What is Mindfulness?
According to Jon Kabat Zinn, who is considered by many to be the "Master" or "Grandfather" of mindfulness, the definition of mindfulness is: "the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally"
The theory is that we live life moment-by-moment and each of those moments is full of sensations, thoughts and feelings. However, our attention is often fixed on thoughts about the future, the past or conceptual thinking about all manner of things. Future thinking might be predicting potential difficulties or thoughts and desires that the future will bring us a better moment. Thoughts about the past can be focused on experiences that were, in some way, unpleasant or unwanted. They might also be about events that we mentally cling to and find hard to let go of. Some "past-thinking" has a sense of nostalgia or times that brought us joy in some way.
Being mindful doesn't mean we diminish the importance of thinking but we it does help us to recognise the power that certain types of thought can have over our emotional state.
Thinking about the past or future can elicit strong emotional elements such as anxiety or sadness. If our attention nucleates on these emotionally loaded thoughts, the the way we respond or react can become unsettling and, ultimately, unhealthy.
Being absorbed in thinking, regardless of whether the future/past musings are 'negative' or 'positive', means we are effectively allowing life to pass us by without recognising it. Mindfulness is a training programme/system which enables you to awaken your awareness of life in its entirety and consequently develop a resilience towards the difficulties that we all face from time to time, such as stress, pain, depression and anxiety.
The mindfulness course we run is an eight week programme of lessons. Each lesson lasts approximately one hour and involves the formal and informal practise of mindfulness as well as an explanation of the seven attitudinal principles that one approaches mindfulness with.
Over the duration of the course you will develop an understanding of how the regular discipline of mindfulness through meditation and informal mindful exercises can transform your ability to face life's difficulties with a genuine sense of calm and peace.
Developing one's own personal meditation practice can be challenging if it is based on training from a book or online training alone. Learning to meditate with others can be even more enriching, especially as we can learn from others and evolve with others on this journey. Our drop-in mindfulness classes last for one and a half hours and involve both meditation and informal mindfulness, such as mindful movement, and we try lots of different kinds of meditation.
The classes are run on a no-obligation drop-in basis incorporating MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) or MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) principles. Everyone is welcome to join the classes at any time regardless of experience.
Stress related illness will soon be the number one reason for employees taking sick leave from the workplace. The stress we face at work is often compounded by the increasing pressures of modern home life and unless individuals have an effective strategy to manage how to handle stress, their performance at work and, ultimately, absence from work will result.
Delivering effective Mindfulness stress reduction sessions in the work-place can have a significant effect on concentration, productivity and overall atmosphere in a busy work environment.
Taking care of staff is always the top priority of any great business. Sending a message to your team that you value them and their health can only benefit. It is also very cost effective in the long term. Call and ask for Matt to book your regular 'in-house' mindfulness training.
For more information about times and dates of the Cambridge mindfulness classes or Huntingdon mindfulness classes, please call Matt on 07910 453 649.