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Mindfulness for Life
(also known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life)
Be Kind To Your Mind With Mindfulness
* Registration for this workshop is now closed *
ABOUT THE MINDFULNESS FOR LIFE PROGRAMME
In the same way that physical exercise is recognised as supporting physical health, there is a growing recognition that mindfulness training and cognitive-behavioural therapies can support our mental health and wellbeing.
Often referred to as “brain-training”, and with its roots in ancient traditions, mindfulness is the basic human ability we all have to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It involves maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, non-judgmental, lens. As the mind develops stability and is less caught up in the content of thinking, we strengthen the mind's ability to concentrate and be calm. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy combines this ancient wisdom with modern psychological science and cognitive behavioural methods.
Sometimes referred to as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life, or MBCT-L, Mindfulness for Life is an in-depth 8-week course for those wishing to improve their general wellbeing. The structured curriculum consists of mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques that will help participants learn how to respond skillfully to life's challenges, become less reactive, and develop techniques to support the well-being of themselves and others. It is an evidence-based course, developed in the light of research at Oxford University and other leading research centres.
Each session is 2.25 hours, and the programme includes a full day of practice in silence and a requirement to practice for about an hour a day at home. If you would like to learn how to untangle yourself from unhelpful thoughts and patterns of behaviour, and live more fully - more mindfully - every day, this course may be just the thing for you.
WHY TAKE THE MINDFULNESS FOR LIFE PROGRAMME?
The aim of this course is to promote awareness of your mind and body through the cultivation of mindful awareness. It is suitable for people wishing to enhance their general physical and mental wellbeing. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, recurrent depression or feel generally 'dissatisfied' with your life, this course could offer you some skills in how better to respond to the 'ups and downs' of everyday living. The programme is not being offered as a treatment for any specific physical or psychological conditions. It is not suitable for people who are currently experiencing very severe problems in these areas.
Mindfulness for Life not only offers a new way to work with the difficulties that we encounter in our lives, but also a different way of relating to ourselves and others - a way that includes more compassion, appreciation, and wisdom.
The programme promotes the cultivation of lasting and sustainable skills and attitudes that can really make an impact on our day-to-day experiences. It is designed to foster mindful awareness of our body, emotions, and mind so that we can live our lives with a greater sense of wellbeing, kindness, and resilience - and guides participants in how to apply this learning in everyday life. The learning is largely experiential (practice at home and in class are key features) and is based on learning mindfulness both in formal practices and informal practices.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
Over the course of the 8 weeks you will learn how to:
Recognize how often our minds run on autopilot, and practice bringing mindfulness to present-moment experience.
Develop skills in how to pay attention - recognise mind wandering and ‘autopilot’, and how to bring the attention back to where we want it to be – with interest, patience, and care.
Practice a range of formal and informal mindfulness techniques and exercises, using mindfulness to respond skillfully and not react – in ways that support the well-being of ourselves and others around us.
Keep our balance through life’s ups and downs, respond skillfully when difficulties arise, engage more fully with what is most important to us, and open up to the moments of joy, contentment, and gratitude hidden in plain sight.
Integrate what we have learned into our everyday lives in a way that will support us in the months and years to come.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE SESSIONS?
Sessions follow a consistent pattern. After greetings and getting settled, we begin with a guided meditation practice, followed by reflection on the experiences of the practice. Then we discuss the experiences of the home practices during the week. Each session has a theme that is woven into the discussions. We often do another short practice or a cognitive exercise and reflect on what can be learned from that. Near the end of each session, we explain the home practices for the following week.
Session 1: Waking Up From Autopilot
Session 2: Another Way Of Being: Keeping The Body In Mind
Session 3: Gathering The Scattered Mind
Session 4: Recognising Reactivity
Session 5: Allowing and Letting Be
Session 6: Responding Skillfully: Thoughts Are Not Facts
Session 7: How Can I Best Take Care of Myself
Session 8: Mindfulness for Life
The course also includes a longer Day of Practice, usually held on Saturday or Sunday towards the end of the course. This is an opportunity to deepen practice and, whilst an invaluable learning experience, does not form part of the core teaching.
This programme is not being offered as a treatment for any specific physical or psychological conditions. Please do not sign up for this training if you are currently experiencing severe problems in these areas. You can learn more about this here.
Research shows that mindfulness courses like this one have many benefits, such as:
Reduced feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression
Improved ability to cope with pain and illness
Less worrying and obsessing over things
Greater appreciation of what is pleasant and enjoyable in life
Feeling clearer about what is truly meaningful, and living life with a stronger sense of purpose
Improved overall wellbeing, even in difficult times
While we can’t guarantee all of these benefits for everyone, our own experience and the published research tell us that changes like these are very common and make the challenges of participating worthwhile.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE COURSE?
You will be invited to give your feedback – this is not compulsory.
In the final session, you will be given information about ways to carry your practice forwards if you wish to do so.
The Caribbean Mindfulness Institute provides a Confirmation of Attendance letter to participants who fully attend at least 7 of the 9 Mindfulness for Life sessions (including the Practice Day).
Dates & Times
* Registration for this workshop is now closed *
Format: 8-Week Online Course
Date: Starts October 30th
Time: 5 - 7.15 PM AST
Price: Special Introductory Rate*
TTD $1,800 / USD $265
Dates: October 30 - December 18
Full Day Retreat: December 10 (also online)
Time Zone: Local Time (AST)
To convert to other time zones please click here.
About Your Teacher - Makeda McKenzie
This class will be lovingly facilitated by the Founder and Managing Consultant of the Caribbean Mindfulness Institute, Ms. Makeda McKenzie. To date, Makeda has trained over 1,500 West Indians in the practice and science of mindfulness.
In her engaging and interactive workshops, participants learn about “mindfulness for real-life” – how to reduce the effects of stress, live with more presence and connection, and cultivate more happiness, fulfillment, and resilience using science-based mindfulness practices.
Makeda holds an Upper-Class honours degree in Management with Economics from the University of the West Indies, completed the residential Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher-Training Intensive with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life (MBCT-L) Teacher Training with The University of Oxford Mindfulness Foundation. Both institutions are widely considered to be among the preeminent thought and research leaders in the field of Mindfulness Studies. She has gone on to complete further professional development courses in mindfulness, workplace psychology, and happiness & wellbeing. More recently, she has also been supporting the work of The University of Oxford Mindfulness Foundation as a Teacher and Trainee-Trainer.
You can learn more about Makeda and the work of the Caribbean Mindfulness Institute here.