Over the next eight weeks, we will learn many ways to become more aware of the present moment. We will do this by following the curriculum of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
After each class, below you will find important information on home practice, reference materials, downloadable worksheets and meditation recordings.
Each week has a specific focus. The first three weeks establish the foundations of mindfulness practice. In weeks four and five, we look at the physiology of stress in more detail before focusing in more detail on how we can learn to respond to stressful situations. Week six includes exercises on difficult communications, while week seven focuses on how we can take care of ourselves. The final week summarises what we have learned and explores ways to continue practising after completing the course.
The importance of practising
We will work together to become more aware of our habits and explore new ways of being with our experience. This is something that takes practice. This means that you need to be prepared to practice between the sessions. I recommend practising for 45 minutes per day. Personal practice is an essential part of the programme. You can only learn to play a musical instrument by practising. The same applies to training your mind.
Practise the body scan recording once a day for at least six days before we meet again.
You can also note anything that comes up in the home practice so that we can talk about it at the next meeting. This form is for your record only.
Choose one routine activity in your daily life, and bring mindfulness to that activity each time you do it, just as we did in the raisin exercise. You might choose to focus on waking up in the morning, brushing your teeth, showering, drying your body,
getting dressed, eating, driving, taking out the rubbish, shopping, starting the car.
Eat at least one meal mindfully. You don’t need to quite as slowly as we did with the raisin. However, it is helpful to slow down a little. Focus on the sights, tastes, smells and impulses that arise as you give your attention to the food.
Do the nine dots puzzle (you will find it in the Handouts document). Notice your responses to the whole process of approaching the puzzle.