Eighteen months into this new Masters degree course I thought I would add some of my own reflections to those of our students on this course, after our second year retreat at Samye Ling.
If you want a life changing course – go for this course.
It’s been amazing – the sense of growth from where I came from – it’s been an
amazing journey and I have learned so much from doing it.
It took us several years of hard work with setbacks and fresh starts to find the right partner for this Masters degree, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Working with colleagues at UWS has gone very smoothly, despite the pandemic, and we began our MSc in Teaching Mindfulness and Compassion in February 2021. Our aim was to provide an excellent training for teachers of mindfulness and compassion, grounded in psychology, neuroscience and research and following best practice in the UK. Graduates of the degree will be in a position to join the UK Listing of Mindfulness teachers administered by the British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA).
Choden and I deliver the experiential training in mindfulness and compassion meditation training as well as training the students to teach and supervising them in their teaching practice. It has been a delight to work with such committed mindfulness practitioners and support them in their beginning teaching practice. Hundreds of people from many different walks of life will benefit from their teaching of mindfulness in the future and it warms my heart to contemplate this.
It’s been amazing – I feel like I have developed so much. The thought of teaching scared me, but now I feel really confident.
The tutors were fantastic, support was there whenever you needed it.
We work with an excellent team of psychologists from UWS who deliver academic training in psychology and neuroscience as it relates to mindfulness and compassion. They also teach the students to understand and critique the mindfulness and compassion evidence base and prepare them to conduct research themselves.
I’ve learned so much about myself, different aspects of mindfulness and compassion, research and teaching and it’s really helped me grow.
We were so well supported.
We are now eighteen months in and we have taught the first three modules: Mindfulness Practice and Psychological Wellbeing; Mindfulness Teaching & Research; and Mindfulness Teaching, Cognition and Consciousness. One highlight for me was watching some paired presentations critiquing mindfulness research, with one person supporting the strengths of research and another critiquing weaknesses of the research. I was delighted to observe the clarity and depth of understanding of complex and nuanced aspects of mindfulness research.
The combination of science and psychology and practice is a magic combination that supports your practice and understanding.
The psychology backed up what we were teaching.
Our first cohort of students have now trained to teach our eight week Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) and have delivered their first courses to groups of participants. Choden and I met with the students regularly in supervision groups while they were delivering their courses. It was beautiful to observe the care and commitment with which the students shared their own mindfulness practice with their participants. It was a big step for them and a privilege to accompany them with our common intention to share the benefits of mindfulness practice.
Leading my first eight week course has been fantastic – I felt that I learnt and grew a lot.
It was great seeing people open up and enjoy what we were teaching them.
Choden and I journey with these students and get to know them well. The teacher training process can be quite nerve wracking and so we all go through a lot together. What results is a fabulous sense of community, friendship, mutual support and safeness…..and some incredible mindfulness teachers
We had a real sense of community.
There is a really great sense of community with the University and the Mindfulness Association.
In our next module Teaching Compassion and Research the students will train to teach our eight week Compassion Based Living Course (CBLC). Then next year they will complete the Masters undertaking advanced teaching skills training and the writing of a dissertation. They will teach their second MBLC course and receive a full teaching competency assessment (MBI-TAC – if you know what that is).
It was a delight to sit the five day Samye Ling retreat with this group of mature and committed mindfulness practitioners. A group of friends for life I expect.
It’s just changed my life really, I’m less reactive.
I’ve become less reactive. Able to take space before responding.
My relationships have got better. I’ve really enjoyed the process of learning again.
Does being a part of this community and learning and training in this way appeal to you?
If so, we are recruiting our next cohort who will begin in January 2023.
For more information you can look here and we will be running some online open evening events in the autumn.