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Mindfulness course for Dartford. Starts 7:30pm, Thursday 15th June.

June 1, 2017

I am running the next five week introductory Mindfulness course for friends and community in Dartford during June and July.
.
Mindfulness at Work have again very kindly agreed for me to use the ‘Mindfulness is Now’ [MiN] course, normally run for business clients, at a fraction of the usual price. Only 30 places are available. The main details are below – followed by some explanation about what Mindfulness is and how it works.

..

.
.

Dates and Times:
.
Thursday 15th June at 7:30pm, then each of the following four Thursdays at the same time [June 22nd and 29th, July 6th and 13th]. Sessions start at 7:30 sharp, so please arrive in good time, particularly on the first evening.
.
Location:
.
Holy Trinity Church Hall, High Street, Dartford. DA1 1DE. Access is via the cafe a few yards to the left of the main church doors.
.
Cost:
.
£60 for the whole of the five week course including sessions, printed notes, audio downloads and e-mail ‘daily prompts’.
.
[16-18 yr olds – £20.  Returning participants from previous courses wanting a refresher – £20]
.
.
.
How to sign up:
.
Please e-mail me on nick[at]soshall.net or call/text me on 07958 516967 to reserve a place. Similarly, please get in touch if you want to find out more about me or the course. You can just turn up on the first night – but advance booking ensures you won’t miss out, and that I know how many packs to prepare.
.
I can take payment at, or immediately after, the first session – by cash, cheque [payable to SoShall Consulting Ltd] or I can give you bank details for internet payment.
.
The course is not open to under-16s. Please also consult with your GP or other professional, before taking the course, if you are currently receiving help with a condition such as depression or anxiety.
.
.
.
What is Mindfulness?
.
Mindfulness is a way of approaching life, and in particular a set of regularly practiced techniques, which helps you to pay attention right now, without judging, to things as they are happening and as they actually are. This is an antidote to constantly mulling over what has happened in the past, or worrying about what might happen in the future. It reduces our tendency to obsess about whether we are doing well, doing the right thing, look OK to other people or deserve to be happy. By making us aware of how our thoughts and actions can just bundle us through the day on a kind of ‘auto-pilot’, Mindfulness allows us to pause more often and make conscious decisions rather than just reacting.
.
The result is reduced stress, better focus on one thing at a time, a clearer mind and better interaction with other people. This in turn can also improve your physical health, by reducing the damage that stress can do to our heart, circulatory system, immune system and digestion. More generally, it can help you to be happier and to appreciate more of life’s minutes – rather than just fast forwarding to the next ‘good bit’.
.
NICE [the NHS’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] has recommended a particular clinical version of Mindfulness training [called MBCT] for addressing depression in people who are currently well but have experienced three or more previous episodes of depression.
.
A good description of Mindfulness can be found on the Frantic World Website. The authors Danny Penman and Mark Williams have had a leading role in developing Mindfulness in the UK, and I will tell you more about their books on the course. But here’s what they say about Mindfulness.
.
.
.
So is this just a Work thing?
.
No. Mindfulness at Work are normally commissioned by employers to deliver the MiN course in the workplace – it has even won an award from the UK legal profession. The course pack reflects this workplace setting. But Mindfulness is applicable to all aspects of life, and to everyone. We always adapt the course for each audience – anyone can learn and practice these techniques, for a few minutes a day, and feel the benefit.
.

