Mindfulness is a way of being aware of our own experience, which is accompanied by the attitude of acceptance, openness and curiosity. Through mindfulness we are learning to direct our attention to our immediate experience, as it is unfolding here and now. We are aware of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and intentions as well as of what is happening around us.
Research has shown that regular mindfulness practice leads to development of long-term, profound experience of inner stillness, wellbeing and heightened self-evaluation, together with lessening practitioners’ stress, anxiety and depression (more in Černetič, 2005; for meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies look: Gotnik, et al., 2015; Khoury, et al., 2015; Hempel, et al., 2014).
Foundation courses are intended for those who are new to formal mindfulness practice and those who would like to re-uptake their practice. The main goal of the program is to develop skills, necessary for independent practice of mindfulness. Upon the completion, the participant can continue to practice on her own or in one of the mindfulness maintenance groups.
The foundation course will introduce you to the main mindfulness practices and show you new techniques for relating to experientially unpleasant emotions and feelings. Throughout the course, you will be supported by the leader of the course and other participants in the group and you will learn how to start incorporating mindfulness in your everyday life.
As with everything we do in life, learning a new skill requires some persistence and effort as well as our energy and time. Your experience of the program as a whole will highly depend on your willingness to commit to your homework in the time between weekly sessions. It will require up to an hour of your time every day. It is understandable that it is difficult to fit in the time to learn something new in the already overcrowded schedule of our everyday. But it is important to stress the importance of carrying out the homework on the daily basis. If you think that you will find it difficult to follow the homework during your participation in the program, we recommend you to wait and register for a course at a time when you will find it easier to commit to it. The ways of incorporating mindfulness in your everyday lives will be discussed during the group sessions and that is also the time when you can express any questions, doubts or difficulties you might have.
Our meetings and homework can teach you how to be more fully present and aware in any moment of your daily life. The good news is that this makes life more interesting, rich and fulfilling.
On the other hand it also means to face the present, the current experience, even when it is unpleasant and hard to accept. The practice of mindfulness can bring to the surface different subconscious memories, emotions and feelings, which are difficult to experience. In this case you can stop with the practice and consult with the leader of the program or you can continue observing what is happening within you. It is important to speak about it and find a balanced and constructive way of dealing with it.
Throughout the program you will explore and test different ways in which you can gently face the problems and difficult moments. Just acknowledging their existence is an effective way to lessen stress and dissatisfaction. You will be supported by the program leader and fellow group members.