Mindfulness for Life (sometimes referred to as MBCT-L) is a course designed to cultivate mindful awareness of our body, emotions and mind so that we can live our lives with a greater sense of wellbeing, kindness and resilience. It is an evidence-based course, developed in the light of research at Oxford University and other leading research centres.
It has two main intentions: to offer you some skills to meet life’s challenges and difficulties, both internal and external; as well as skills to develop more awareness and appreciation of the pleasant moments in life that we can often overlook. In other words, to respond more skilfully to all of life’s inevitable ups and downs.
This course is not being offered as a treatment for any specific physical or psychological conditions. Please do not sign up for this training if you are currently experiencing severe problems in these areas.
The course includes a longer Day of Practice, usually held on Saturday or Sunday towards the end of the course. This is an opportunity to deepen practice and, whilst an invaluable learning experience, does not form part of the core teaching.
Full Dates: Sundays: 15/10 (finishes 20:30), 22/10, 29/10, 05/11, 12/11, 19/11, 03/12, 10/12 at 18:00-20:15 UK time.
Day of Practice: Sunday 26 November (15:00-20:00 UK time)
In addition we ask you to reserve 17/12 for the unlikely event that the teacher may need to reschedule a session.
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. Sessions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 will therefore start at 18:00 GMT and the Day of Practice at 15:00 GMT, not BST. 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 7 of the 9 Mindfulness for Life sessions (including the Practice Day)
What will I do on this course?
On this course you will:
- Attend 8 weekly sessions lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes. The first session is 2 hours and 30 minutes
- After Session 6, there is also a ‘Day of Practice‘– usually 5 hours – which revisits practices introduced in the course and introduces some new practices
- This is a structured course where each session builds upon what has been introduced before. This is why it is important to attend all the sessions
- You will be in a group of up to 16 people, led by one of OMF’s experienced mindfulness teachers
- Each session will have guided and structured meditation practices. Many sessions also have exercises drawn from modern psychology
- Each practice or exercise is followed by a review of what you and/or other participants experienced or discovered in that practice/exercise. This review does not include a discussion of participants’ past history
- Each session is followed by suggestions for personal practice of up to 45 minutes. This includes both recommended guided practices, and also ways to cultivate new habits of mindfulness in everyday life
- Each session (except the first) includes a review of the previous week’s personal practice
- You will have access to a web resource which gives you guided practices and written material to support each session
On this course you will learn the following skills:
- How to ‘stabilise the attention’: to recognise mind wandering and ‘autopilot’, and how to bring the attention back to where we want it to be – with interest, patience, and care
- Learning more about two different ways of being and knowing: through direct experience and through thinking. Understanding more about how the mind creates meaning
- Learning to recognise our patterns of reactivity and how trying to get rid of distress may actually keep us stuck
- Bringing a sense of care and kindness to ourselves in those moments of distress and reactivity
- Using mindfulness to respond skilfully, not react – in ways that support the wellbeing of ourselves and of others around us
- To ‘step back’ a little from our direct experience so that we can see it more clearly, and so choose a kinder response
- Building what we have learnt into our everyday lives