.
What happens on the course?
.
The course is informal, welcoming and fun – but also purposeful. The sessions are made up of Explanation, Experience and Enquiry. I will explain what Mindfulness is, how it works, how to do practices, and how to apply Mindfulness to everyday life. I will also point you to other resources and activities you can use to keep going after the course finishes – because the purpose of the course is to help you start a habit that you can benefit from for the rest of your life. You will Experience guided practices – typically 10 minutes – as I talk you though placing your attention on your breathing, or moving your attention around your body, and there are also other exercises to help demonstrate why Mindfulness helps. Enquiry is about reflecting, and discussing, together what you experience during a practice and how your week has gone between sessions. This helps to reinforce your learning, and to encourage others, or be encouraged by them through sharing. Knowing that “it’s not just me” can be a big help!
.
You will be shown how to download audio tracks, which you can use on a mobile phone/tablet, PC or Mac, to do your practices during the week by listening to a trainer’s voice. You will also sign up for daily e-mail prompts which explain some of the applications of Mindfulness and suggest things you might try, if you are in the mood, some time that day.
.
There is a printed course pack which summarises the sessions, points you to other resources and suggests ways of continuing the Mindfulness habit.
.

.
Is this a religious thing?
.
Mindfulness practices are very similar to some kinds of meditation. The techniques can be found in many different religions around the world,  particularly Buddhism, which seem to have evolved similar approaches to dealing with life. When modern Mindfulness was developed in the 1970s and 1980s it was deliberately made more secular, so that belonging to a particular religion, or indeed aversion to any religion, should not be a barrier to taking it up. Mindfulness is compatible with many religious principles – not least compassion towards others and towards yourself! That second one is something many of us forget to have.
.

.
Other details:
. can give people other information when they sign up but, just in case.

There is parking nearby in the Market Place (by Iceland), Market  Street (alongside the park), Overy Street, Acacia Hall (gates close 9pm) and Darenth Road. Many of these are free after 6:30pm. Parking by Aldi, at the Orchards, is free but only for 1.5 hours – which may be cutting things a bit fine. You don’t want to be worrying about getting back to your car throughout the session.

.
Any suggestions or questions please contact me via the methods given above.

Is mindfulness about eliminating our emotions?

February 27, 2017

reflective-robot

When I am teaching mindfulness, and we reach a certain point in the course, a number of people always ask me something like… “Ah! So are we trying to eliminate our emotions?”. My answer always has to be “No”.
..
The question is understandable. People who take up mindfulness often do so because they are troubled by emotions such as anxiety, anger, sadness or guilt which distort their behaviour and make them unhappy. If mindfulness helps them with this, then surely it must be removing or diminishing those emotions – in the way that medicines can diminish or remove pain?
.
I think of emotions in the broadest sense. They are what cause us to do something rather than nothing. It is no accident that emotions contain the word ‘motion’. Nor that we talk about being ‘moved’ by something when it makes us feel an emotion. It seems likely that even if we could eliminate our emotions in some way we would simply starve, dehydrate or succumb to hypothermia. I realise that I am lumping something like ‘appetites’ in here with much more complex and refined emotions. But that’s what I mean by ‘the broadest sense’ – these are all sensations that in some way have power to initiate action or dictate focus. Their roots lie in our evolved disposition to address challenges, take opportunities and deal with life or death prioritisation. They are the judgements in the face of which mindfulness is often characterised as non-judging.
.
What can start to happen when we practice mindfulness is that we are first aware of a thought, idea or image and then we become aware of a distinct accompanying sensation which offers to propel us. This may just direct us to more thoughts of a certain kind, as the felt sense of anxiety might drive us to stray into thinking, at length, about precautions and solutions. Or, at the bidding of these emotions, it may be the felt tension or gathering that would precede actually standing up and going off to do something. Thus, in mindfulness practice, we start to separate the content of our thoughts from the puppet strings that would dictate our actions.
.
Mindfulness does not mean overcoming these emotional drivers – without which, give or take the odd reflex, we would be totally inert. It means being aware that these drivers are there at all, and so having a greater opportunity to postpone or disregard them in favour of others. Of course, there is no obvious end or bottom to this. Our awareness of this inner situation will give rise, in part, to further emotions and impulses… and so on. What we are eliminating is not the emotions but their ability to dictate our actions and further thoughts unchallenged. Be that because we were previously unconscious of our emotions, or because we had habits of thought, beliefs, which gave them that unchallenged control.
.
My own experience of mindfulness practice, and then the application of mindfulness on the go, is that this “decluttering” removes many layers of complicated emotions and assumptions or “stories”. What can then emerge is not some super-logical deduction of what to do next. Rather it is just a simpler and more direct awareness of my real needs, or human motives, and of the correspondingly simpler ways to meet these.

