Deeper Mindfulness: exploring feeling tone frame by frame is a new eight-week course (previous called Frame by Frame) developed by Mark Williams and colleagues, designed for those who have already completed a mindfulness-based program and want to explore mindfulness more deeply. It is informed by recent psychological findings that reveal that every waking moment, our understanding of the world is dominated by imagining how we can take action within it, coloured by what is called ‘feeling tone’. Feeling tone is the moment-by-moment ‘read-out’ of how much a sensation, thought or emotion feels pleasant, unpleasant, or neither. Based on this moment-by-moment ‘read out’, the body allocates its resources as it gears up for real or imagined action. This can prepare us well for action, but it can also put us at risk of becoming exhausted without our realising it.
Ancient traditions saw feeling tone (vedana) as a fundamental element of every moment of experience and a central aspect of mindfulness practice. Learning specific practices to help us become aware of feeling tone allows us to see clearly the very instant where we become caught up in pursuing or rejecting something and become entangled in a web of emotional distress. Meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein has said that mindfulness of feeling tone is one of the master keys that both reveals and unlocks the deepest patterns of our conditioning.
During these eight weeks you will learn meditations that prepare you for, then help you tune in to feeling tone frame by frame. This provides an opportunity to see more clearly both the tipping points for distress and exhaustion, and also how to flourish by freeing yourself to appreciate life again, even in the midst of difficulty.
This course is not being offered as a treatment for any specific physical or psychological condition. If you are currently experiencing a severe problem it would be best to sign up for this training once the worst is past and you have recovered some stability.
Full Dates: 23/10, 30/10, 06/11, 13/11, 20/11, 27/11, 04/12, 11/12, (reserve: 18/12) at 10:00-12:00 UK time.
PLEASE NOTE: The UK time zone changes during this course. The UK is currently in British Summer Time (BST) and changes to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 29 October 2023. Session 1 will start at 10:00 BST, and the remaining sessions will all start at 10:00 GMT. Please ensure you check the timings of this course and how this corresponds to your own time zone.
What happens after I complete the course?
- You will be invited to give your feedback – this is not compulsory
- In the final session you will be given information about ways to carry your practice forwards if you wish to do so
- The OMF provides Confirmation of Attendance letters to participants who fully attend at least 6 of the 8 Deeper Mindfulness sessions
What will I do on this course?
On this course you will:
- Attend 8 weekly sessions. Each one lasts 2 hours, with a break half-way through
- You’ll be in a group of up to 16 people, led by one of OMF’s experienced mindfulness teachers. (Note that each session builds upon what has been introduced before, so it is important to attend all the sessions if you possibly can. If you know you are going to miss a session, please let the teacher know)
- Each session is followed by suggestions for home-based personal practice of around 20 minutes per day. This includes both recommended guided practices for the week, and also ways to cultivate mindfulness in everyday life.
- Each session begins with a short, guided meditation, then (except the first session) there’ll be a review and enquiry into the past week. After a break, the second half of the session introduces the new theme for the week: • explaining the rationale for the meditation practice • practicing the week’s meditation itself, then • reviewing what you and/or other participants experienced or discovered in that practice/exercise.
- You will have access to a web resource which gives you guided practices and written material to support each session
- To help you choose the format of personal practice that best works for you, you will have several options of how to do the guided meditations…with 10’, 20’ and 30’ versions of practices available each week. There will also be a ‘minimal instructions’ format giving a brief summary of the guidance followed by silence, with bells every five minutes, so you can guide yourself.
On this course you will learn the following skills:
- How to ‘find your ground’ by exploring different ways to anchor your attention, to see what provides the most helpful way of stabilising and calming your mind
- How to take a pause when your mind wanders, and to cultivate a sense of kindness and gratitude for the mind’s activity instead of seeing it as an enemy to be overcome
- How to recognise the feeling tone of any contact with mind and body, and how it is the tipping point for reactions that are often self-defeating • How to allow feeling tone to be present for longer without reacting, so the mind is freed from habitual cascades of stress and exhaustion
- How to see when and how the body gears up for action unnecessarily, and how to allay the busyness to allow wise action to emerge
- How to use mindfulness of feeling tone to help turn towards difficult emotions and concerns
- How to use mindfulness of feeling tone to notice moments of appreciation in your everyday life and to deal skilfully with the symptoms of exhaustion (e.g., procrastination)
- In the final session you will learn ways to sustain your mindfulness practice, including a template for a year of practice you can use or adapt