 'Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life' is an eight week course which introduces the fundamental principles and practice of Mindfulness in a supportive, small group environment. The course also incorporates elements of CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It was originally designed to help people suffering from repeated episodes of depression but has since been show to be effective in helping people cope with stress and anxiety, as well as improving our sense of well-being and self-compassion. Over the eight weeks, your teacher will guide you through a series of meditative practices and breathing exercises, as well as group discussions and home practice. For more details on the MBCT please click here.
What is the evidence for Mindfulness?
High quality evidence shows benefits for a variety of life challenges including stress/anxiety, depression/low mood and chronic pain. There is also emerging evidence to suggest that mindfulness meditation can boost immune system functioning and can change the structure of the brain. Recent research in 2016 showed that increased mindful awareness predicted better mental health in parents and their children and that mindful parenting was associated with lower levels of parenting stress and higher levels of authoritative (as opposed to authoritarian or permissive) parenting styles.
What actually happens on a Mindfulness course?
The exact content varies, but each session is generally a mix of: mindfulness meditation practice, discussion, and practical exercises that help us to learn more about being human. Participants are encouraged to take care of their body during the class (e.g. to move about, make themselves comfortable, drink water etc.).
How many people will be in the group?
In the New Forest our mindfulness courses usually consist of between 6-12 participants. Once a group has started, new participants will not join the group so that the group can get to know each other and feel safer together.
Do I have to speak during a class?
It is up to each individual how much and how little they speak. Other than briefly introducing yourself at the beginning and some pair/small group work there is no commitment to speak unless you wish to. Many people find that the atmosphere of acceptance and kindness during a mindfulness course supports them to participate in discussions and that this helps them to learn more.
How do I know if the course is suitable for me?
We do not offer our programmes as a treatment for any specific condition. Our programmes aren't suitable for those who are currently experiencing very severe physical or psychological problems. However, we do offer psychological therapy for these kinds of difficulties. If you’re unsure about what you might need please give us call or email us.
I'd rather learn Mindfulness on my own, not in a group
For those who prefer, or if you cannot find dates to suit you, we offer all our services on a one to one basis as well as in group classes. If this is something you are interested in, please do get in touch via our enquiry forms or email.