Credit where it’s due. (The Traces 2)

February 5, 2017

20170121_121806

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that there were now warning signs in the area I had posted about at the beginning of December. This suggests that the Borough Council had now identified it as a hotspot.

Even better, someone, again I assume the Borough Council, had gone down and cleared up all the major rubbish from the road, footpath and turning space. Great work! And it would be good to know which agency to give credit to.

There’s still a horrific amount of rubbish on the land and cut-through between Powdermill Lane, the lake and Walnut Tree Avenue. But I assume this is strictly private land, with the scrubland awaiting development.

Despite all that, someone had still come down later and added a bit of mini-tipping, plus brushwood, in the turning space. Maybe they did a gardening job, had a packed lunch then took toys home for the kids but, poignantly, decided to skip the daffodils ?!

20170121_121820

Probably not of great interest to my friends outside the Dartford area. But I have two general morals to draw. It can soon become disheartening if you see an area you use being regularly treated as a tip. Even if it is a fairly prosaic space, rather than the adjacent beauty spot. But it is also heartening when the local agencies that represent you make an effort to fight back, despite the fact that it may feel like an uphill struggle.

 

 

The Traces that we leave behind us

December 6, 2016

 

I went for one of my regular walks this afternoon. Around Brooklands Lakes in Dartford. These were created by gravel extraction and for at least 80 years have been maintained as fishing lakes. So they are, themselves, a major physical trace of human activity. I often see pictures from around the lakes posted on social media. They lend themselves to photography because of the ever changing light and diverse bird life. I think people like to say “Look, this is on my doorstep” or “Who knew that Dartford had something like this so close to the centre of the town?”. There’s a sense of surprise and valuing, whenever someone new discovers them. I think there is also an element of people using these images to refute a reputation Dartford may have for being built-up, or even a bit scruffy. Here’s my own such image from today…
.
20161206_124546
.
The lakes are managed. I’m assuming this is done by the District angling and preservation society, DDAPS – but I need to do more homework. There has been skilful landscaping, planting, cutting back and management of the undergrowth and bankside, all of which have enhanced the appeal and accessibility. This also seems to extend to keeping litter to a minimum.
.
So there’s a real contrast when, a matter of yards away, you come to the litter and dumping around the gateways to these lakes. In a few strides you go from appreciated and cared-for lakes to a kind of no-man’s-land. Here are a few images of the litter, and minor fly tipping, around the entrance from Powder Mill Lane.
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20161206_125327
20161206_125412
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20161206_125426 20161206_125431
Even the attempt to create some sense of place and context, via the powder kegs and the plaque explaining the gunpowder mill connection, has been re-interpreted as a rubbish bin. These too, then, are traces left by the passing of human beings.
.
20161206_125342
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20161206_125357
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This isn’t one of those “Oi! Why doesn’t the council get down there and sort it out?” posts. As a member of Dartford Litterpickers I know that jurisdiction is complex, resources are tight (and shrinking) and that priorities have to be set. It’s hard to know who owns what around there and, now that this section of Powder Mill Lane is a dead end, it’s not the most travelled of places. Adjacent land, privately owned for the most part and awaiting sale/development, is in an even worse condition – but that particular mess is seen only by those using it as a cut-through… or as an early December outdoor bar?!  Perhaps this transition and indeterminacy of use adds to the problem.
..
I’m really writing to reflect on this mystery of how places so close together are cared for (in the literal sense) or not. There seems to be a real challenge if we are ever to induce the majority of our fellow citizens to value all the space, and place, around them and so to care for it as “theirs”. Until then, this much prized chance to walk around our lakes will have to begin and end with a tip!
.
We may be able to organise a litterpick down there one day. But some of the materials and quantities seem to call for more of a ‘deep clean’.
.
Finally, I am prompted to a more philosophical think about litter, context and intention. In another part of the lakes, debris has also been dumped – old hardcore and soil. But in this case it is being used constructively, by volunteers, to help manage the levels and flow of the lakes. In the end it’s intention and attitude that differentiate between these types of human ‘traces’ and determine what is ‘litter’… and why it hurts us.
.
20161206_125051

