Mindfulness

If you want to pick just one approach for improving your performance and wellbeing then we suggest you choose mindfulness. Mindfulness practice is a straightforward yet powerful ‘mind technology’ which has the potential to transform your life.

What is Mindfulness?
What are the benefits of Mindfulness?
How do you teach Mindfulness?
What qualifies you to teach Mindfulness?

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is often regarded as a meditation technique. Although we do learn meditation as part of developing mindfulness, the practice of mindfulness actually extends far wider. Mindfulness is a ‘mind technology’ that we can use in every area of our life. Perhaps it would be better to describe mindfulness as ‘a way of being’ because ultimately it is about how we relate to and interact with our world.

The practice of mindfulness is about increasing our awareness of whatever we are experiencing in any particular moment. We can bring mindfulness to any situation whether it is working on the computer, conversing with friends, eating, driving, showering, or any of the infinite experiences we can go through during the day. It applies equally to the most mundane event and to the most exotic.

Mindfulness is about waking up to your life. You have probably had the experience of driving in your car intending to go somewhere and then suddenly noticing you are heading in the opposite direction.  You realise you were on autopilot following the usual route to your home or office rather than the intended destination.

The techniques taught in mindfulness training help you to have less ‘autopilot moments’ and instead experience greater awareness during your day. The results of this are profound. By becoming more aware you come to recognise your habitual ways of reacting to situations. You learn that you have a choice to react to any situation with your habitual ‘autopilot’ reaction or to consciously respond with greater wisdom. By choosing the latter you are creating healthier outcomes and thereby can literally change the course of your life. Mindfulness means you have far greater freedom to choose the life you want to live. It also allows you to experience more pleasure and joy on a daily basis.

Although mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism, it is a secular practice which anyone can learn. It does not conflict with anyone’s religious beliefs nor do you need to adopt any particular beliefs or philosophy.

The meditation practices you learn as part of mindfulness training are usually done sitting in a chair. You don’t need to sit cross-legged in lotus posture (unless you want to) and there is no requirement to light incense or candles!

What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been the subject of extensive academic study for the past 20 years so a large body of research confirms the multiple benefits the practice offers. Here are just some of the ways mindfulness contributes to better wellbeing: 1

Physical: reduced stress hormones (cortisol), improved immunity, reduced blood pressure, better sleep, and more energy and vitality

Emotional: less depression, less anxiety, and more feelings of happiness and joy

Mental: mindfulness practice changes the physical structure of the brain and also the way the brain works. There is increased grey matter in key areas of the brain leading to greater self-control, enhanced ability to concentrate, better decision making and creativity, and improved memory

In fact, if you want to experience greater happiness and also keep your brain healthy throughout your life then practicing mindfulness is one of the best things you can do. Many of the benefits of mindfulness are experienced after just a few weeks, making it (in our opinion) a truly wonderful approach to boosting wellbeing and cultivating peak performance.

How do you teach mindfulness at Mindtastic Training?

We focus on giving jargon-free practical teaching to make mindfulness accessible and applicable to everyone who attends. It is something that has been a part of our work since 1997 so we have lots of experience in making sure people understand the principles and know how to apply the techniques.

We offer two mindfulness trainings. We run a one-day Mindfulness Training which introduces delegates to a comprehensive set of mindfulness techniques and enables them to develop their own mindfulness practice. We also offer the In-House option of a six-week Mindfulness Course which offers in-depth instruction in mindfulness and guides participants as they make the practice their own.

What qualifies you to teach mindfulness?

Our principle trainer Dawn Hamilton facilitates our mindfulness training programme. Dawn discovered meditation during her teens via her love of yoga. She has had an on-going meditation practice since then and has also trained in a number of different meditation methods.

She took a 3-year training in biofeedback which involved weekly sessions of being connected to an EEG machine which monitored her brainwave activity whilst she practiced meditation.The EEG machine and the other biofeedback equipment she used during her training were extremely valuable in helping her to explore different levels of meditation and states-of-consciousness from relaxation through to deep trance.

Dawn has been exploring and studying mindfulness since learning about Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work at The Stress Reduction Clinic at The University of Massachusetts in the 1990s. During the past 7 years she has delved very deeply into the subject by studying the work of prominent mindfulness teachers, including Tara Brach, Rick Hanson, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield, and Dan Siegel. She has also taken a professional Mindfulness Teacher Training course.

Dawn is committed to deepening her personal practice of mindfulness. As an experienced meditator who has taught mindfulness and other meditation methods to many people during the past 15yrs Dawn is a knowledgeable and compassionate partner to guide others on their inner journey and support them as they make the practice their own.

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Notes:

  1. If you are interested in academic references please call the office and we will give you some details

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