I was new to Mindfulness when I asked to join the 8 week MBSR course back in September 2018. It had been recommended by a friend who, having had life changing health problems, said Mindfulness had “saved her life.”
Before I started the course I read some material by Jon Kabat Zinn (Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the man responsible for bringing Eastern Meditation Practices to the West in the 1970s) and was sceptical of the claim that practicing Mindfulness could lead to significant impacts on both your physical and mental health; I had usually been pretty scathing about any ‘alternative therapies’.
However, on joining the course, my initial scepticism soon melted away. Our group teacher, Nelum, delivered the course with an enormous sense of openness, calm and serenity. The atmosphere of the centre, where the classes were held, was welcoming and warm and had a real energy about it. I threw myself into the course and, within a matter of weeks, could feel the benefits.
It is difficult to describe the changes that you experience and I think you have to experience it for yourself to understand the impact it can have; and, of course, you have to do the homework.
So much did we enjoy the course that our group asked Nelum if we could extend the course for another 5 weeks; and she obliged. I have kept up my practice since then both at home and at the day retreats held every month and the extra Friday night classes. I have made great friends that I know will be my friends for life.
The result; I am a much calmer and hopefully more thoughtful person. I can manage difficult situations in a more grounded way and can manage my health problems much better, greatly reducing their impact on my day to day life. I would encourage anyone and everyone to take a Mindfulness course.
Alison Harvie - Head of Academy Support