The Art of Sense Foraging – 2 half-days
1 day Workshop over 2 half-days
Training will take place over two four-hour sessions on Thursdays: October 6th and 13th, 1600pm – 2000pm UK time
If “life is about the journey, not the destination”, why are we so obsessed with getting places? In this session, Prof. Farb will discuss emerging research on how we can integrate age-old wisdom to help cope with the frenetic pace of modern life.
Beginning with a discussion of what goes wrong when we become overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, and depression, we will turn to the research on the amazing human capacity for flourishing even in a life filled with adversity.
Key to this process is the ability to restructure how we relate to experience in each moment. We will discuss how some small shifts in our approach to the everyday can sow the seeds for personal transformation.
Supported by cutting-edge research from psychology and cognitive neuroscience, this workshop aims to provide some insight into how a little flexibility in our approach to life’s problems can give us the leverage needed to move from ‘just surviving’ to living an engaged and valued life.
Key to this process are 3 major skills:
– Recognise. Learn the neuroscience behind why we get ‘stuck’ in one way of relating to experience and becoming familiar with your own patterns of being locked in a ‘resistance mode’;
– Sense Forage. Explore the fascinating art of sense foraging as a gateway to freeing yourself from a fixed way of knowing; worry less about branding and learn to recognise and value access points to sense foraging across all walks of life; and
– Toggle. Develop an appreciation for a middle path between extremes in knowing or sensing, and plot our a path towards skilling ourselves in the art of toggling between these modes, in order to find balance between action and recuperation.
You will explore in depth how these 3 skills serve as evidence-based, trainable skills. We will begin to practise these skills supported by demonstrations from recent psychological and neuroscientific findings conducted in Prof. Farb’s research group. In an age in which stress cues are curated for our continuous consumption to fuel an emerging ‘attention economy’, a new skillset for self-care is required. This workshop is intended to help outline the characteristics of the skillset needed to navigate modern challenges, and offer and offer practical techniques to access a trajectory leading towards flourishing rather than exhaustion.
The OMF provides Confirmation of Attendance letters to all participants who attend our events.
What will I do on this course?You will learn some exciting findings in cognitive neuroscience around how stress affects the brain, why sensation is critical for resilience, and how to strike a balance between stability in change in everyday life. You will be challenged to self-reflect on your own capacities and guided to find new access points to support resilience and flourishing.
Learning OutcomesThrough teaching, self-reflections and group discussions you will:
- Explore an understanding how we have evolved to deal with stress and how such adaptations explain contemporary challenges to wellbeing
- Develop an appreciation for sense foraging and define how to approach the practice on your own terms
- Envision how you can strike a balance between achieving what you want in life while still making time to support yourself and your community
About the Teacher
Norman Farb is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where he directs the Regulatory and Affective Dynamics laboratory (www.radlab.zone), and a fellow at the Mind and Life Institute. He studies the social neuroscience of the self and human emotion, with a focus on how biases in self-representation shape emotional reactions that determine well-being and mental habits, such as how we think about ourselves and our emotions. He is particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to disorders such as depression. Dr. Farb’s work draws from multiple levels of analysis, including first and third-person qualitative reports, behavioral task performance, physiological responses, and patterns of neural activity and connectivity derived through functional MRI. He has written some of the most cited neuroscience accounts of mindfulness training, and is currently exploring how to expand access to these techniques to promote wellbeing across the globe.