By practising mindfulness you are able to focus your attention and bring it to the present moment. This is combined with an accepting and kind quality that allows you to fully acknowledge and validate your moment-by-moment experiences and be more in tune with yourself. In doing so, you create more awareness of you habitual and often automatic thought and behavioural patterns, allowing you to make conscious choices that in are in line with your values. The result is a more fulfilling life and a way to better cope with difficult experiences.
A mindfulness training can be helpful if you wish to:
- Gain more insight in your patterns of thought, behaviour and functioning
- Discover how to gain peace of mind
- Learn how to ba able to deal with difficult experiences, thoughts and feelings in a better, more flexible way.
Although the mindfulness training was originally designed for people who had been in a depression, many people who have never been in a depression find this training to be life-enhancing. However, a mindfulness course might specifically be worth considering if you suffer from the following complaints or symptoms:
- Stress and stress-related symptoms, such as (recovering from) burn-out
- Suffering from (recurring) depressive mood
- Anxiety and (excessive) worrying
- Experiencing chronic pain
- Having difficulty to let go of things, to relax or unwind
- Irritability and lack of patience
Being mindful is a skill you can practice. Urban Mindfulness offers English spoken mindfulness courses in Amsterdam to teach you to become more mindful.
Practising Mindfulness Meditation
Since mindfulness meditation is a skill, the new insights are obtained by practising rather than learning with the mind. In the mindfulness training, you will get acquainted with both formal and informal practise. Formal practice involves meditating for a specific amount of time in order to be aware of your breathing, bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings. The informal practice is the ability to be aware of our daily activities and to apply the formal practice to these activities.
Both formal and informal practices are equally important and each supports the other. By engaging in formal meditation, you create a controlled and simplified environment where you can encounter yourself and the world around you in the present moment. Without it, it would be difficult to develop a deep understanding of yourself. By engaging in informal practice, you integrate the new skills you have learned with formal practise into your daily life.
Our English-spoken mindfulness courses are based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme developed by Segall, Williams & Teasdale. Both mindfulness programmes have clearly defined protocols that have been scientifically proven to be effective in a variety of fields. The training does not focus at changing problems, or make the mind empty of thoughts. Instead, it teaches us to change our attitude towards these problems, and to identify less with negative thoughts that may cause problems. As it helps people to worry less, it may make people feel less anxious and depressed. Although mindfulness meditation has its roots in Buddhist meditation, the MBSR and MBCT programmes are strictly secular. It combines Eastern meditation with scientific insights from the field of psychology.
The 8-week Mindfulness Course of Urban Mindfulness
The classic training mindfulness consists of eight 2-hour long group-sessions. During the sessions you will get acquainted with a full range of meditations and exercises in order to learn the principles of mindfulness. Experiencing is central during the sessions. This means that the sessions consist of guided mindfulness meditations alternated by sharing experiences, explorative inquiry, and education provided by the trainers. The sessions are structured in a specific way and each sessions has its own theme.
For the training to be as effective as possible, we strongly suggest you invest time and effort in between sessions on a daily basis (think 30-45 min. each day). The course will work towards integrating mindfulness into your daily life and setting up your own personal practice once the training is over. To help you with this, each sessions you will receive handouts, audio files and tips for further reading or practise.
During the training you will learn to observe and describe your experiences in an open, curious and kind way, increasing patience and kindness to yourself and others. You will learn to recognize thoughts and feelings as passing experiences and accept them for what they are allowing you free yourself of any negative hold they may have on you and be more fully present. You will learn to be more in tune and sensitive with your body, allowing you to take better care of yourself. You will learn how to handle the many challenging situations of daily life allowing you to experience more peace of mind.
Mindfulness Courses in Amsterdam Oost and Zuid
Urban Mindfulness organizes MBSR and MBCT based 8-week English mindfulness courses at several locations in Amsterdam Oost and Amsterdam Zuid. Please check our Courses and Events page for our calendar.