The courses we offer
These 8-week courses provide a basic introduction to mindfulness and meditation. They can be taken either as a structured introduction to practices you can develop further in the ongoing weekly course (see below) or in other groups, or as a stand-alone short mindfulness course to give some pointers for helping with stress and other mental difficulties. But to be clear, we are not offering the full 8-week NICE-recommended Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course - see below*.
The sessions last up to an hour and a quarter and introduce key principles of mindfulness and a range of meditation and mindfulness practices. They include discussion of practical ways of using mindfulness to help deal with stress and distress. One of the group sessions is replaced by a short one-to-one session with the teacher for everyone in the group to talk through anything that might be helpful. So that you get the most out of the course, we ask participants to commit to attending at least six of the sessions and to practising meditation every day as far as they can. Between sessions there are also some questions for investigation in relation to your own daily experience.
Michaelmas Term 2018: there will be a course on Tuesdays at 5.30pm–6.45pm from 9 October–27 November, and one on Thursdays from 1–29 November and 17–31 January, also from 5.30–6.45pm).
If you would like to come, please contact Rachael Harris at email@example.com by 6 October, telling her something about why you're interested in coming and if you have any mental health issues you think she should know about. Also that you commit yourself to attending at least 6 of the 8 sessions and to practising meditation every day during the course, as far as you are able. Please also let her know which of the above days and times you are available.
The courses can help with stress, anxiety, depression and other kinds of distress, but not with severe mental health issues. If you are severely depressed or suffer from a mental illness, it may well not be the right time to start meditation. If you are suffering from milder depression or some other kind of difficulty or distress, please let Rachael know and she can arrange to have a chat with you before the first session.
*The University also offers mindfulness teaching, see http://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/welfare-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-cam/
MBSR/MBCT courses are also offered locally, see e.g. http://www.cambridgebuddhistcentre.com/stress_and_pain/stress_reduction.php.
The ongoing weekly course
This is open to anyone who has completed one of the introductory courses. It offers support in maintaining, developing and deepening the practice of meditation and mindfulness. It is a structured course with different aspects presented and discussed each week, but designed so that new people can join at any point. Since meditation is different for everyone, individual guidance is built into the course. If you would like to come, please contact Rachael: firstname.lastname@example.org.