Mindfulness course for Dartford. Starts 7:30pm, Tuesday 17th January

November 18, 2016

Dartford

I am running the next five week Mindfulness course for friends and community in Dartford during January and February.
.
Mindfulness at Work have again very kindly agreed for me to use the ‘Mindfulness is Now’ [MiN] course, normally run for business clients, at a fraction of the usual price. Only 30 places are available. The main details are below – followed by some explanation about what Mindfulness is and how it works.
.
Dates and Times:
.
Tuesday 17th January at 7:30pm, then each of the following four Tuesdays at the same time [January 24th and 31st, and February 7th and 14th]. Sessions start at 7:30 sharp, so please arrive in good time, particularly on the first evening.
.
Location:
.
Holy Trinity Church Hall, High Street, Dartford. DA1 1DE. Access is via the cafe a few yards to the left of the main church doors.
.
Cost:
.
£60 for the whole of the five week course including sessions, printed notes, audio downloads and e-mail ‘daily prompts’.
.
[16-18 yr olds – £20.  Returning participants from previous courses wanting a refresher – £20]
.
.
.
How to sign up:
.
Please e-mail me on nick[at]soshall.net or call/text me on 07958 516967 to reserve a place. Similarly, please get in touch if you want to find out more about me or the course. You can just turn up on the first night – but advance booking ensures you won’t miss out, and that I know how many packs to prepare.
.
I can take payment at, or immediately after, the first session – by cash, cheque [payable to SoShall Consulting Ltd] or I can give you bank details for internet payment.
.
The course is not open to under-16s. Please also consult with your GP or other professional, before taking the course, if you are currently receiving help with a condition such as depression or anxiety.
.
.
.
What is Mindfulness?
.
Mindfulness is a way of approaching life, and in particular a set of regularly practiced techniques, which helps you to pay attention right now, without judging, to things as they are happening and as they actually are. This is an antidote to constantly mulling over what has happened in the past, or worrying about what might happen in the future. It reduces our tendency to obsess about whether we are doing well, doing the right thing, look OK to other people or deserve to be happy. By making us aware of how our thoughts and actions can just bundle us through the day on a kind of ‘auto-pilot’, Mindfulness allows us to pause more often and make conscious decisions rather than just reacting.
.
The result is reduced stress, better focus on one thing at a time, a clearer mind and better interaction with other people. This in turn can also improve your physical health, by reducing the damage that stress can do to our heart, circulatory system, immune system and digestion. More generally, it can help you to be happier and to appreciate more of life’s minutes – rather than just fast forwarding to the next ‘good bit’.
.
NICE [the NHS’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] has recommended a particular clinical version of Mindfulness training [called MBCT] for addressing depression in people who are currently well but have experienced three or more previous episodes of depression.
.
A good description of Mindfulness can be found on the Frantic World Website. The authors Danny Penman and Mark Williams have had a leading role in developing Mindfulness in the UK, and I will tell you more about their books on the course. But here’s what they say about Mindfulness.
.
.
.
So is this just a Work thing?
.
No. Mindfulness at Work are normally commissioned by employers to deliver the MiN course in the workplace – it has even won an award from the UK legal profession. The course pack reflects this workplace setting. But Mindfulness is applicable to all aspects of life, and to everyone. We always adapt the course for each audience – anyone can learn and practice these techniques, for a few minutes a day, and feel the benefit.
.

