Mindfulness Practice Day – QMUL

About the day

Practice days are a great way to refresh and deepen your mindfulness practice. This “flexible” version allows you to choose how much you want to extend your experience. You can decide to join in all of the sessions, and make it a mini retreat, or you can come along to just one or two during the day.

It’s suitable for people who have already learned to meditate, rather than complete beginners. Most of the practices will be familiar to you but perhaps a little longer. Walking mediation is taught and included in some sessions. You can do walking practice indoors or go outside if you wish.

The encouragement is to make the periods in-between each session part of a “mindful” day. So you might, for example, arrange to be on your own, but only if you feel comfortable doing that. Perhaps you could make sure you don’t need to go out shopping, or decide to have a break from social media and TV for the day?

These breaks between sessions can be use for informal practice like cooking mindfully and eating mindfully. Taking your time to appreciate each activity during the day and savouring your experience.

Practising with a group, even online, can be an encouraging experience. Although the focus is on practice rather than chat, a camaraderie often builds up over the day. In the evening session there is an opportunity to share experiences of the day with other participants before concluding with a final sitting meditation.

Readiness

Mindfulness practices are designed for people who want to find ways of working with stress more effectively and increasing their overall level of awareness and well-being. It gently encourages moving towards experiences, including difficulties, in order to be able to work with them more skilfully. This can be challenging as well as rewarding.

If you have a current mental health issue such as clinical depression or PTSD, or are in a period of major life challenge such as recent bereavement, active substance addiction or trauma, a full day of mindfulness practice may NOT be right for you at this time.

If you have any concerns about your circumstances please contact Bob initially by email: bob@mindfulinthecity.co.uk. Bob will get in contact to discuss the best option for you. All information you share will be treated in strict confidence. In some circumstances he may suggest you do not take part in the day.

Technology

You will need a means of connecting to the sessions via the ZOOM application. Invitations will be sent out by email shortly before the event. A laptop connection is recommended but not essential. A headset is also recommended but again not essential.

FAQs

Q: Do I have to come to all of the sessions?

No. You can come to one or all the sessions as you wish. However I would NOT recommend coming to the evening session without having participated in, at least, one session during the day.

Q: Is this an online retreat?

It isn’t a formal retreat, however, if you are familiar with retreating you can set aside the whole day and make it a mini retreat.

Q: What sort of location is best?

It is best if you can find a room where you can sit undisturbed for the sessions. Find a convenient place to put your laptop/phone and a comfortable place to sit for the meditation practices. As long as you can walk up and down a few paces, it’s possible to do walking meditation indoors.

Q: What else do I need for the day?

1: Most of us will be sitting in chairs in front of our computers. I recommend an upright chair rather than “slouching” on the sofa or lying down with a laptop on your tummy. You will need to sit upright unless there is a medical reason for lying down. Try to position your camera at eye level if possible to avoid looking down too much.

2: Wear something warm, comfortable and not too restrictive. We will be doing some gentle movement (sitting and standing) and if you want to sit cross-legged, you will need to wear loose trousers or similar.

3: A yoga mat or area of carpet (big enough to lie down on) or a blanket on the floor for the movement practices.

Q: Accessibility

Please let us know if you have any mobility, hearing or other sensory difficulties that you feel might impact on your participation in the course. This sessions are in English.

Q: What if I feel unwell or stressed during one of the exercises or sessions?

During an online session you can stop your video and audio and take a break. Re-join the session if you feel able to.

Meditation can allow difficult feelings and emotions to arise. If it is possible, it is better to stay with these feelings and let them pass, as best as you can; this is part of Mindfulness practice. If you find it difficult to do this, just stop and take a break from the exercise. This is caring wisely for yourself.

Please do not feel obliged to participate in any exercises you feel uncomfortable doing. Just sit these out quietly. If you want to talk to the tutor after the session, let them know with an email or by using the chat function.

Ground Rules

1: Please treat any information you hear as confidential and not to be shared to anyone outside of the group in a way that the person can be identified. The guiding principle is: “treat people as you would like to be treated yourself”.

2: Please do NOT record the sessions or screen-shot the online sessions.

Safeguarding

All MITC tutors adhere to the BAMBA Teacher Good Practice Guidelines.

If you have any serious concerns about the tutor or the course you can contact the University Chaplain – Ella Sharples e.sharples@qmul.ac.uk