Course Information

The Eight-week Distance Learning Course

(This is a home-based course, and times and dates will be arranged between you and your mindfulness-based teacher)

Our Distance Learning Course is an enriching way to experience an eight-week mindfulness–based course, either as a first experience of mindfulness, as a refresher, or as an opportunity to deepen your practice. The experience of working closely one-to-one with an experienced teacher/practitioner can lead to profound understandings and changes in one’s life. Many of our distance learners have been surprised at the depth of practice, sense of connection and ease of learning during the Distance Learning course and often go on to further engagement with mindfulness in various ways.


Overview:

Mindfulness is cultivated by purposefully paying attention in a non-judgemental way, to what is going on in your body, your mind and in the world around you. We call this moment-to-moment awareness mindfulness. It is about being awake and aware – living in the present – rather than dwelling in the past or anticipating the future. 

The present is the only time that any of us have to be alive – to know anything – to perceive – to learn – to act – to change – to heal. 

Jon Kabat-Zinn, ‘Full Catastrophe Living’

Staying in touch with the present in this way, from one moment to the next, may lead to experiencing things somewhat differently, perhaps feeling less stuck, or with a sense that you have more options, more strength, balance and confidence in your possibilities, more wisdom, etc.

The Distance Learning Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course aims to assist you in taking better care of yourself and getting more out of living. The aim of the programme is to learn new ways to handle challenging physical sensations, emotions, moods or social interactions. The majority of people completing the programme report lasting physical and psychological benefits including:

  • An increased ability to relax and experience calm
  • Greater energy, enthusiasm and appreciation for life
  • Heightened self-confidence and more acceptance for life as it is
  • An increased ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situation

Who is the course for:

This course is especially suitable to people who may find it difficult to attend an eight-week group course, perhaps because:

1. there are no courses in your country or area
2. you have restricted opportunity because of caring duties
3. you are unable to attend a group for health reasons

For people who plan to use this course to fulfil pre-requisite requirements for postgraduate mindfulness training, please contact your course provider first to make sure that it will be accepted.


Distance learning course structure and home practice:

You will have nine weekly sessions of 45 minutes on the phone or Skype with a mindfulness teacher who will guide you through the learning of the eight-week programme. A workbook will be sent to your home. Please note that home practice forms a large part of the programme.

You will need to commit yourself to spending up to an hour each day:

  • listening and practising, using the CD’s
  • making notes of your experiences
  • undertaking some informal/daily life practices. These can be done as part of your routine and ordinary activities.

We would also encourage you to arrange times each week during the course when you can do some reading and engage in some personal reflection.

The learning within mindfulness comes through our own experiences within the practices and through the ways in which we integrate this way of being into our daily life. The weekly personal connection with a mindfulness teacher is an opportunity to reflect on and draw out the learning from your experiences, as the weeks unfold. The home practice is, therefore, an integral and important part of the course. Within a group-based mindfulness course there is a pooling of learning experience, which cannot be a part of this individualised process, so your home practice experience is central to this process. 

To get the most out of the course requires some commitment on your part. It is helpful to develop a strong intention to do your daily practice, whatever difficulties and obstacles you may face. Making the time commitment and undertaking the personal exploration may seem stressful at times, but it is likely to prove empowering and pleasurable as well. The best advice that previous participants share in relation to this is to ‘just do it’ – without too much concern about whether results are unfolding or not. You are encouraged to commit to the practice and see through what is involved in the eight-week course as best you can. You can then assess the outcomes once it is completed.

The weekly learning about mindfulness includes reading, meditation, movement, reflection, exercises, and daily life practices. It is useful to keep a daily record of the experience of practices and exercises, so that you can discuss them during the phone contact with your teacher. Your home practice will be the focus of these phone contacts, so your contribution and commitment to practice is very important

Whilst on the course, we encourage you to take part in an all-day practice session, ideally at the weekend of the sixth week of the programme or you may be able to do this with your teacher (the teacher will inform you of the date). It is not compulsory, however, and may not be possible (for example, if there is no event near you). However, attending this day will greatly enrich your learning.  You can find a list of all-day practice sessions in the Bangor area at http://www.gwyneddmindfulness.co.uk/events/, but there may be ones closer to your location.


Background reading:

Suggested readings are included each week in your course workbook, although these are very much up to you to pursue. The reading is not as important as doing the practices. So if you are short of time one week, prioritise your practice rather than your reading. The recommended reading is specific and is contained in ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn. However, all the rest is purely for your guidance only and you are obviously welcome to read as much, or as little, as you choose.

