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What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness means being in the present moment, rather than in the past or the future in our minds. It means being aware of our senses and waking up to what is happening to us and around us. However, it is not bare attention alone, it also involves practicing holding our experiences with particular attitudes such as curiosity, kindness, trust, letting be and non-judging (or at least noticing when we do judge).


Mindfulness can be cultivated and mindfulness meditation is one 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. Mindfulness can also be grown however by paying attention to any moment of our lives and intentionally bringing in the same attitudes. Mindfulness practice becomes a way of life, translating into mindful living, 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. Mindfulness training, coaching and /or awareness-based leadership programmes can help professionals and organisations to cultivate this natural ability so that it might become more available to us in all aspects of our life and we can do our best work and turn our energies into contributing to the world as a force for good.

"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 mindfulness 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 Teacher-Trainers

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why practice Mindfulness? 

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 in the workplace including for stress, anxiety, burnout and low mood.

Where do I start/What is the 'MBCT'?

The MBCT, 'Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy' course for life is one way to begin practice. Mindfulness is most easily learned through a live programme, rather than books, apps, websites etc. alone. MBCT 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 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 / MBCT courses please see

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.  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.).

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How many people will be in the group?

Participant numbers vary but most mindfulness courses usually consist of between 8-15 participants. Once a group has started, new participants will generally 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 usually 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 in most courses 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?

Mindfulness programmes are not generally offered as a treatment for any specific condition, although some centres/course do advertise as specialises in programmes for particular needs. The programmes, coaching and leadership courses at New Forest Mindfulness aren't suitable for those who are currently experiencing severe physical or psychological problems. However, we can direct you towards 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 a course to suit you, we offer MBCT on a one to one basis. If this is something you are interested in, please do get in touch via our enquiry forms or email.  

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