I recently delivered The Present for adults 8-week course to a group of 20 teaching staff in a school. It was an absolute pleasure to teach and the feedback from the participants was really positive. I have been teaching mindfulness to adults for 6 years and I deliver a range of mindfulness curriculums including MBCT for Life, MBCT, Frantic World, .B foundations and .begin. I have taught all of these courses in different contexts and in many school settings. The Present for Adults curriculum follows the themes of other mindfulness courses, however it is offered in a slightly different way. It is an experiential course with an emphasis on how to bring mindfulness into everyday living with many ‘in the moment’ practices. The informal practices and self-awareness practices which are explored through 6 different themes, really enabled participants to engage with the practices as they went about their daily activities. Each week, participants reported more awareness, more choices opening to them in response to stresses/difficulties, opportunities to be more aware of joyful moments, appreciation increased, relationship to others and towards themselves improved.
As a teacher, I noticed participants were much more willing to share their experiences in relation to mindfulness each week. Due to there not being ‘formal’ home practice there was no guilt or embarrassment about the ‘not doing’ which I often find in the other curriculums I teach. I noticed that more practice seemed to be happening, as it was often in response to something or as they were doing what they normally do but with a friendly awareness as they were doing it. These many regular moments of mindful awareness during the day seemed to really have a positive and noticeable impact on individuals and their well-being. Towards the end of the course many of the participants were choosing to do formal practices which they discovered supported their daily mindfulness awareness. However, this was something that developed organically rather than it being a requirement of the course. The structure of The Present course allowed a more organic delivery of content and I was able to really respond to participants in the group rather than let the course structure dictate content. I highly recommend this course.
Primary School Teacher
The Present for Adults is a lovely course to teach – not least because I learn more each time I teach it. The six themes, Here and Now, Focusing, Coming Home to the Body, Coming Home to the Mind, Connection and Noticing Choice and Change are so relevant to my life – and our current circumstances – that they have deepened my own practice and teaching perhaps as much as they have opened the minds of participants. The sessions are full of humour and shared experience underpinned by some very significant food for thought and challenging attitudes. All participants report a much more mindful approach to life, understanding their minds, emotions and bodies so much better and using that understanding to make better choices. The parents amongst them are already sharing mindfulness with their own children through their everyday experiences. Some go on to make more formal practice part of their daily lives and seek to develop their mindfulness further. And hopefully some will go on to train to share mindfulness with children. The Present for Adults really helps people cope, connect, flourish and empower change in their lives, and we all need that.
It’s flexible, engaging and really focuses on enabling people to be mindful in real life situations right from the start.
Tim Anfield www.mindfulfamilies.co.uk.
I enjoyed the exercises on the here and now, it has made such a difference to how I view everyday events – they have become more relevant as I concentrate on the task in hand rather than rush blindly on to my next task. This gives me a feeling of pleasure from using all of my senses, where possible , to appreciate everything around me…… more aware of my body and what it is telling me. I am improving my posture and have a greater awareness of how I move. The mindful movement exercises and the awareness of my breathing have helped a lot with this awareness….I have made a positive effort to look after myself – my thoughts, my actions. I am more confident about my choices and this in turn has helped me reach out to others when possible and also to view the wider world with compassion and understanding. Mindful listening has changed the way in which I respond to others….. I have learnt a lot about myself and my relationships with others from this course and I am grateful for that.
Myra (course participant)