Mindfulness is simply the practice of awareness, or ‘being present’. There can be an internal focus (e.g. mindfulness of the body) or an external focus on an activity (e.g. planting a tree). It is simply the act of paying attention to what is happening, right here, right now, without judgment.
You will learn in more detail about mindfulness as part of the 8-week course(s).
There are 8 billion people on the planet and each one of us would have a different way to answer this question! A whole host of scientific studies have provided evidence of the benefits of meditation for health, wellbeing, mental clarity and stress-reduction – we will discuss some of these studies during the 8-week course(s). Many people find meditation provides a space to see things from new perspectives and really get to know ourselves. As a result we feel calmer and have an easier relationship with the world.
Both meditation and mindfulness help you to develop the inner resources to cope with the challenges you face in everyday life. It is not a cure-all, but it is a very practical tool for changing your relationship with how you perceive the world around you.
Meditation and Mindfulness for Wellbeing – this course is designed for those who wish to become healthier and more efficient in their lives through creating a greater sense of mental clarity and calm. It promotes physical and mental health through developing the practice of simply being in the present moment. The practices you will learn provide a good foundation in meditation and mindfulness and will equip you with skills for dealing with stress and/or health related issues and for achieving a greater sense of wellbeing and vitality. Research shows that beneficial effects of this kind of meditation include stress relief, improved concentration and treatment of emotional and physical pain. This is a great course for beginners or for those who have some experience of meditation and wish to refresh or develop their skills in a supportive group setting.
Meditation and Mindfulness for Insight – this course is aimed at those who wish to move beyond wellbeing alone and delve a little deeper into the more spiritual aspects of their practice. You’ll learn techniques that allow you to explore the higher realms of human potential and your connection with your true self, whilst maintaining a grounded and energetic approach to life. You don’t need to have previous experience of meditation – simply a keen interest in opening up to who you really are and exploring your full potential.
The practices you will learn in each of the courses are very similar but the intention is different. Meditation and Mindfulness for Wellbeing focuses more on promoting physical and mental health through developing the practice of simply being in the present moment, whilst Meditation and Mindfulness for Insight delves further into exploring your true self and opening up to your full potential. If you are unsure which course to sign up to, feel free to give me a call to discuss and I can help guide you with your decision.
On the practical side, you’ll be learning tried and tested meditation techniques grounded in a two and a half thousand year tradition and subject to modern scientific testing. You will be putting these techniques into practice yourself and will learn how and why they have the effects they do. You will learn about meditation practices and teachings that foster health, wellbeing and vitality, as well as practices that lead to profoundly expanded consciousness.
Not at all. We all have to start somewhere! The Wellbeing course is a very good introduction for complete novices, as well as being suitable for those with prior experience. You may find it helpful to have a bit of experience before taking the Insight course, but this really is down to the individual. If in doubt, please just give me a call to discuss.
The standard 8-week courses are structured to be delivered across eight, weekly, two hour sessions. The course delivery, however, can be tailored to suit the needs of different groups, individuals or settings. If you have any specific requirements, I would be happy to discuss options with you.
Please bring a notebook with you to be used as a meditation journal for personal use as you progress through the course. You may wish to bring a blanket and a bottle of water. If you have your own yoga mat or meditation cushion or stool, you may also wish to bring these along - but don't worry if you don't already have these, it is not a problem! As part of the course you will receive advice on different types of equipment available.
This is entirely up to you. Mindfulness is becoming widely recognised by healthcare professionals and many GPs will already be aware of it. If you have concerns about signing up to the course for any reason, by all means discuss it with your GP or healthcare team. Ultimately, students are responsible for their own health.
The courses are designed to contribute to your own personal growth and wellbeing and are not intended to act as, or replace, a form of therapy. Courses are open to a wide range of interested students, but are not suitable for those with psychiatric illness or serious mental health conditions, e.g. paranoia or schizophrenia. Ultimately, students are responsible for their own health. Should you have any concerns about enrolling on a course, please contact me and/or discuss it with your GP or healthcare team.
These courses are not designed to act as, or replace, therapy of any kind. The courses provide you with a set of tools to help you create a greater sense of wellbeing. Having said that, it is possible that different emotions and sensations may arise as you develop your practice and, as part of your learning, you will be taught ways to approach such responses. Students are reminded that they are responsible for their own health at all times and are not expected to do anything which makes them feel uncomfortable.
Not at all. There are many different ways to meditate – lying down, standing, walking, sitting – on a cushion, on a chair, on a stool etc. We will explore different postures as part of the course and discover what feels right for you.
Yes, I also offer one-2-one sessions for students who are either unable to attend a group course or prefer an individual approach.
More details are available here, or feel free to call me to discuss your individual needs.
Zenways is the creation of Julian Daizan Skinner, the first Englishman to achieve the status of Zen Master in the Rinzai Zen tradition. Zenways promotes and encourages activities and practices that enhance human wellbeing, balance and awakening in the many different situations we find ourselves in. The Zenways courses I teach work with body, mind and energy to enable you to create greater vitality and awareness, and to develop a deep sense of your connection with all things and your true connection with the universe.
"Zenways is recognised by the College of Mindful Clinicians for its role in developing and delivering meditation programmes and retreats. Zenways also approves certification and provides supervision to its teachers."
Russell Razzaque, Dean of College of Mindful Clinicians
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