It is important to understand that this course is about your own experience and your awareness of your experience, and it will not be possible for you to learn to be more mindful and aware by reading books only.


Selecting a teacher and the initial chat:

We will allocate you a teacher as soon as one becomes available. This is easier if you are flexible with your time of availability. S/he will make contact with you and arrange a time to talk about the course in some detail. This will enable you to hear more about the course and for the teacher to hear about what has brought you to the course. Together you will decide whether the course is suitable for you at this time. We do not charge for this contact and it is okay for you decide following this that the course is not right for you at this stage or, sometimes, the teacher may decide that the course is not right for you at this time and will discuss this fully with you. If you do withdraw at this stage, you will be offered a refund.


Support during the course:

Your teacher is available via email during the week, for you to contact should you encounter any difficulties in your practice that will not wait for your regular phone contact. It is important to use this resource rather than get stuck in any difficulty. It may also be possible to phone your teacher (in addition to the weekly contact) if the need arises. This can be discussed between you as you set up your arrangement.

Finding the time to practice involves a shift in routine and, at times it can feel stressful to take the course. Things may appear to get worse before they get better – and the programme encourages us to bring a high degree of attention to everything, even the unpleasant or difficult things we are experiencing in our lives. This forms an important part of the learning – to stay with problems and difficulties, rather than turn away from them and avoid them. There is little opportunity or time during the weekly phone contact to discuss any current ongoing personal problems not related to the practices. If necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or appropriate worker.

We encourage all distance learners to talk with a friend, supervisor, or therapist for personal support during the course.


Your teacher:

The mindfulness teachers who work with us at The Mindfulness Network have been extensively trained in this approach and engage in a rigorous ongoing process of training and supervision. We use strict criteria when selecting teachers to work with us.

In order to facilitate the supervision of our distance-learning teachers, we ask them to periodically record the teaching sessions. The recordings will only be heard by the distance learning teacher and their supervisor, although if you agree they may be used for future training purposes. We will never record without your consent and your teacher will discuss this with you in advance if a recording is planned.  


Phone calls or Skype:

The cost of making the phone call is not included in the fee – we ask that you call the teacher. You will make the arrangements for the timings of the phone calls with your teacher. It is important that you keep to the times agreed since it is unlikely that your teacher will be able to make changes to the arrangements at short notice. Please indicate at the time of application if you prefer to Skype or phone call.


Confidentiality:

Discussions in the sessions will normally be held in complete confidence. The exceptions to this are as follows:

All our teachers receive regular supervision of their work and therefore the teacher may take any appropriate matter arising from the course to his/her own supervision process. All reasonable care will be taken to ensure anonymity.

If the teacher is sufficiently concerned about a matter with serious criminal, ethical or personal implications told to him/her by a distance learner, s/he reserves the right to breach confidentiality by discussing this with another responsible person. Every effort would be made to discuss this with the distance learner in the first instance.


Complaints:

If you have any reason to raise a complaint about The Mindfulness Network’s administration or teaching, please email our team at cppd@mindfulness-network.org.


Record-keeping:

The teacher may keep process notes of the distance learning teaching, which will be destroyed at the end of the course. These will be kept securely and all reasonable care to protect anonymity will be made. The distance learner and The Mindfulness Network may have access to these notes by arrangement.


Starting the course:

There is sometimes a waiting list. However, the course is ongoing and you will be assigned to a teacher as soon as possible.


Distance learning and further postgraduate mindfulness training:

If you wish to undertake postgraduate mindfulness training and plan to use this course to fulfil pre-requisite requirements, please contact your course provider first to make sure that it will be accepted.


What is included:

The total cost of this programme includes:

  • initial phone session with your teacher to orientate you to the course.
  • Nine 45-minute weekly phone calls
  • teacher support between sessions
  • all-day session attendance at Bangor
  • workbook
  • link to online audio practices

Our rates:

Standard Rate – £555.00. This is the market rate for this type of event and the rate we ask you to select if you are able.

Subsidised rate – £520.00. This is a self-select funded rate whereby your place will be supported by other full paying participants. Please select this rate if you are in receipt of benefits or would find it otherwise inaccessible to attend due to the fee. We will not ask for evidence at this stage but may ask for evidence to support your claim in the future. 


Payment and cancellation policy:

Please read our Terms and Conditions for information regarding payments and cancellations.


If you require any further information please contact us at distance-learning@mindfulness-network.org.


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