Be Inspired, Be Present, Be Wise.
I have gone from 'burnout' to fired-up! ...such simple yet powerful ideas ... so effective.
Chris Ridley, Social Worker
We specialise in Applied Mindfulness Training for the general public, for Health Professionals and for those in leadership and management. Courses are designed for beginners through to advanced, to develop depth and breadth in intellectual understanding, practice and application.
We all want to be happy in what we do, present when we do it, and wise in how we do it. And we want to help cultivate this in others.
Mindfulness is a critical skill that assists us to be passionate, present and wise. To live, not just survive. Mindfulness brings a sense of calm and kindness, as we learn to focus our attention in the sensory aspects of the present moment rather than getting lost in memories of the past or worry about the future. Mindfulness reminds us to focus on what matters, and teaches us to relate differently to the unbalancing 'familiar guests' of the mind so we can deal with life on its own terms.
The Mindfulness Centre works at the intersection of neuroscience, mindfulness and positive psychology. We are the leading provider of applied mindfulness training to health professionals, teachers, leaders and managers across Australia.
Our practitioners are leaders in their fields and combine state of the art research, professional experience, and the heart and skill of mindfulness meditation.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of thinking about and approaching life that allows us to transform our experience moment by moment. Mindfulness skills address the underlying processes we use to perceive, understand and react to our experience of the world. As we become more mindful the way we relate to our feelings and thoughts becomes softer, more fluid and clearer.
Mindfulness-based education cultivates greater self acceptance, sharpness of mind and a sustained inner ability to counter stress. By changing the way we approach, think and feel about challenging situations we see new solutions and opportunities. By taking the skills and acting with them, we help our own way out of negative thought and behaviour patterns and depression. This frees us to function better, be more productive and better enjoy the life we live.
Mindfulness training is especially useful for transforming difficult and challenging situations. As we change our approach, new ideas and options open up, enabling us to feel less stuck and consequently more able to access different choices - choices and decisions that are kinder and wiser.
Before I was less effective, now I have more momentum, less procrastination. I am more effective. - Participant
Research has shown mindfulness to have profound, sustained effects for a broad range of people (see Who Benefits from Mindfulness below). Adapted to a Western context, our training courses are based on the ancient Buddhist tradition of Mindfulness meditation, and incorporate simple yet powerful meditation tools integrated with models from neuroscience, psychology, education, performance and management, and contemplative practices research.
How is Mindfulness used in the West?
Mindfulness is having a notable impact over the last decade, particularly in the health, mental health, management and performance arenas. Our foundation course, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK) as a treatment of choice for depression. Mindfulness Training is also taught in a range of personal and professional contexts including business, parenting, education and therapeutic settings for stress management, relaxation, prevention of burnout, greater focus and higher functioning.
What is MBCT?
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a state-of-the-art program combining Mindfulness with Cognitive Therapy. Mindfulness is a simple yet sophisticated Buddhist form of meditation and has been used for over two and a half thousand years. Cognitive Therapy - also known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Behaviour Therapy - focuses on realising and changing unhelpful ways we may think, interpret and react to situations. It has developed in the West since the 1960s. The combination brings together sensory and cognitive techniques within a framework of kindness and acceptance. Focused on the present, MBCT is approachable and like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction from which it draws heavily, was developed in a Western context for meditators and non-meditators alike. It is for those who want to live with more ease, skill and wisdom.
What if I have never meditated?
Participants range from those who have never meditated, wanted to, or thought they could, to those very experienced in the art of meditating. Participants across the whole spectrum have commented on how much they gain from our courses. We think that this is in part due to a focus on being actively engaged in the present. Another aspect enjoyed by participants is the carefully stepped guidance offered to undertake the challenging and eventually delightful process of learning to bring an intense and rewarding awareness into one's senses. Walking, tasting and breathing meditations are but some of the delights - we look forward to hearing what you think!
Who benefits from Mindfulness?
- Individuals: these range from those of us who are clinically depressed to those of us achieving at high levels and looking for the extra edge. Managers, parents, couples, sportspeople and more come to cultivate a clearer outlook, reduce stress and feel more skilled at feeling in tune with their actions and life.
- Health professionals: integrate mindfulness skills into their work, enabling clients to relate differently to their struggles and experience and allowing for more clarity, self-compassion and joy. Research also shows practitioners experience rejuvenation, better patient-centred care and increased wellbeing.
- Organisations: these train staff in order to facilitate connectivity, productivity and motivation. Having tools for managing stress and interpersonal relationships is key, along with models for clarity of action and thought. Combined, these skills result in more effective working relationships, happier workplaces, greater focus.
- Parents and educators: they find mindfulness tools help in further cultivating patience, understanding and clarity, enhancing the ability to think through reactions better and develop kinder relationships and a fuller sense of doing a good job. Techniques such as the three minute breathing space are integral.
- Meditators: Meditation is a continuing exploration which becomes richer with experience. Many meditators attend one or more courses a year, enjoying the format and additional tools included in the courses, and the opportunities for deeper learning and discussion provided by the group context.
When do I use Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an approach that brings a different flavour to all parts of life - a flavour of acceptance and insight. Typically, mindfulness tools are especially valuable in the lead-up to, the middle or the aftermath of times of stress, negative emotion or overwhelm. We can use the skills daily to gain clarity around our work, to stop disruptive thoughts from going around and around and to successfully navigate relationships and situations towards healthy ground.
Mindfulness is the activity which takes care of the mind and protects it - Buddha
What course is right for me?
Mindfulness is a skill and like most skills, it improves and becomes easier to engage with guidance and practice. We can learn the basic skills through short courses during which we gain useful experiences and concepts which we can take away and build on. Longer courses serve to reinforce and strengthen our mindfulness skills, providing the opportunity to ask questions, develop, and integrate the skills more deeply. Many participants return to deepen their understanding by experiencing one or more modules a second or third time. Many Mindfulness trainers find the basic MBCT courses rich and layered and will attend one every six or twelve months to refresh their skills and gain new insight.
Attending the mindfulness course with Liana Taylor was an enriching experience for me. It had a profound impact on my own well being - Abraham