If you are coming along to do a WorkplaceMT course, then well done for signing up and I hope you have a great experience…
Doing a little (tiny) bit of advanced preparation will give you an even better experience. Below are two short videos by eminent researchers in the field of mindfulness. Watching these, will give you a good knowledge base to bring with you to your WorkplaceMT course.
There are also two short summaries of research papers which you may also find useful prep.
Resources you will require for the course are:
A copy of the book Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. You can find the book for a reasonable cost here.
You will not need to bring note taking materials as the course is completely experiential. We are aiming to be in a different mindset than usual: present and accessing the body’s intelligence rather than our thinking, doing mind.
However, bringing along a few items for our own self care such as a shawl or fleecy blanket, drinking water and perhaps a block or book to rest your feet on while practicing is recommended.
Being kind to ourselves will be front and centre of this learning journey: an attitude we currently may find challenging to apply.
Watch this video by Shauni Shapiro as preparation for the Workplace MT course here
Watch this video by Sara Lazar as preparation for the WorkplaceMT course here
If you would prefer to use the Peace in a Frantic World soundfiles you can find these here
In Week 1 we discuss how we can learn mindfulness in a workplace or education environment but we must create an environment of safety, kindness & confidence. This is very much an experiential course, as well as bringing in theory & research evidence. We discuss what the benefits of mindfulness are and what this means for you at work and home.
We will also be learning about how the mind works & stress and resilience and what can go wrong when we try to ‘problem solve’ our emotions. Using games and exercises we expose our habitual thinking behaviour and you will learn how to focus your attention/mind on your ‘moment to moment experience’.
Find relevant videos for Week 1 here
Find relevant research studies for Week 1 here
The chocolate practice is a wonderful way for us to realise we spend much of our lives on 'auto pilot'. We go though life not really being present or aware of what we doing, experiencing or eating. When we pay attention to the sensations of eating a piece of food it can be quite a revelation!
Here is our first practice - focusing on the sensation of the breath as it moves in the body, noticing when the mind wanders and waking up to where our mind and attention is and then directing the spotlight of attention back to the breath.
In Week 2 we begin to explore not only the link between mind and body, but how the body produces thoughts, feelings and emotions. We understand the feedback loop system between mind/body and body/mind. Using our mindfulness practice can help us access a direct knowing of the body which we can use to regulate our mental/emotional responses.
Find relevant videos for Week 2 here
Find relevant research studies for Week 2 here
The Body Scan is one of the most important practices in this and other mindfulness courses. Here we are moving the torchlight of our attention to different parts of the body, noticing any sensations and developing an awareness of the body.
In Week 3 we move towards bringing our mindful awareness into our day to day lives. We are becoming more conscious of how the world actually is, rather than how we would like it to be. So noticing the 'gap' between those two states of mind, noticing how often we worry and stress. This increases our openness to new ideas and our creativity.
Find relevant videos for Week 3 here
Find relevant research studies for Week 3 here
The three step breathing space is a mini meditation allowing us to integrate our mindfulness into everyday life. This practice is also a ‘breathing space’ when we are in a crisis situation.
Not to be confused with the body and breath practice - this practice should be done after some mindful movement if possible. We come to the breath then expand awareness through the body, zooming in and out of specific regions. We learn to breathe in to areas of discomfort or intense sensations.
Here we are 'keeping the body in mind' as we gently stretch and bring a mindful awareness to these movements. Being careful of what we feel comfortable with at all times while cultivating an attitude of curiosity & gentleness. Noticing our mental attitude to physical discomfort & boundaries.
In Week 4 we consider the idea that our thoughts are not facts, they are simply mental events. As we examine our interpretation of events, we realise that our thoughts can be habitual and not always helpful. Observing thoughts as things can be very liberating...
Find relevant videos for Week 4 here
Find relevant research studies for Week 4 here
Here we settle with a short breath & body practice. We then open to sound noticing our tendency to label & react. Shifting attention to our thoughts, we can see similarities to sounds as they come and go, arising & dissolving.
In Week 5 we apply all the mindfulness skills we have learned over the past four weeks. Directing, focusing & relaxing attention and cultivating self kindness, acceptance and openness. This week we learn a new way to deal with the difficult situations and uncomfortable emotions that arise in all of our lives.
Find relevant videos for Week 5 here
Find relevant research studies for Week 5 here
In this practice we try a different way of approaching difficult or stressful situations. Rather than thinking our way out of problems, we drop awareness into the body and breathe into areas of tension while noticing our thoughts and feelings.
In our last week we develop a clear intention for taking our practice forward and creating a more resilient and compassionate future. We will finish, as we started with the attitude of being kind to ourselves being 'front and centre' while now also including being kind to others.
Find relevant videos for Week 6 here
Find relevant research studies for Week 6 here
Although we don't practice this meditation in class, it is a beautiful and nourishing practice and many studies have shown that being compassionate to others brings many health benefits. Enjoy...