Mindfulness is being in the moment, knowing we are in the moment, and knowing what is happening in the moment, both around us and within our own mind. It is a faculty which, if developed, leads to a ongoing growth of our human potential.
The moment we knowingly observe our thoughts or behaviour, we are mindful – we know what is happening in the moment. This simple fact transforms the way we live because it grounds us in the present. And the present is our only reality.


“Knowing what is happening, while it is happening, without preference”  Rob Nairn

“The human condition – lost in thought.”  Eckhart Tolle

How do I Train in Mindfulness?

There are many methods available for training in Mindfulness. These include apps, books, videos and 8-week courses.

Many of these courses have a clinical approach to address a specific condition such as stress, anxiety and a great number of medical conditions such as stroke recovery and dementia.

The Mindfulness Association approach is a deep proven process that enables change through a step by step introduction to mindfulness meditations which begin to train participants to be more aware of their minds. The approach also includes the cultivation of kindness right from the beginning.


What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness Meditation is the deliberate practice of being mindful and present. Whilst we all have the capacity to be mindful, it develops more meaningfully when we are able to practice regularly.

We might want to formally practice mindfulness meditation with a guided practice from a tutor, in a group or simply on our own. By bringing our awareness to our present moment experiences through physical sensations, surroundings, feelings, thoughts and emotions we are being mindful.

Mindfulness Meditation is the act of being mindful and present without a particular goal. For example, we do not try to get rid of thoughts or expect to be blissed out, instead we are more aware of everything we are experiencing in the moment without judging it.

If we find ourselves judging ourselves, then that too is part of the practice. We approach Mindfulness Meditation with an attitude of curiosity and kindness in a relaxed way.


Why Practice Mindfulness?

Modern life can be very busy and many of us are looking for ways in which to cope with anxiety, stress and pain. Furthermore, we are looking for ways in which to enhance our wellbeing and cope better with life’s challenges. There are many mindfulness courses available for specific problems, but our compassion-based mindfulness courses are for everyone.

The mindfulness element trains us to be present in the only moment that matters – the present one. We can show up for the pleasantness of the presentness. The compassion element supports those of us who are hard on ourselves to recognise that we are actually OK as we are. Once we recognise this we can be happy and more relaxed about life’s ups and downs.


How do I Practice Mindfulness and Meditation?

Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the phone rings instead of rushing to answer it.

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

Our own tutors and graduates from the MSc Studies in Mindfulness have found many very positive benefits which supports existing research evidence. ‘Research suggests that Mindfulness can be beneficial for to be beneficial for mental health in the right circumstances and participants on our courses have reported:

  • Feeling less stressed
  • More resilient to life’s challenges
  • Feeling more relaxed
  • Increased self-awareness and confidence
  • Increased sense of wellbeing

Recent scientific evidence indicates that meditation & compassion-based mindfulness practices can change the brain in a positive way and help to:

  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • Relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Increase ability to cope with difficult situations
  • Decreases in ruminative thoughts

There is a growing evidence base for the benefits of mindfulness including:

  • habitual worrying
  • anxiety
  • depression and stress;
  • Increases in resilience
  • Wellbeing and flourishing.

Furthermore, research studies are revealing that mindfulness in the workplace counteracts emotional exhaustion and is beneficial for job satisfaction and emotional regulation.

What is the Mindfulness Associations Definition of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is knowing what is happening while it is happening without preference. It is being completely aware of how we are including our surroundings, body sensations, feelings, thoughts and emotions, whatever they are.

Are Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation the Same Thing?

Mindfulness meditation is the deliberate practice of Mindfulness. We need to learn to meditate and practice meditation the same way as learning any other skill. It’s similar to exercising any muscle until consistent practice develops the skill. You would usually begin with a tutor as part of a group to learn the basics.

Our mindfulness courses provide an in-depth, personal, experiential practice of mindfulness that are part of a lifelong journey. We learn how to be present, respond with compassion and see deeply into our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This three-tiered approach enables us to embody our practice as a way of life. The structure of our training is in method – the process of learning mindfulness and attitude – cultivating kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.

Are Mindfulness and Meditation the Same Thing?

We can be mindful at any time throughout our day, however, meditation is the deliberate act of intending to be mindful. Mindfulness meditation might involve sitting quietly on a chair or cushion, doing a guided mindfulness meditation, as part of a group or on our own. Once we have trained in mindfulness meditation we can practice this on our own – simply setting an intention to be present for a period of time and becoming aware of physical sensation, our surroundings, feelings and thoughts for a period of time. Mindful Movement can also be seen as mindfulness meditation in motion since we are intending to be present with the body whatever we are doing.

What Happens when I Practice Mindfulness?

We have a series of research blogs – where we explain the science and evidence behind Mindfulness and how it works.
In these blogs, we cover Mindfulness, Neuroscience, Psychology with topics such as desire and free will. We look at meditation and the default mode network, the neurobiology of Kindness Meditation and what goes on in the brain and our stress reaction when we practice mindfulness meditation.

Our mindfulness meditation training is based on the work of Rob Nairn. Rob is one of the world pioneers in presenting meditation training in a way that is accessible to the Western mind. He was asked to teach meditation by the Dalai Lama. His experience of over forty years of teaching meditation to Westerners has enabled him to develop a unique experiential and evidence-based training in mindfulness, and so the Mindfulness Association was created to develop this.

All our courses are experiential, and evidence-based and draw from a broad range of disciplines, including neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and Buddhism.

What are the Different Types of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MCBT) is a clinical style course of Mindfulness Meditation Training based on the work of Segal, Williams and Teasdale. It was specifically developed to help people who are in remission from depression from relapsing, but is now used widely in a rage of clinical physical and mental health contexts

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 as a method of using Mindfulness Meditation to help reduce and prevent stress for those with chronic health conditions.

Mindfulness Based Living Course

The Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) is a weekly mindfulness course and a lower intensity version of the Mindfulness Association’s Level 1 course. It was developed for the general public and as well as Mindfulness meditation it includes meditations to cultivate kindness and self-compassion.

Compassion Based Living Course

The Compassion Based Living Course (CBLC) is a weekly mindfulness course and a lower intensity version of the Mindfulness Association’s Level 2 course. It was developed for the general public as a follow on course for those who have already done a mindfulness course.

What is a Mindfulness Class?

A mindfulness class is a structured session as part of a course where a group of participants would gather to receive guided instruction and teachings from an experienced mindfulness meditation tutor.

What is a Guided Meditation?

A guided Meditation is a type of meditation led by a tutor, either in person or using audio or video or online tools such as zoom. The tutor or instructor would be trained in Meditation techniques and therefore able to shape the meditation, usually to pay attention to the breath and remain present, whilst being aware of the mind’s tendency to wander.