Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.
“The present is the only time that any of us have to be alive – to know anything – to perceive – to learn – to act – to change – to heal.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness has been around for many thousands of years and although it has its roots in buddhism, the eight week MBSR course is secular and open to all, regardless of any religious beliefs.
MBSR was first developed over 30 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn and used in a clinical setting in Massachusetts General Hospital to help patients deal with chronic illness, pain and stress. From this approach, Professor Mark Williams of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre devised MBCT, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, a similar 8 week course which has helped many people suffering with anxiety and depression.
With the advent of MRI scanning in 2006 the body of evidence- based research on the effect this course can have on the human brain is both extraordinary and extensive. You can read some of the research on the further reading page.
Mindfulness training can benefit anyone and everyone regardless of age or occupation. It has been used in schools to help build resilience and in companies to improve performance.
Through tried and tested mindfulness practices, participants learn skills to help them get more in touch with the reality of their lives; to notice the subtleties of our thoughts and the changing sensations in our bodies, moment by moment. By developing this awareness and becoming more attuned to how we react in certain situations we can bring about positive changes. Through practice we can learn to accept in ourselves what we cannot change and change what we need to, or can, in our behaviour and in our reactions to others.
Scientific research has shown that in just eight weeks, with regular home practice, we can develop skills that will help us open up to different possibilities and outcomes.