This eight-week course is based on the widely researched international curriculum that represents the gold standard in mindfulness training for stress reduction. Based on the pioneering work of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the training involves eight two and a half hour sessions as well as a full day workshop on Saturday 7th of October. Participants are given a manual with extensive notes as well as 3 meditation practice CDs/ audio files. Each session involves a gentle mixture of mindfulness meditation practice, short presentations on the theme for that week by the facilitator as well as some group exercises and discussion. In each session the facilitator endeavors to create a warm and supportive environment where participants can explore their experience without pressure and without judgments.
A key insight in mindfulness is that we create suffering for ourselves when we resist how things are in any given moment. If things are going well for us we don’t want them to change. We might be really enjoying the weekend and when Sunday night comes along and we start to think about work on Monday morning there may be a real sense of wanting to hold on to what is pleasant now. In contrast, when things are not going well such as being stuck in traffic or we are preoccupied by money worries the tendency is to wish things to be different and reject our present moment experience.
In both of these situations Mindfulness invites us to really notice our reactions and allow things to be as they are just for now without judgements. When we drop the judgements about how things should be, we begin to make friends with our experience and with ourselves.
While mindfulness does not claim to be a cure for anything, a growing amount of research indicates its effectiveness in:
- Getting a better night’s sleep
- Reducing worry and feelings of anxiety
- Improving tolerance of chronic pain
- Lifting mood and appreciating what is good in life
- Managing interpersonal conflict more effectively
- Enhancing feelings of self-worth and compassion for others
To find out more about the scientific research supporting the effectiveness of MBSR please go to these websites:
www.umassmed.edu (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
https://www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness/ (Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, University of Bangor)
Google: American Mindfulness Research Association
At the end of the course participants come away with a set of tools that allow them to take better care of themselves in the ups and downs of everyday living. The effectiveness of the MBSR course crucially depends on the participant’s willingness to commit to daily practice while the course is underway (about 45 minutes but supported by the guided CDs or audio files). It is worth remembering that Mindfulness is not intended as a magic pill but can be a significantly transformative approach for many people, as they use it to surf the waves that life inevitably presents us with.
Course Dates: From Monday August 21st until and including Monday October 16th, including a Day of Mindfulness Practice on Saturday 7th October 2017.
Dominic has been involved in education as a teacher and teacher trainer in Ireland and abroad for many years. He holds a BA (Hons.) in English and Philosophy from UCC, a Post Graduate Diploma in Primary Education from St Patrick’s College and a Masters in Education (with Distinction) from the University of London, Institute of Education as well as a Combined Certificate in Counselling Skills and Practice from the Central School of Counselling and Therapy (London).
Dominic began practicing mindfulness meditation over eleven years ago. He has received training in teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, University of Bangor and in addition, holds a professional MBSR Teacher Certificate from the Institute for Mindfulness Based Approaches (IMA, Germany). He has also received certified training with the UK based Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) to teach the .b mindfulness programme to adolescents and the .b Foundations programme to teachers and those working with young people. He continues to attend professional mindfulness trainings and retreats and adheres to the Good Practice Guidelines set out by the UK Network of Mindfulness Teachers.
Dominic currently teaches MBSR courses to the general public and organises mindfulness workshops in Dublin and the surrounding counties. In addition, he offers introductory courses in mindfulness on request to community groups, businesses and public sector organisations. He has a particular interest in promoting mindfulness in schools and in supporting teachers to do so.