This is a repeating event2020-01-30 18:00
23jan18:0020:00Foundations of Mindfulness: 8 week courseDo you sometimes feel stress, overwhelmed, and anxious? Would you like to cultivate a greater degree of balance, relaxation, focus and self-awareness. Mindfulness practice has been scientifically proven to strengthen the basic “mental conditioning” of our brains.
(Thursday) 18:00 - 20:00
Mindfulness is the basis of all mind training. Only with a relaxed, focused, and clear mind can we develop any of the other positive qualities of the mind. In these
Mindfulness is the basis of all mind training. Only with a relaxed, focused, and clear mind can we develop any of the other positive qualities of the mind. In these times of almost infinite distractions, stress, and scattered attention it is also, more than ever, the foundation for mental well-being, resilience, and happiness. Foundations of Mindfulness is our most popular course, for good reasons.
What will I learn
This course comprises eight sessions designed to provide a clear framework for the practice of cultivating mindfulness – the practice of cultivating a calm, clear & focused mind.
The course is part of our MSC Meditation Program and mindfulness forms the basis for developing the other mental qualities taught in the selflessness and compassion programs. The MSC Meditation program was developed by the world-renowned meditation teacher Glen Svensson based on the work of of Dr. Alan Wallace.
The program has eight sessions:
- Observing Thoughts
- Resting in Stillness
- Stillness in Motion
- Open Awareness
- Mindfulness in Daily Life
What will I take away into my daily life
- Ability to approach all situations in life with a more relaxed, focused, balanced and clear mind.
- A greater degree of self-awareness and understanding of your own emotions, reactions, thoughts, and feelings.
- Less reactivity, the ability respond instead of just react.
- A greater sense of ease and well-being.
- Less distraction, not be so easily caught up in multitasking and scattered attention.
- The foundation of more self-care and self-compassion.
- The foundation for more care, concern, and compassion towards others.
Zarina has been exploring the subject of happiness from different angles. She studied psychology for her undergraduate degree and wrote a thesis about female happiness. Later when she came into contact with Buddhist philosophy and Iyengar yoga, she found answers to a lot of her questions about the mind, genuine happiness, and meaning in life.
Zarina is very much inspired by the message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama about secular ethics – education about cultivating universal human values such as love and compassion irrespective of whether one is a believer or a non-believer. She studied Buddhist philosophy at Sera Je Monastery in India and Europe. She is a certified Iyengar yoga and Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) teacher.
More about this course
Course material is The Attention Revolution by Alan Wallace (sold at the centre).
Session 1: Relaxation (Attention Revolution p.13 – 21)
In general when we focus on any object or task we tend to be quite tight and tense and as a result often become both agitated and exhausted.
What’s the solution? Relaxation. The basis of any sustainable focus is relaxation.
In this session we will look at how we can cultivate this sense of ease and relaxation in both the body and mind. For this we will use the practice of mindfulness of breathing, in particular the practice of simply becoming aware of the rhythm of the breath.
Session 2: Focus (Attention Revolution p.29 – 34)
When we try to focus on an object or task we often become distracted. And when we find that we have become distracted we tend to clamp down more forcefully on the object or task. Which then causes us to become even more agitated and also exhausted.
What’s the solution? Cultivating focus on the basis of relaxation.
In this session we will look at how we can improve our ability to focus whilst maintaining a relaxed body & mind. For this we will use the practice of mindfulness of breathing focussing our attention on the sensations of the breath in the area of the abdomen.
Session 3: Clarity (Attention Revolution p.43 – 49)
When we try to focus on an object or task our mind also often becomes very dull or drowsy. And when we try to arouse our attention we often become tense and agitated. So we tend to be either focussed and tense or relaxed and dull.
What’s the solution? Cultivating clarity on the basis of relaxation & focus.
In this session we will look at how we can combine the two – to be relaxed and at the same time focusing clearly on the object or task. For this we will use the practice of mindfulness of breathing focussing our attention on the sensations of the breath at the entrance of the nostrils.
Session 4: Observing Thoughts (Attention Revolution p.81 – 93 & p.101 – 109)
Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Unfortunately in our modern society it often seems to be the latter. We tend to be the slaves of our mind, tormented and often overwhelmed by our thoughts, emotions and memories.
How can we become the masters of our mind? The simple practice of observing thoughts.
In this session we will look at how to use the mind as our object for cultivating mindfulness, specifically how to observe our thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them. And in the process make our mind our best friend.
Session 5: Resting in Stillness (Attention Revolution p.133 – 138 & p.144 – 148)
We get so caught up in appearances whether they be external appearances such as visual objects and sounds or internal objects such as thoughts and emotions that we not aware of the awareness within which they appear. As a result we tend to contract around those appearances and our mind becomes very small and constricted and thus becomes unbalanced and reactive.
What’s the solution? The practice of resting in stillness.
In this session we will make explicit what for most of us goes unnoticed, that is that awareness is taking place in all of our experiences. We will simply do this by turning our awareness away from objects and turning it in upon itself. And simply knowing that we’re aware. And in the process noticing that awareness is completely still and boundless.
Session 6: Stillness in Motion (same as session 4 & 5)
Even if we try to observe thoughts and emotions we still tend to get swept away by them. They are very ‘sticky’ and our mind easily reacts either getting caught up in them or if they are unpleasant trying to suppress them. Either way we become the slaves of our mind.
What’s the solution? The practice of stillness in motion.
In this session we will combine the practices of observing thoughts and resting in stillness. That is, resting in the stillness of awareness whilst observing the movements of the mind. In this way we anchor ourselves in that open spacious stillness and hence can more easily observe thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them.
Session 7: Open Awareness (same as session 4 & 5)
In our daily life our mind is often very tight and constricted just like the water in a small cup. And just as when a small pebble is dropped into that cup the surface of the water is completely disturbed, so too is our mind easily disturbed even when a very small stimulus comes our way.
What’s the solution? Open awareness.
In this session we will expand the stillness in motion practice to also include sensory objects. That is, resting in the stillness of awareness whilst observing all movements of the mind. In this way our mind is like the water in a large lake. When that same pebble is dropped into a large lake is hardly causes a ripple. Similarly through resting in that open spacious stillness we can effectively engage in our daily life activities responding to stimuli without the mind being disturbed.
Session 8: Mindfulness in Daily Life (Attention Revolution p.20 – 21, p.35 – 37, p.49 – 55 & p.66 – 67)
Mindfulness has become quite popular in our modern society however unfortunately it is often presented without reference to any supporting framework and thus largely stripped of its efficacy. It has been reduced to McMindfulness.
In this session we will explore one such framework that can help make our cultivation of mindfulness effective. To help us achieve mental balance and well-being.
Speakers for this event
Zarina is a certified Cultvating Emotional Balance, Potential Project trainer, and Iyengar Yoga teacher.
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