In this webcast series we meet with individuals who are at the cutting edge of mindfulness meditation, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Our presenters are drawn from the worlds of psychotherapy, mindfulness research and spiritual and socially engaged practice. Each of the conversations remains focused on the work of psychotherapy, consistently returning to the benefits for practitioners.
The question of ‘what is mindfulness’ is placed with all our interviewees. Commonalities and subtle differences are explored. We look at the aims of mindfulness, focusing on the deep question of what it is that we are intending to cultivate in the practice. Each person shares stories from their practice, drawing on case material and insights from their own inner work. The result is a series that seriously addresses mindfulness practice as a psychotherapeutic tool. We also open wider discussion on some of the ethical and spiritual concerns within this emergent field, for example social engagement and action. Central to all of the discussions are reflections on the role of the mindfulness teacher and the development of the inner and outer qualities of the practitioner.
This online program is worth 6 hours CPD.
Christina Feldman is a co-founder of Gaia House. She has been leading Insight Meditation retreats worldwide since 1976. She is a Guiding Teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and has recently been involved in the dialogue between cognitive therapies and Buddhist practice. She is the author of a number of books including Woman Awake, Way of Meditation, and co-author of Soul Food. Recent books include Silence and The Buddhist Path to Simplicity.
Maura Sills is the Founder of Core Process Psychotherapy which offers an innovative psycho-spiritual approach to therapy. The Karuna Institute integrates western psychotherapeutic models with Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices.Maura is an Honorary Fellow of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and Director of Training at the Karuna Institute which offers Master Degree Programmes in Buddhist Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy along with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Retreat.
Dr Rebecca Crane directs the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University and has played a leading role in developing its training and research programme since it was founded in 2001. She teaches and trains internationally in both Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Her research focuses on how the evidence on mindfulness-based interventions can be implemented with integrity into practice settings. She has written Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: The CBT Distinctive Features Series; Routledge, 2009.
Joshin Brian Byrnes serves as Upaya's Vice Abbot and President. He came to Upaya in 2009 from the San Francisco Bay Area. He was ordained as a novice priest by Roshi Joan in 2012 and became a Dharma Holder in 2014. Before coming to Upaya, Joshin served as President and CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, and worked for most of his career to now in the AIDS epidemic and leading a variety social change and community philanthropy organisations.
Ruby Wax is an actress and comedy writer. Ruby began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, before going on to write and perform in her own hugely popular television programmes for the BBC and Channel 4, and was Script Editor on all series of Absolutely Fabulous. Recently she has obtained a Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University and spoke at TEDGlobal. She has become the poster girl for mental illness in the UK.
Session 1: Foundational principles of mindfulness
with Christina Feldman
As a senior Dharma teacher, Christina threads together her work and rich understanding of compassion, mindfulness and its emanation in psychotherapy practice. She offers insightful guidance on the practice of mindfulness from traditional Buddhist teachings whilst finding a bridge with secular models. She discusses the place of ethics and the establishment of codes of practice within an emergent profession.
Session 2: Bringing relational mindfulness into psychotherapy practice
with Maura Sills
Maura introduces ‘Relational Mindfulness’ as a Buddhist-informed approach to psychotherapy. In this webcast Maura looks at the qualities and skills of presence orientated psychotherapeutic practice. Utilising ideas from Core Process psychotherapy, Maura explains tricky concepts such as ‘beingness’ and ‘presence orientated’ practice. Drawing on rich case material (and research) she demonstrates the practice in action of the dance of self and other.
Session 3: Mindfulness training and research
with Dr Rebecca Crane
Rebecca outlines her thinking on some of the skills and qualities of being a mindfulness teacher and the research that supports this. Rebecca also highlights case material drawing on both research and her book ‘Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy’. She outlines the development of the profession and reflects on some of the emergent issues in the field. She discusses professional regulation and how this might unfold in a mindful way.
Session 4: The importance of mindful organisations in the 21st century
with Joshin Brian Byrnes
Joshin takes the series into another dimension by exploring mindful systems and organisations. We enquire what a Mindful Organisation might look like and the helpful components and qualities that enables a functioning system to develop. Drawing on the work of complexity theory and systems thinking, Joshin describes this from a practical perspective based on his work and experience in organisational development.
Session 5: Mindfulness and what gets in the way
with Nigel Wellings
Nigel focuses on one of the tricky areas in mindfulness meditation – what stops us from getting on with a practice that can be so helpful in moments of suffering. Discussing work from his book ‘Why Can’t I Meditate? he looks at the ways in which resistance plays out in mindfulness practice. Using case material he explores the many things that get in the way of meditation. Nigel also describes the interplay of psychoanalytical psychotherapy with both mindfulness and Buddhist practice.
Session 6: Bringing practice into hard to reach communities
with Fleet Maull
In this webcast series Fleet describes working in ‘hard to reach’ places, i.e. what it means to take the work from the cushion or chair to prisons and on the streets with homeless people. Highlighting the socially engaged nature of mindfulness, he shares stories of individual work where he has brought mindfulness practices to places on the earth where humanity has left a painful legacy, for example in retreats at Auschwitz and in Rwanda. He also demonstrates mindfulness as a tool towards developing resiliency and authentic leadership.
Session 7: Practicing mindfulness and mental health
with Ruby Wax
Drawing on her book ‘Sane New World’ Ruby shares her own experiences of depression and mental health pain and how mindfulness (and an understanding of its process) become part of ones own work and life. Witty and sharp, whilst holding a soft compassion, Ruby describes the importance of psycho-education and engaging with the reflective, observing self in the service of living a more meaningful life.
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