.
What happens on the course?
.
The course is informal, welcoming and fun – but also purposeful. The sessions are made up of Explanation, Experience and Enquiry. I will explain what Mindfulness is, how it works, how to do practices, and how to apply Mindfulness to everyday life. I will also point you to other resources and activities you can use to keep going after the course finishes – because the purpose of the course is to help you start a habit that you can benefit from for the rest of your life. You will Experience guided practices – typically 10 minutes – as I talk you though placing your attention on your breathing, or moving your attention around your body, and there are also other exercises to help demonstrate why Mindfulness helps. Enquiry is about reflecting, and discussing, together what you experience during a practice and how your week has gone between sessions. This helps to reinforce your learning, and to encourage others, or be encouraged by them through sharing. Knowing that “it’s not just me” can be a big help!
.
You will be shown how to download audio tracks, which you can use on a mobile phone/tablet, PC or Mac, to do your practices during the week by listening to a trainer’s voice. You will also sign up for daily e-mail prompts which explain some of the applications of Mindfulness and suggest things you might try, if you are in the mood, some time that day.
.
There is a printed course pack which summarises the sessions, points you to other resources and suggests ways of continuing the Mindfulness habit.
.

.
Is this a religious thing?
.
Mindfulness practices are very similar to some kinds of meditation. The techniques can be found in many different religions around the world,  particularly Buddhism, which seem to have evolved similar approaches to dealing with life. When modern Mindfulness was developed in the 1970s and 1980s it was deliberately made more secular, so that belonging to a particular religion, or indeed aversion to any religion, should not be a barrier to taking it up. Mindfulness is compatible with many religious principles – not least compassion towards others and towards yourself! That second one is something many of us forget to have.
.

.
Other details:
.
I can give people other information when they sign up but, just in case.
.
There is parking nearby in the Market Place (by Iceland), Market  Street (alongside the park), Overy Street, Acacia Hall and Darenth Road. Many of these are free after 6:30pm. Parking by Aldi, at the Orchards, is free but only for 1.5 hours – which may be cutting things a bit fine. You don’t want to be worrying about getting back to your car throughout the session.

.
Any suggestions or questions please contact me via the methods given above.

The REAL reason why we need the Arts in schools

September 29, 2016

bacc-for-the-future

 

 

 

 

