Mindfulness has become a practice used by many people. The essential goals are to reduce stress and anxiety and so free the mind to be more alert and aware and in touch, mind and body, in the now. The present is a place we can be in and come to know rather than fretting about the future or ruminating about the past. It can be of help right now in this challenging time.
Many U3A members will perhaps know of the eight week mindfulness course which aims to prepare people to follow the practice on their own. The course is underpinned by research carried out by many prestigious bodies, like the University of Bangor in Wales and the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Those who have practised for a long time and those who see themselves as novices all testify that their individual practice is enhanced by including practising with others at regular intervals. According to master of mindfulness Jan Kabat-Zinn, it does not matter whether you have been practising for 20 years or for 2 months, the daily practice is still the same. So this online programme is for those familiar with the practice, and for those who would like to see what it could offer them.
Each month three aspects of mindfulness practice will be made available, starting in April 2020:
A 30 minute audio – Guided Mindfulness Practice led by Andy Metcalf
A column entitled Nick’s Reflections
Pointers to additional resources for those who wish to explore further.
April’s Mindfulness Guide
May’s Mindfulness Guide
Helen Muller, co-coordinator of the Science of Health seminar series, was struck by members’ curiosity, lively interest and capacity to be inspired, but also aware of our vulnerability facing quite difficult and painful realities of illness and ageing.
Andy Metcalf first started to meditate in a regular group when such a group was established for psychotherapists some years ago. Since then he has regularly provided the guided meditation element in a N8 psychotherapist meditation group.
Nick Carroll has explored different meditation traditions as both a student and teacher for over 45 years. The key element in all of them is awareness of what we are experiencing. What is important is being in the ‘witness’ position observing all that we experience, including our reactivity, and at the same time and to the best of our ability, not to re- act but simply observe. This has a transformative and deepening effect on our experience and understanding of life, one that eventually leads to greater integration and well-being. He will contribute to Nick’s Reflections.