Our Mindfulness Level 1 – Being Present training provides an in-depth personal practice experience in a tutor led group environment:
It is ideal for beginners and for those who have previous experience of mindfulness and who want to develop their practice.
Also, this provides a good foundation for those who wish to go on to train to teach mindfulness.
Level 1 – Being Present takes place over four weekends spread out over a nine-month period.
Enables participants to establish an effective and regular daily mindfulness practice so as to help the mind to settle and stabilise.
To book, simply choose your location below and start your journey with mindfulness.
Start where you are
Mindfulness is defined as paying attention to our moment by moment experience in a way that is non-judgmental and kind.
We are initiated into this graduated process through the core practices of settling, grounding, resting and mindfulness support. Also, we practice body scan and walking meditation and simple practices for integrating mindfulness into daily life. We simultaneously work on developing kindness as a basis for self- compassion.
Having had the opportunity to practice settling, grounding, resting and support on a daily basis since Weekend One, we are now in a position to become more familiar with how the mind moves and the unique pathways of habit it follows.
We become increasingly familiar with the changing dynamic of mindfulness and distraction and begin to see how distraction reveals an inner world of habitual patterning that ensnares our energies.
We also begin to recognize attitudes of preference – like and dislike – and see how they narrow and contract our awareness, imprisoning us. In this context we are referring to our habitual reactions driven by conditioning, not informed choices based on intelligent discernment.
Throughout our training, we are working in two areas – redirecting our attention to the present moment by using a mindfulness support, while at the same time learning to accept the diverse range of our inner experience.
Part of mindfulness practice is learning to work with strong emotions that arise and developing the capacity to ‘hold’ difficult experiences within body and mind. Identifying our reactive patterns of preference reveals how working on attitude is all important, and so, through training in acceptance, we learn to acknowledge and come to terms with difficult thoughts and emotions by paying them close attention with a kind and inclusive attitude.
This leads to a gradual dis-identification with the contents of our experience and shift in perspective in which we come to see that we are not our thoughts.
Undercurrent & Observer
During this module, we bring together all the themes from the previous three modules and help participants set up an ongoing mindfulness practice for going forward in their lives.
At this point, we explore the model of ‘undercurrent and observer’ as a way of mapping out the inner landscape of our mind and identifying where change can take place.
The ‘undercurrent’ refers to the continuous stream of thoughts, emotions, memories and images that stream through our mind moment by moment, whether we like it or not. The ‘observer’ refers to that part of our mind that sees the undercurrent and has the capacity to reflect on itself.
As our practice deepens, we learn to step out of the undercurrent and simply leave it alone. Instead, we focus on working with the attitudes of preference in our observer as this is where genuine change can take place.
“Mindfulness is life changing”
Participants will be taught progressive skills in Mindfulness through presentations, guided practice and smaller group sessions. A strong emphasis is placed on experiential learning, there are home assignments between weekends that include regular mindfulness practice, daily life exercises and journal writing.
Mindfulness is defined as knowing what is happening, while it is happening, without preference. In the beginning we notice how our attention is like a butterfly flitting from one thought to the next. So we start by slowing down and settling our mind through regulating our breathing and counting. We then introduce practices that ground us allowing our attention to drop out of our heads and into the sensory awareness of the body. We then learn to rest in the present moment getting used to disengaging from our habits of compulsive doing. And then, when we notice our attention drifting away into thinking, we learn to work with the mindfulness support of sound to bring our attention back to the present.
The course is themed over the four weekends:
- Settling the Mind
- Working with Distraction
- The Undercurrent and Observer
You can pay for and attend weekend one before deciding whether to commit to attending all four weekends.
Each weekend retreat costs £150 which includes manual and practices
Weekends 2-4 of the course can be paid for in six monthly instalments of £75.00
We run courses across the UK including London, Manchester, Cardiff, Scarborough, Stroud, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Our flagship venue, Samye Ling, is a great place to start your Mindfulness journey and a firm favourite with everyone at the Mindfulness Association.
We also have an online course for those that can not make it to one of our centres.
The Level 1 Mindfulness Courses, generally runs over 4 weekends and is spread over a 9 month period.
Occasionally we run the courses over 2 separate weekends and a week long retreat.We also run an online version of the course.
Please scroll down this page for our latest courses.
The Mindfulness Association
“It provided exactly what I was looking for and more. The introductions and explanations of theory and practice were ideal and the amount of led practice sessions was excellent, to really give a chance to get to grips with the content”
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 you to embody your practice as a way of life. We also provide:
- Mindfulness teacher training
- Compassion teacher training
- Annual mindfulness practice retreats
- The opportunity to study mindfulness in depth on the MSc Studies in Mindfulness in partnership with The University of Aberdeen.
- Weekend workshops for Continued Professional Development for Mindfulness teachers.
You may be a beginner or have practiced mindfulness with another organisation. Either way we have courses to offer you.
Our 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 secular training in mindfulness, and so the Mindfulness Association was created to support this.
We are one of the top mindfulness training providers in the UK. We have been delivering 100s of compassion-based mindfulness meditation courses over 10 years across the UK and Europe.
All our courses are secular and draw from a broad range of disciplines, including neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and Buddhism.
“All the tutors were excellent, effective, warm, genuine. A pleasure to work with”
“It’s wonderful to meet and share this experience with like-minded people and to progress so quickly from strangers to mindfulness friendship?”
The Mindfulness Association has 10 years of experience of delivering courses in the UK and Europe.
All our tutors are very experienced and knowledgeable.
We have a membership providing our practitioners with ongoing support.
Our tutors and courses comply with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations who oversee the quality of mindfulness-based training in the UK.
Compassion: This course provides a strong foundation for Level 2 – Responding with Compassion, where the training shifts to focus on compassion and kindness to self and others. This helps us to embody a safe container within ourselves for holding challenging emotions
Teacher Training: Following this course you may wish to begin training to teach the 8 week Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC). By doing so will enable you to bring the benefits of mindfulness to others.
More on Mindfulness
“Different way of relating to life and doing something positive in a mad world”
Practicing mindfulness results in an unfolding of our potential. This helps us to make choices about how we live in connection with ourselves and our world. Whatever it is that brings us to take our first steps on the journey of becoming more mindful, we recognise that present-moment compassionate living is the journey of a lifetime.
“I find it exciting and reassuring to learn that mindfulness can be applied to everyday life – even the most mundane of tasks and actions”
We are all very busy in our modern lives and some people are looking for ways in which to cope with their anxiety, stress and pain. Furthermore, we are looking for ways in which to enhance our wellbeing and cope better with life’s challenges. We show you that practicing mindfulness becomes a way of life and enhances our very being.
Recent scientific evidence states that meditation & compassion-based mindfulness practices 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
You have probably heard the terms Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), or maybe Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which are courses specifically developed by clinicians to help reduce stress, depression and anxiety. There are many mindfulness courses available for specific problems.
Whilst our own tutors and graduates from the MSc Studies in Mindfulness have found even more very positive indicators which support existing evidence, we believe that Mindfulness training is not a treatment for mental health or addiction. Mindfulness is, however, proven to be beneficial for mental health in the right circumstances. Mindfulness is, however, proven 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.
If you have recently received or are currently receiving treatment from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or counsellor for an ongoing mental health problem, we strongly advise that you obtain advice from your mental health professional before proceeding further with mindfulness training at this time.
Also, if you have recently or are currently going through a traumatic life event such as a separation from a long-term partner, the death of a close family member or friend or redundancy this may not be the best time for you to start a mindfulness course.