Mindfulness Training for Living Well

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an approach, or way of being, and as such is difficult to describe in words. There have been many different definitions of mindfulness, most of which try to capture the essential qualities or elements of the practice. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness in medicine, described his own experience of mindfulness as follows:

‘Paying attention to our experience in the present moment, to what is going on in our mind, body and day-to-day life, in a non-judgemental or accepting way.’

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness involves making a conscious effort to pay attention to what is happening right now. For many of us, much of our lives are spent focusing on past worries and future events, juggling work, family, and daily commitments, filling our time and filling our mind. In this preoccupied state we are not fully aware of what is happening from moment to moment, and this means that much of our life is passing us by.

By practicing mindfulness we can learn to be fully awake, in touch with ourselves, in the present moment. We can release worries about past or possible future events and in doing so, have more control over how we want to live our lives. As we bring mindfulness into our daily life we can choose how we want to respond to life circumstances, rather than acting or re-acting on ‘automatic pilot’.

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Photo by Sujin Jetkasettakorn

Why Practice Mindfulness?
  • to develop a deeper understanding of yourself by becoming aware of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
  • to quieten your mind and relax your body.
  • to feel more in control of negative thinking, moods and responses.
  • to be able to cope more effectively with pain, illness and potentially stressful situations.
  • to allow yourself to BE where and AS you are.
What Does Mindfulness Practice Involve?

Cultivating mindfulness involves becoming the observer of your own experience and, like any skill, takes time and practice to develop. Our courses involve learning core mindfulness meditations and approaches including body scan meditations, mindful breathing and mindful movement. See our courses for more detailed information about what we offer.

At the heart of our mindfulness training is compassion-based mindfulness practice including kindness meditations. Mindfulness has often been described as 'heartfulness', enabling us to cultivate positive emotions such as kindness, compassion and gratitude towards ourselves and others. We learn to connect with our experiences in a heartfelt and non-judgemental way which allows us to be more fully and calmly present in our day to day living. By practicing kindly-awareness we are also more aware of and open to those experiences that bring real happiness.

“Our minds can remember the past, repeat what others have told us, and invent any number of possible futures to be either wishful or anxious about. But the past and future, the primary domains of the mind, are not the place where change can happen. Change happens in the present.”

Ann Weiser Cornell