Over the last two days I have been doing a training course on the MBI-TAC: Mindfulness Based Interventions – Teaching Assessment Criteria. It was wonderfully facilitated by Rebecca Crane and it was an opportunity to share practice and experience about what it is to be a Mindfulness teacher with other experienced practitioners and teachers. A real coming together and meeting of hearts and minds. It was especially wonderful as I was reconnecting with some of the people I trained in Mindfulness with at Bangor University back in 2007. Even though we haven’t seen very much of each other in the intervening years there was a strong bond of love and connection from that intense and intimate time of sharing our formative teacher training years.
We spent our time together this week watching videos of teachers guiding practice and leading enquiry and then shared our experiences of assessing them in different domains of the MBI-TAC. I learned a lot about how different mindfulness teaching can look and still be authentic and powerful, with each teacher authentically being themselves in their teaching practice. What other job is there where one of the key demands is to show up honestly as yourself with no mask – wonderful and scary at the same time, especially when we are assessing something so personal.
We use the MBI-TAC as a framework for the MA’s teacher training pathway. It is an excellent pointer towards what is involved in teaching Mindfulness. Although, we concluded that there is something undefinable about experiencing an embodied teacher that can be felt, but not easily captured and assessed in terms of observable traits.The scope of the MBI-TAC can be a little (or a lot!) daunting for training, aspiring and even experienced Mindfulness teachers. But we can develop and mature, step by step, by reflecting on our teaching practice with tutors, supervisors and peers.
Fay was with me at the training and we talked a lot about the importance of coming together, as Mindfulness supervisors, Mindfulness teachers and Mindfulness practitioners. We felt a deep desire to develop these communities within the MA membership and teaching teams. It is so important to create opportunities for us to connect as like minded practitioners when we can feel quite alone as Mindfulness practitioners in the wider world.
There are many opportunities for our MA members to meet and practice each week at the online sits and each month at the online teachings. We are also planning some face to face practice days for members in London and Edinburgh. More to follow!
Fay and Jane have put together an online course on Mindfulness in daily life, which provides another opportunity for us to connect with each other, our practice and our world through Mindfulness. This course starts in the new year.
In the meantime, please visit our brand new website www.mindfulnessassociation.net. On the resources page you can connect with video and audio talks and guided practices by Rob Nairn and other excellent teachers. Come and join in with us, whichever way you can.
We try to support Mindfulness practitioners by providing these opportunities, but it is up to you to embrace and develop them.
I hope that you get as much insight and joy out of connecting with fellow practitioners as I did these last few days.
-Heather Regan Addis