Introduction to Mindfulness for Stress Reduction

4 Week Program

A four-week introductory course to Mindfulness and Meditation that introduces practices, tools and techniques to better relate to the stressors in our lives. 

By training the mind  - our ‘muscle of attention’ – we will explore the possibility to move from ‘reactivity’ to making an active choice in how we respond in difficult situations. We will discover how by ‘paying attention’ and being present for the full range of experiences in life – both pleasant and difficult – we can reduce stress.

 

This program is suitable for beginners as well as those who may have completed an MBSR previously but are looking for a “refresher” or structured approach to get back into their practice.

In this 4 week course we will explore the following: 

4 Practices

- Sitting meditation

- Body scan meditation

- Short 'situational' practice

- Informal practices for everyday life

3 tools

- The 9 Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness

- The Stress Reactivity Model 

- The Circle of Awareness

What to expect:

Participants of this four week Introduction to Mindfulness program can expect to:

  • Become familiar with a number of core mindfulness meditation practices

  • Develop a better understanding and awareness of the powerful relationship between stress management and mindfulness, and how to respond rather than react when life becomes challenging.

Participants may notice the effects of these practices in their home and work life. This is an excellent way to develop ready-to-use tools and key insights in managing stress.

Participants may choose to further their exploration of mindfulness by taking a full 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, other programs, or using tools like apps.

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What is the approach? 

●    This program is experience-based and there will be a strong focus on actual meditation practices (both in-class and at home) and working through personal challenges via sharing in the group each week (though sharing is optional)
●    Each one hour session will include guided instruction in the practices, short teachings on the theory and application of mindfulness and reflective exercises
●    All participants are encouraged to practice for 20-30 minutes daily to get the most out of the program

What is expected of you?

●    Attendance at all sessions where possible (4 x 1 hour each)
●    Completion of home practice where possible (20-25 mins per day)

Who is the program suitable and not suitable for?

No prior meditation experience required. If you are attending therapy, counselling or having medical support for mental health matters please consult your therapist or medical professional as to whether this program would be suitable for you at this time

Who are the teachers?

The program is taught by Damien Crittenden and Erin Flanagan, both experienced and qualified teachers of MBSR, with qualification status from the University of California (San Diego) Center for Mindfulness, within the School of Medicine.

"Ironically, although we all have minds, we seem to need to "re-mind" ourselves of who we are from time to time. If we don't, the momentum of all the doing can take over and have us living its agenda rather than our own, almost as if we were robots, and frenetic robots at that"

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living.

DATES AND TIMES

Next program to be scheduled for Feb/Mar 2022. Contact us to be put on a list for early notification as this program fills quickly.

TESTIMONIALS

Comments from previous program participants 

“Thank you Damien for guiding me and the group through this 8 week journey which has surpassed all expectations. At the beginning, I was apprehensive about meditation being slow, dull and too serious. I quickly realized how much joy and fun I was experiencing shedding expectations, silencing the chatter, peeling the layers, shifting my lens to a place of freedom and release. A lot of the stress and anxiety we experience in daily life gently falls away when we notice all these mental cobwebs” 


“It's an eye opening experience that is best felt when taking the leap to try the MBSR yourself. And the benefits definitely outweigh time commitment and it's great to know you will be in safe hands with Damien :)”


“The MBSR program has helped me become more aware of myself, my feelings, and how I respond to others. It has helped me lower my defences and allow myself to be kinder towards others. I choose my own responses towards situations, people, and myself. This has helped me be less stress, calmer, and a better person. Damien is a kind and very respectful teacher too! I highly recommend the course!” 


“Damien was a wonderful mindfulness teacher and the course perfectly balanced the amount of meditation and reflection needed to start one’s own mindfulness practice. It gave students the tools, forum and community to start, learn and grow in mindfulness and it gave me added momentum on my mindfulness journey”


“A good start to the journey of discovery of the richness in everyday life”
 

“MSC was a helpful program for anyone struggling with self-compassion and working through self-doubt and a lack of self-love. The practices offers a great baseline to begin to apply these tools in our everyday life to not only be more mindful but show ourselves more self-love and compassion”


“Completing this course has made me realise that I have the opportunity to significantly improve my life”


“This is a very useful course for those who are struggling with constant negative thoughts. Learn to be more aware about the inner critic and replace it self-compassion”


“This was an excellent course which has helped to improve my self-compassion, the tasks have been super useful and during these hard times you know you have something you can try or do. Erin and Damien were amazing facilitators and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this group”


“I highly recommend this Mindful Self Compassion program with Damien and Erin. I have done various programs with them already and have always been impressed by their guidance and sharing”


“The MSC program guided me to dig deep into my conditioned mind. Although I was well aware of these aspects of my mind, the program taught me how to introduce a new perspective, as if I were my own guide, to independently manage many pervasive struggles. I feel as though all of the necessary tools to heal and grow were gained during this short program. I am sure there are many more things to learn, but the significant changes MSC has bright into my life have made me feel like a new, self-compassionate and sentient being”