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Learning MBSR: third evening of the course - the surprising importance of practising mindfulness during movement

Well last night was the third session of this MBSR course.  I wrote last week about the second evening and also about mindfulness during daily activities.  We packed a lot into this session - there were four practical meditation exercises involving attending to sounds, breath & body awareness, mindfulness during movement & a brief breathing space.  We also had quite extensive group discussions of our experience during each of these practices, a pair exercise to discuss our "homework" last week (it felt helpful to me that this was a bit longer than last session's pair discussion) and more general "homework" exploration in the group.

Learning mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): first evening of the course

I wrote a blog post a few days ago entitled "Mindfulness: teaching & learning".  I talked about my decision to participate in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, saying "Why participate in a MBSR course? Basically because I think it would be rather interesting! There's a real groundswell of energy for mindfulness based approaches at the moment. Some of it is "faddy" and will ebb away over time. Some of the energy though is helping us understand much more about mindfulness and how it can best be used in helping us live with less suffering and more joy. So what are my "learning objectives" for the MBSR course?

C: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 3

From the place where we are right/Flowers will never grow/In the spring.

The place where we are right/Is hard and trampled/Like a yard.

But doubts and loves/Dig up the world/Like a mole, a plow/And a whisper will be heard in the place/Where the ruined/House once stood.

 

- Yehuda Amichai

B: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 2

The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them; there ought to be as many for love.

- Margaret Atwood

So it was the second session of the group yesterday.  I blogged about the first session last week.  Sadly a couple of people couldn't get to this second meeting - due to a pre-planned holiday and to an unexpected crisis.  It's quite common for participants to miss one or two evenings across a twelve session course like this, but I want to be careful when people miss such an early meeting.  It's important that they don't lose their way and get left behind.  They will get copies of the handouts and the Autogenic CD, but I also make a note to contact them myself.   

A: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 1

“ There is a crack in everything. That's where the light gets in. ” - Leonard Cohen

Yesterday we had the first evening of the Life Skills group.  I've written in the past about the background planning behind this group.  How did this first meeting go?  Well there were nine of us - eight participants and myself.  Rather demandingly I'm both running a new course and trying to get used to new technology at the same time.  For years, when running small group trainings here at our house, I've used an overhead projector to shine transparencies up onto the wall.  For a while I've wanted to upgrade to a laptop and data projector, and this evening I went ahead to put this into practice.

Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing

The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.

- Anonymous

In the 1970's I taught yoga and several different types of meditation.  In the 1980's I began teaching courses in Autogenic Training, a form of deep relaxation/meditation.  I continued running Autogenic classes for about 25 years.  In addition to the relaxation/meditation exercises, the teaching also covered several other life skill/stress management techniques.  For a much fuller description of these eight session courses, visit the Autogenic Training section of this website.

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