Mindfulness meditation courses for everyone
I'm not very flexible - if I come on one of your courses will I have to sit cross legged on the floor?
How will I do the mindful movement part of the course?
Most people who come to mindfulness classes sit on chairs so there is no expectation of people to sit on the floor. The most important thing is to be comfortable in whatever posture you choose. The gentle, mindful movements that we do are based on yoga and tai chi, and are easily adapted to all abilities - it's even possible to do some mindful movement whilst sitting in a chair.
I've had some mental health issues - would your courses be suitable for me?
Between them, Beckie and Sarah have professional teaching, counselling and social care qualifications, but the course which is offered by Mindfulness Generation is for general stress reduction rather than cognitive therapy. If you have any concerns please discuss them with us.
We always suggest that people interested in mindfulness come to an introductory course to find out more, and to see whether a longer course is appropriate for them at this time.
Is mindfulness a religion?
Although modern day mindfulness has its origins in Buddhist meditation and most mindulness teachers will have an understanding of these roots and may well make reference to them, the courses we offer are secular in nature and shaped by current western psychological understanding and the findings of neuroscience.
Isn't mindfulness just positive thinking?
No, it is about accepting ALL of our experiences and being aware of whatever we are feeling, good or bad. During a mindfulness meditation we are not seeking to change our thoughts, engineer a blissful experience or to empty our minds. A welcome by-product of meditation may be that the mind seems quieter, we feel more relaxed and are able to let go of negative thoughts, but that is not the aim.
I have a really busy life at home and an important job so how can I just live in the present moment and not think about the future?
Although the mindfulness practices emphasise the experience of the present moment, that does not mean you have to abandon future plans or 'accept the unacceptable'. With greater clarity of mind and more consciousness of choice you may find that you can plan more efficiently and wisely, and at an appropriate time.
What if I'm really busy and I don't have time to practise at home?
The 8 week course is a fairly short introduction to mindfulness - for many, mindfulness is a lifetime's practice. The home activities (which will involve doing some meditation at home and practising bringing mindfulness to daily life) are an important part of the course and help embed the ideas that we have learned and discussed. They will help you to create a practice that you can more easily continue when the course has finished. Like learning a new language or a musical instrument, the more practice that you can do, even as little as 10 minutes, the deeper the benefits will be. That said, we understand that it is not always possible to practise every day. By attending the course you are already making a commitment to explore mindfulness.
Is there any evidence that mindfulness works?
There has been much scientific research into mindfulness to show that it benefits both physical and mental health. Danny Penman and Professor Mark William's book Mindfulness: Finding peace in a frantic world contains a very good overview of recent findings. We often post links to articles about current research on Mindfulness Generation's Twitter and Facebook feeds.