Mindfulness for wonderful wellbeing
Mindfulness is a path and way to optimal wellbeing and happiness. It is a path of love, joy, compassion and non-discrimination.
Mindfulness helps us overcome, accept and transform our suffering. It enables us to realize all the conditions of happiness that we already have available to us in the here and now. With mindfulness gratitude, resilience and even wisdom arises naturally!
I offer a number of different classes to suit all temperaments, pockets and interests. All my classes and course are suitable for absolute beginner to those with years of practice (who can access their beginners mind).
Please check the classes tab on this website for course start dates and locations.
Read my Immeasurable Minds leaflet to find out more about mindfulness courses in Belfast (now out of date but still pretty!).
It is very important that the mindfulness and wellbeing teacher you choose follows UK best practice guidelines and is registered and accredited. See my listing on bemindful.org here.
If your interested in mindfulness and meditation you are not alone – here are the latest statistics on the practice.
Mindfulness is therapeutic not therapy, sometimes this is confused, but the reality is if you are experiencing recent trauma or grief it’s probably not the right time to do a mindfulness course – please see this list of local List of NI based counsellors organisations and counsellors that can help.
1. Mindful movement
I occasionally teach a series of mindful movement classes and during the summer months I can be found down at the Lough Shore in Jordanstown teaching Khi Cong with a stick at 8am on Tuesday and Thursdays. Mindful movement is taught as part of the 8-week MBSR and on days of mindfulness. Please read this info sheet What is Mindful Movement for more on this wonderful practice. 2. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
2. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBSR is the classic programme developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in Massachusetts General Hospital. (See his famous book Full Catastrophe Living).
As taught by Bangor University I teach a combination of MBSR and MBCT. MBCT was developed by by Kabat-Zinn, Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. Check out this book, The Mindful Way Through Depression, for more information. I now teach the updated version of this course as approved and researched by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
MBCT has been thoroughly researched and found to prevent relapse of depression.
Mindfulness has been recommended by NICE UK as a way to prevent depression relapse since 2004. However you cannot benefit from a mindfulness course if you are currently in acute depression. You need to be in recovery. If you are currently well, but have experienced depression in the past – NOW is the time to learn Mindfulness. If you or anyone you know is currently suffering from depression please seek help from your Doctor and/or those organisations that specialise in the treatment of depression. Aware Defeat Depression, The Lighthouse, Lifeline and the Samaritans are just a few that can help. I also offer mindfulness classes though the The Lighthouse.
The course consists of eight weekly two and half hour classes and one full day. This is a highly participatory, practical course including:
- Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
- Gentle stretching and mindful movement and yoga
- Group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
- Daily home practice*
- Home practice MP3 downloads and a home practice manual*
* The success of the course depends in part on your own commitment and effort.
The course is challenging and life-affirming. I am accomplished and skilled at creating a safe, supportive and engaging learning environment. Check out this is one and a half minute video about MBSR.
Find out more by downloading my information sheet on MBSR.
If you are interested in attending a course please fill in this blank mbsr application form.
There are numerous scientific studies on the effects of mindfulness and meditation – these all refer to MBSR – the research is growing exponentially and it’s very positive:
- Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program
- Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention
- The potential effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline: a systematic review.
- Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress
- The value of mindfulness meditation in the treatment of insomnia.
3. Mindful Self-Compassion
Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing—being aware in the present moment when we’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress (mindfulness) and responding with kindness and understanding (self-compassion). Mindful self-compassion also means holding difficult emotions—fear, anger, sadness, shame and self-doubt—and ourselves, in loving awareness, leading to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.
Mindful self-compassion can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves especially when we’re suffering—cultivating the same desire that all living beings have to live happily and free from suffering. And as the Dalai Lama says, self-compassion is the first step toward compassion for others.
Bridgeen is the only person in Northern Ireland who is qualified to teach the 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion course as taught by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She is lucky enough to have had the privilege to be taught by course founders Christopher Germer and Kristen Neff.
I offer this course 3 times per year. It is a transformative life changing course. I prefer if you have already completed a mindfulness course before doing this but it is not mandatory to do so. Please contact us for an application form and to book.
I’ve been running 2-hour mindful self-Compassion workshops once a month in Belfast since May 2015 and i’ve also taught the workshop in Adelaide, Australia, Carrickfergus, Lisburn and Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath 🙂 Come along to relax, learn and enjoy. The workshops are suitable for everyone – I’m happy to travel to your home or venue to host this workshop.
4. One to one Mindful Coaching
These helpful and supportive sessions can be arranged by appointment. The sessions are with Bridgeen, in her home in Jordanstown and are especially helpful to discuss personal mindfulness practice, emotional or relationship difficulties. Bridgeen is a experienced meditation and mindfulness teacher, who has had a personal mediation practice since 2003 so is able to support you in your practice. She has a certificate in Counselling (Level 2) from theNorthern Regional College and practices mindful listening. Please contact us to book.
5. Mindfulness practice course
I have been running this very popular 6-week class at Namaste Yoga Centre on the Ormeau Road, Belfast for ten years.
It is an ongoing class suitable for absolute beginners as well as those who have an established meditation practice but are willing to exercise their beginners mind…
6. Special events
I ran ‘mindfulness in the garden’ afternoons and days with Horticultural Therapists Liz and Maureen Hanvey from Blossoms at Larne Lough for three years.
I run retreats at various locations several times a year.
I run day retreats as part of my 8-week programmes but also as one-off retreats in various locations across NI.
The days are always conducted in silence and include bodyscan practice, meditation, mindful eating, mindful movement, outdoor walking meditation and loving kindness practice.
Come for a day and feel like you’ve been away for a week, nourished and restored from the practice of stopping, calming resting and healing. I also run retreats for organisations for example in 2018 I delivered 4 days of retreats for carers for the charity Cause.
Overnights are the best though, the more time we can take to immerse ourselves in mindfulness practice the more we benefit from the practice. Really taking time out to slow down and enjoy peace and quiet on a mindfulness retreat is a luxury that you didn’t even know you needed 🙂
Step out of the rat race, unwind and relax. You’re invited to stop, calm, rest and heal and you’re worth it!
Every year in January I run an ‘envisioning’ retreat to welcome the new year. It really helps us embrace the new and let go of the old. I also have other retreats throughout the year so be sure to check out my classes page or sign up to my newsletter to be informed.
Mindfulness to help you sleep. Mindful, Feb 2015
The Dalai Lama’s translator explains why being kind to yourself is good for the world, Washington Post, 14 May 2015
Using mindfulness to rewire the brain, The Mindfulness Bell, Autumn 2012