By practicing mindfulness you learn to focus your attention and bring it to the present moment in an accepting and kind way. This allows you to fully acknowledge and validate your moment-by-moment experiences and be more in tune with yourself. lt helps you to become more aware of your automatic thought and behavioural patterns, so you can make more conscious choices that in are in line with your values. As a result you are better able to cope with difficult experiences and live a more fulfilling life.
Being mindful is a skill you can practice. Urban Mindfulness offers English spoken mindfulness courses in Amsterdam to teach you to become more mindful.
The 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. 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 issues, and to identify less with negative thoughts. As it helps people to worry less, it helps 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 meditation with scientific insights from the field of psychology.
There are two ways of practicing mindfulness that are equally important. There is the formal meditation, where you create a controlled environment in which you can encounter yourself and the world around you in the present moment. Without the formal practice, it would be difficult to develop a deep understanding of yourself. Then there is the informal practice, where you apply the skill that you have nursed in formal practice in your daily life.
The 8-week Mindfulness Course of Urban Mindfulness
The classic mindfulness training 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 and sharing experiences. The sessions are structured in a specific way and each session has its own theme.
For the training to be effective it is important that you take time to practice on a daily basis (think 30-45 min. each day). In the training we will work towards integrating mindfulness into your daily life and setting up your own personal practice for after the training. To help you with this, you will receive handouts, audio files and tips for further reading and practice.
In the training you learn to observe and describe your experiences in an open, curious and kind way, increasing patience and kindness to yourself and others. You learn to recognize thoughts and feelings as passing experiences and accept them for what they are. This helps you to free yourself of any negative hold they may have on you. You will learn to be more in tune and sensitive with your body, allowing you to take better care of yourself. You learn how to handle the many challenging situations of daily life, and experience more peace of mind.
About Sachlan Apil
After receiving a MSc degree in Psychology in 2003, I started working as a researcher in the field of Depression at Leiden University. Since 2008, I have been working as a therapist at Leiden University and Erasmus University Rotterdam. Through my work as a cognitive behavioural therapist I was introduced to Mindfulness. I have been practicing Mindfulness meditation since 2012 and was trained as a Mindfulness teacher in 2014. I am a member of the Dutch and Flemish Society for Mindfulness Based Trainers VMBN.