There has been another burst of interest in the way our Government’s approach to the English Baccalaureate [EBacc]  is threatening to squeeze the arts out of mainstream schooling.
.
What struck me is not how impoverishing this would be (it would, appallingly so), or even how one dimensional the arguments in favour of this shift are. What really worried me was that even the defenders of the arts were taking an instrumentalist, or functional, view of why it’s a bad things.
Here on TV news programmes were artists and musicians basing their argument on something called ‘jobs’. Arguments included the economic value of the ‘creative industries’ or the fact that architects need to be able to draw as well as do mathematics.
All true. But all, also, a case of meeting those who seek to marginalise the arts on their own ground. Those are people who see the primary function of education as being to equip people to perform functions in the economy – functions that ‘generate wealth’. This harks back to a paradigm I’ve looked at before – holding on to an old view of the education system as something which produces the appropriate workers ‘required’ or ‘demanded’ by industry… whilst perhaps also populating the professions too.
I agree that this is, particularly if framed in a more imaginative way, a necessary function of education – but it is not the primary one.
.
Pitching your argument in the midst of the territory occupied by those with whom you disagree, is not a recipe for success. Or clarity for that matter.
.
The primary function of education is to teach us how to BE. We need foundation skills to support this – literacy and numeracy not least. But education is about learning how to be who we are and how to manage changes in ourselves; how to learn, how to think, how to experience… and what it means to understand. That extends to understanding, empathising and communicating with others. It also involves developing the imagination and flexibility to keep stepping outside our current assumptions and trying on new ones… exploring… hypothesising.
.
The arts, and here I include English [and probably modern languages] taught in a certain way, support all this in a way that no other species of knowledge or activity can.
.
The arts equip us, via activity, to use all our resources – our senses, our emotions, our intuitions – and to become literate in our physical responses to things. They give us a full spectrum within which to create [in the broadest sense] and to witness the emerging of new experiences, new possibilities… to get used to looking emptiness and potential in the face without reaching for old habits and certainties.
Yes – these are all also useful foundations for being an engineer, a chef, a contact centre operator, a paramedic… etc, etc. Yes – they are prevalent in some professions regarded as ‘creative’. Yes – they help us to communicate better, possibly even to become more open to others’ circumstances. All of which support occupations and economic function.
 .
But the real treasure over which the arts have stewardship is the key to awareness, insight, context and purpose. Work supports us, it helps us to support others directly or indirectly through an economy of divided labour. Work helps us, and our community, to live. But the arts remind us why we live. We don’t live to work. We don’t work just to live, in some nihilistic cycle of material subsistence. [Though you might be forgiven for thinking that some economists, business leaders and politicians still see the function of many ‘workers’ as being to do just that.]  We live to grow, and to reach towards some purpose. Without these we are unhealthy… we do not thrive… no matter what the economy, the nation, around us is doing.
 .
Work has material outputs. But many aspects of society – if we want to take a materialist view – subtract from those outputs. They do negative work. Mental ill-health. Drug abuse. Violence inside and outside the family. Crime. Even apathy and cynicism. All of these do damage which [and I risk meeting those materialists on their own ground myself here] take resources out of the economy just as surely as if they were work-not-performed.
 .
But these dysfunctions, far more importantly, rob that economy of its point… to support the flourishing and full self-realisation of every single one of us.
 .
That is the point of economy and society. To promote, as Kant would have it, humanity as an end in itself.
 .
The reason why we must not allow the EBacc to squeeze the arts out of mainstream education is that, without them, we know neither ourselves nor our purpose. Even infinite physical productivity and efficiency could never compensate for that.
 .
Artists. Please make that point. Stand on your own shifting, fascinating, ground. If your main intended audience is Mr Gradgrind, then I am afraid that you may already have lost.

Mindfulness course for Dartford. Starts 7:30pm Thursday 15th September.

