How do I learn mindfulness?
There are a number of different approaches and formats for learning mindfulness. At Perth Mindfulness Centre we invite people relatively new to mindfulness to attend the Foundation in Mindfulness course as a preliminary program for learning mindfulness practice fundamentals. The course is designed for beginners with no prior experience of mindfulness or meditation, or those with some prior mindfulness or meditation experience, but wish to refresh their skills and knowledge, and establish a basic mindfulness practice. By regularly engaging in brief mindfulness practices for just a few minutes several times per day you are likely to experience some benefits. If you can regularly do longer practices each day you will generally accrue even more benefits. Fundamental to the program is learning to develop a more intentional attention towards present experience and cultivate certain attitudes and ways of relating towards experience (See The Science page for more explanation). The Foundation program involves four 1.5 hour sessions that occur once per week usually starting on the first Wednesday evening of each month. Perth Mindfulness Centre will also be offering refresher workshops and advanced mindfulness workshops over time. Sessions typically involve learning and practicing:
- Formal and informal mindfulness meditation practices.
- Brief practices (1 or 2 mins) and longer more formal practices (15 to 25 mins).
- Instruction and explanation about how to do mindfulness practices.
- How to integrate brief spot practices into your day to self-regulate and be more present and focused.
- How to become more aware of your body and physical tension in order to de-stress and improve steadiness of mind.
- Group discussion and feedback in terms of developing your practice and dealing with obstacles to practice.
- Scientific explanation of how mindfulness is useful for managing stress and habitual reactions to stress.
- How to become more open and accepting towards your experience.
- How to deal with and relate to distracting, intrusive, or obsessive thoughts mindfully.
- Encouragement and guidance in developing a daily practice of about 20 mins.
- CD or on-line resources to maintain and develop your practice further.
Why is it important to do daily practice?
While it is possible to gain an appreciation of what mindfulness is from reading books, videos or from phone Apps, at heart, mindfulness is an intentional practice and way of being. It is also a skill one is cultivating and using on a day to day basis. Like playing golf or the piano, you can read about it, but you can only do it and develop it further by engaging in the activity regularly with the appropriate level of guidance. In so doing you are more likely to gain lasting benefits and enhance your skill level. Like any new skill set, a certain level of commitment is required, attention to the activity and repetition of the activity. With repetition of an action, the mind refines and consolidates memories of what is being learned so it can quickly recall the skill and mental stance at a later time when it is needed. Moreover, like learning any new skill (e.g., riding a bike for the first time), initially it may seem challenging and perhaps feel a little awkward or frustrating, but this is to be expected if you have never experienced this skill before. Learning a skill involves exploring new possibilities, and the feeling of not knowing and awkwardness reflects the process of trial and error involved in learning. By practicing over and over again, you eventually start to notice certain changes, start to feel more confident, comfortable, and generally start to accrue benefits. It is therefore important to have some curiosity, patience, and perseverance as you embark on the journey of mindfulness.
Please contact us if you have further questions about our training. Also please read our FAQs and Disclaimer page.