Mindfulness Meditation course FAQs
What happens on the mindfulness course?
Each week you are introduced to simple mindfulness meditation practices that can help you to be more in the now, and enable you to manage your thoughts, emotions and sensations in a way that enhances your well-being. We practice various formal mindfulness meditations during the group. You then have the opportunity to share your experience of the practices in pairs and within the group. There is also some presentation and discussion of mindfulness and how it can help us. The course is taught over 8 weeks (each session is one hour and 40 minutes long).
What are the mindfulness meditations that are practised?
We practice the following mindfulness meditations: the sitting meditation, the body scan, mindful movement, mindful eating, mindfulness of body and breath, exploring difficulty meditation, lovingkindness meditation, Lake meditation and Mountain meditation.
Where are the courses held?
Courses are held in various venues in Reigate and Horley. Please see course booking page for further details of your venue.
I’m concerned that I may struggle physically with the demands of the course.
You are able to work within your individual limitations and circumstances. We sit upon chairs for the majority of the mindfulness practices. Some weeks, you have the option of lying on the floor for the duration of a 30 minute body scan meditation, though you are welcome to remain seated. The mindful movement practice is very gentle movement and stretches, and you are encouraged to work within your own limitations. If you have any kind of physical incapacity, please feel free to contact me to discuss your suitability.
What is the course based on?
The course I teach is based upon the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) eight week program, which was developed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, which has been proven to help people with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and anxiety and stress. There are also elements of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is has been proven to help people with anxiety, low mood and depression.
There are also elements of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), which is based upon mindfulness also.
What are the benefits of a mindfulness meditation course?
Clinical trials have shown that mindfulness-based approaches, such as the MBSR and MBCT courses, are effective in: managing stress, anxiety and depression; helping to improve relationships, emotional stability and attention; reduce symptom perception of patients with physical health problems (including chronic pain, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders) as well as improving the immune system.
Does the course have any religious affiliation?
No, mindfulness is nonreligious.
Can I join the course partway through?
If I have space, it is sometimes possible for participants to join after missing the very 1st session, as long as you have an individual orientation over the phone. Otherwise, it is not permitted for you to start partway through.
Will the course be suitable for me if I have no understanding of mindfulness?
Yes, I teach everything from the basics upwards, so it is suitable for all levels of knowledge.
Do I need to bring anything or wear any special clothing?
I suggest that you wear comfortable, loose clothing to the sessions, and have warm layers that you can put on and take off as required (especially in the winter), as the body can cool when you are sitting still. I will supply you with a handbook and CDs/MP3 downloads. I provide blankets, and mats for when we do mindful movement. Water is provided, though you are welcome to bring your own bottle of water if you prefer.
How much time do I need to put aside each day for the home practices?
The home practice for the 8 week course requires about 30 mins a day of formal meditation (6 days a week). I appreciate that everyone has busy lives, and it can be a challenge. I will not be checking up on you regarding the home practice, but you will get out what you put in, so I encourage you to keep up with the practice as much as you can.
I’m concerned about being in a group situation.
I try to create a very relaxed, confidential, safe environment in which people can feel able to explore and share their experiences. There is no pressure put on any individual to share within the group.
Is a mindfulness course suitable for my circumstances?
This mindfulness course may not be suitable for you if any of the following apply:
you have been sent by someone else; you are currently going through a major life challenge or have a major mental health problem e.g. major trauma, bereavement, or currently suffering clinical depression; you’re too busy to fit in any practice; your reasons for coming are purely for professional development; you are uncomfortable in a group setting.
If you are uncertain, please do not hesitate in contacting me to discuss.
What if I miss a week?
I understand that not everyone can make all of the 8 sessions. I recommend that you try not to miss more than one. However, the handbook summarises each session and outlines the home practice, therefore you can continue with any home practice for that week. If you would like a one to one session to enable you to catch up, I can offer you this at a discount.
if you cannot make the retreat day, you are able to attend another one (they are roughly 3 times a year).
Will I be required to share my experience with the other attendees?
I offer you the opportunity of sharing your experiences, because this is a great way of learning. Therefore, each week, you may share your experience within pairs. I then invite anyone to share their experience within the group, if you should so wish to. However, sharing within the group is not compulsory and no individual will be asked to do so. Ultimately I want everyone to feel comfortable.
What if I have a question that I would like to ask, but do not want to do so within the group?
If you would like to speak with me in confidence, you can either have a chat with me after the group session finishes, or by contacting me by phone at another time.