August 27, 2016
I am running another five week Mindfulness course for friends and community in Dartford during September and October.
.
Mindfulness at Work have again agreed for me to use the ‘Mindfulness is Now’ course, which we normally run for business clients, at a fraction of the usual price. Only 30 places are available. The main details are below – followed by some explanation about what Mindfulness is and how it works.
.
Dates and Times:
.
Thursday 15th September, then each of the following four Thursdays at the same time [September 22nd and 29th, and October 6th and 13th]
.
Location:
.
Holy Trinity Church hall [Spilman Suite], High Street, Dartford. DA1 1DE
.
Cost:
.
£60 for the whole of the five week course including sessions, printed notes, audio downloads and e-mail ‘daily prompts’.
.
[16-18 yr olds – £20.  Returning participants from previous courses wanting a refresher – £20]
.
.
.
How to sign up:
.
Please e-mail me on nick[at]soshall.net or call me on 07958 516967 to reserve a place. Similarly, please get in touch if you want to find out more about me or the course. You can just turn up on the first night – but advance booking ensures you won’t miss out, and that I know how many packs to prepare.
.
I can take payment at, or immediately after, the first session – by cash, cheque [payable to SoShall Consulting Ltd] or I can give you bank details for internet payment.
.
The course is not open to under-16s. Please also consult with your GP or other professional, before taking the course, if you are currently receiving help with a condition such as depression or anxiety.
.
.
.
What is Mindfulness?
.
Mindfulness is a way of approaching life, and in particular a set of regularly practiced techniques, which helps you to pay attention right now, without judging, to things as they are happening and as they actually are. This is an antidote to constantly mulling over what has happened in the past, or worrying about what might happen in the future. It reduces our tendency to obsess about whether we are doing well, doing the right thing, look OK to other people or deserve to be happy. By making us aware of how our thoughts and actions can just bundle us through the day on a kind of ‘auto-pilot’, Mindfulness allows us to pause more often and make conscious decisions rather than just reacting.
.
The result is reduced stress, better focus on one thing at a time, a clearer mind and better interaction with other people. This in turn can also improve your physical health, by reducing the damage that stress can do to our heart, circulatory system, immune system and digestion. More generally, it can help you to be happier and to appreciate more of life’s minutes – rather than just fast forwarding to the next ‘good bit’.
.
NICE [the NHS’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] has recommended a particular clinical version of Mindfulness training [called MBCT] for addressing depression in people who are currently well but have experienced three or more previous episodes of depression.
.
A good description of Mindfulness can be found on the Frantic World Website. The authors Danny Penman and Mark Williams have had a leading role in developing Mindfulness in the UK, and I will tell you more about their books on the course. But here’s what they say about Mindfulness.
.
.
.
So is this just a Work thing?
.
No. Mindfulness at Work are normally commissioned by employers to deliver the ‘Mindfulness is Now’ course in the workplace – we have even won an award for it from the UK legal profession. The course pack reflects this workplace setting. But Mindfulness is applicable to all aspects of life, and to everyone. We always adapt the course for each audience – anyone can learn and practice these techniques, for a few minutes a day, and feel the benefit.
.
.
What happens on the course?
.
The course is informal, welcoming and fun – but also purposeful. The sessions are made up of Explanation, Experience and Enquiry. I will explain what Mindfulness is, how it works, how to do practices, and how to apply Mindfulness to everyday life. I will also point you to other resources and activities you can use to keep going after the course finishes – because the purpose of the course is to help you start a habit that you can benefit from for the rest of your life. You will Experience guided practices – typically 10 minutes – as I talk you though placing your attention on your breathing, or moving your attention around your body, and there are also other exercises to help demonstrate why Mindfulness helps. Enquiry is about reflecting, and discussing, together what you experience during a practice and how your week has gone between sessions. This helps to reinforce your learning, and to encourage others, or be encouraged by them through sharing. Knowing that “it’s not just me” can be a big help!
.
You will be shown how to download audio tracks, which you can use on a mobile phone/tablet, PC or Mac, to do your practices during the week by listening to a trainer’s voice. You will also sign up for daily e-mail prompts which explain some of the applications of Mindfulness and suggest things you might try, if you are in the mood, some time that day.
.
There is a printed course pack which summarises the sessions, points you to other resources and suggests ways of continuing the Mindfulness habit.
.
.
Is this a religious thing?
.
Mindfulness practices are very similar to some kinds of meditation. The techniques can be found in many different religions around the world,  particularly Buddhism, which seem to have evolved similar approaches to dealing with life. When modern Mindfulness was developed in the 1970s and 1980s it was deliberately made more secular, so that a particular religion, or indeed aversion to any religion, should not be a barrier to taking it up. Mindfulness is compatible with many religious principles – not least compassion towards others and towards yourself! That second one is something many of us forget to have.
.
.
Other details:
.
I will give people other information when they sign up but, just in case.
.
The Spilman Suite can be accessed by walking between the church and the back of the Ellenor shop.
.
There is parking nearby in the Market Place (by Iceland), Market  Street (alongside the park), Overy Street, Acacia Hall and Darenth Road. Many of these are free after 6:30pm. Parking by Aldi, at the Orchards, is free but only for 1.5 hours – which may be cutting things a bit fine. You don’t want to be worrying about getting back to your car throughout the session.
.
Any suggestions or questions please contact me via the methods given above.
.