8-Week Mindfulness Training
8-Week Mindfulness Training
This course can be adapted to corporations, private groups, schools or individuals. During this 8-week course, you will take a journey into the practice of mindfulness meditation which is a secular, scientific and evidence-based practice that has become an accepted part of mainstream medicine. It has been proven to lower anxiety and enhance the immune system. You will learn how to establish a solid meditation practice and you will soon discover how it positively affects the quality of your everyday life, your lifestyle choices and your sense of intelligent inner guidance. In addition to the classic mindfulness practices, you will learn yoga practices that prepare your body to sit in meditation as well as somatic practices that release deep seated tension and anxiety from body and mind.
There are no pre-requisites for this course. You will be in a supportive group of people who share the goal of incorporating more mindfulness into their lives and gradually achieving a sense of inner peace and calm as well as greater ease in the body. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring layers.
Each week you will be given suggested home practices. You will experience best results if you practice daily in between classes.
The class typically meets for two hours, once a week for eight weeks.
Tension is our way of blocking out awareness of our body. Tension is a kind of wall… our eco-conscious mind puts up to keep the body at a distance, to keep what the body knows – all of the feelings, all of the unpleasant memories, all of the unwanted experiences, ... Identifying tension, entering tension and releasing tension is a way of softening the boundary between the vast unconscious knowledge of the body and our defensive, paranoid conscious mind. - Reginald Ray.
Week One: Automatic Pilot
You'll be introduced to mindful eating, mindful breathing, and the body-scan method, and learn to be fully engaged in the present moment. You will experience how the body-scan practice which will help you cultivate a greater sense of awareness of how you react in stressful situations. You will learn how to lower stress on your mind and body. You will become aware of any unhelpful automatic routines that have become part of your habits and bring a greater sense of mindfulness to your daily routines.
Week Two: Mindfulness of the Breath
You will learn meditation practices that focus on the act of breathing and experience the impact on body and mind. You will learn about various meditation postures and how to best prepare the body to get comfortable during your meditation practice. You will become more aware of how thoughts and feelings manifest as physical sensations in the body and learn healthy ways to soothe the discomfort.
Week Three: Mindfulness of the Body Moving
In this session, you'll practice several distinct yet interrelated mindfulness practices—mindful hatha yoga, sitting meditation, and walking meditation. This is an ideal time to share your insights about your experiences with formal practice and integrating mindfulness into your daily life. You will discover that there is both pleasure and power in being present—you'll directly attend to and investigate how your experiences create such reactions as pleasure or discomfort in the mind and body. You will learn classic yogic stretches that gradually soften the tight places in the body and create greater fluidity in both body and mind.
Week Four: Managing Reactions
By practicing mindfulness, we cultivate curiosity and openness to the full range of our experience, and through this process our ability to pay attention becomes more flexible. This week, your practice will focus on the development of your ability to concentrate and systematically expand your field of awareness. You'll learn about the physiological and psychological bases of stress reactivity, and experience mindful strategies for responding in positive, proactive ways to stressful situations.
Week Five: Letting Things Be
At the halfway point in this course, you should now be familiar with the foundations of mindfulness and able to focus on applying it more rapidly and effectively to specific challenges and stressors in your life. This week you will begin to pay attention to the places where you might be stuck in repeating, unhealthy patterns that you can disarm through mindful awareness. You will also learn how to apply mindfulness at the critical moment when you experience a physical sensation, intense emotion, or condition, with special attention to exploring the effect of reactivity in health and illness.
Week Six: Recognizing Thoughts and Emotions as Mental Events
Resilience or “stress hardiness” is our ability to return to equilibrium after stressful situations. This week, you will focus on transformational coping strategies to broaden your inner resources and enhance your resilience through mindfulness practice. You'll also learn the fundamentals of interpersonal mindfulness—applying awareness and presence at times when communication becomes difficult or fraught with strong emotions. You'll gain direct experience of a variety of styles for more effective and creative interpersonal communication.
Week Seven: Taking Good Care of Yourself
Mindfulness is most effective when it is a lifetime commitment. This week, you will explore the many ways that you can integrate mindfulness more fully and personally into your life. While having a dedicated regular practice for mindfulness meditation is important and beneficial, it is just as important to bring a broader sense of awareness and presence to every moment in your life, and to use non-judgmental mindfulness in your self-reflection and decision-making processes. You'll learn how to maintain the discipline and flexibility of daily practice as circumstances change over the course of your life.
Week Eight: Living Mindfully
In the final week of the program, you will have a complete review of everything you've learned over the course, with an emphasis on carrying the momentum you've built forward into the coming months and years. You'll learn about resources available to you to pursue mindfulness in new directions as your life and practice evolve, as well as the support systems that exist to help you continue to integrate, learn, and grow. The final lesson creates a satisfying closure by honoring both the end of this program and the beginning of the rest of your life.
Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a blanket to class.
Payment plans available. No one is turned a way for lack of funds.
Pre-registration and payment reserves your space, and is required for all workshops and events. There are no refunds, but if you cancel more than 24-hours prior to the beginning of a class series, workshop, or event, your payment is transferred to a credit you can use for any Breath of Life product or service. Such credits have no expiration date. If you cancel less than 24-hours prior, you forfeit your payment. Please register early as space is limited.