Our curriculum follows the UK Good Practice guidelines for Teaching Mindfulness and Mindfulness Teachers used by institutions such as UMASS, Bangor, Exeter and Oxford Universities. Our course is based on the standard MBSR week course taught around the world and to help you get a better understanding of the curriculum we teach you to teach during TTR1 and TTR2 we have added the Session titles, themes and learning focuses for you below.
Regarding teaching practice, every afternoon you will be teaching a 20 minute version of the MBSR core practice you explored during the morning sessions. This will be in small groups with peer feedback and also you will also be assessed 4 times during the course by Bodhin or his team following the MBI-TAC guidelines for MBSR Teachers (Mindfulness-based Intervention Teaching Assessment Criteria) to support your development. At the end of the module you will also have a 15 minute 1-1 with one of us to discuss your next development steps.
For those going on to gain the accredited MBSR Teacher Training certificate, the focus of the TTR2 Advanced Teacher Training module is to deepen the skills from the Foundation course and to also learn how to teach the standard 8 week MBSR course. Once again, you will be teaching in small groups each day with peer feedback, and MBI-TAC assessment and feedback with Bodhin or his team. Both modules are not just attendance courses, and each student must reach the required competency level in order to pass the module, and our roll is to support your development.
Please note - the focus of TTR1 is to deepen your personal practice and teach you how to teach the core practices of each session.
TTR2 focuses on deepening your personal and teaching practice and teaching you how to run each of the eight 2.5hr sessions that make up the Mindful Academy Solterreno MBSR Course.
REQUIRED PRE COURSE STUDY
MBSR Pre-course study.
- Reading the 4 pre-course books (2 per training)
- Completing pre-course MBSR Meditation practices using the MP3's provided with completion of a Reflective MBSR Journal.
- With the provided TTR Pre-course study guide, you are asked to undertake both Personal and Professional preparation as part of your Teacher Training Pathway (TTP)
Session 1 - What is Mindfulness? - There is more right than wrong with you.
Theme and learning focus - From our point of view, as long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you, no matter what challenges you are facing. Challenges and difficulties are workable. Mindful awareness is fundamental to this approach since the present moment is the only time anyone ever has for perceiving, learning, growing and transforming. Cultivating mindfulness can help us reduce the negative physiological and psychological effects of stress reactivity, as well as helping us to develop more effective ways of responding positively and pro-actively to stressful situations and experiences.
In this session we will learn that when we are in “automatic pilot” it is easy to drift unawares into a busy “doing” mode and ruminative thought patterns that can create additional stress in our lives. Continual “doing” mode also robs us of our potential for really living our lives moment by moment. We can transform this experience by intentionally paying attention to it in particular ways. We begin to practice stepping out of automatic pilot by paying attention intentionally, mindfully, to eating, to the sensations in the body, and to aspects of our ever-day experience.
Session 2 - Perception and creative responding - Gathering the scattered mind.
Theme and learning focus - Perception and creative responding: How you see things (or don’t see them) will determine in large measure how you will react or respond to them. “It’s not the stressors per se, but how you handle them” that influences the short and long-term health effects they may have on your mind, body and overall sense of health and wellbeing. In this session we will practice how to “come back to our senses” to the present moment by tuning into the breath and body to reconnect ourselves. We may have no control over the experience, but we do have some with our attitude to it. You could think of the attitudes we will explore in this session as seeds, just as seeds can flower when tended, so attitudes can grow if we nurture them. In gently practicing kindness to whatever appears, we hold a key to transformation.
Use the breath as an anchor to tether your attention to the present moment. Your thinking mind will drift here and there, depending on the currents and winds moving in the mind until, at some point, the anchor line grows taut and brings you back. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Session 3 - What is Stress? Bringing awareness to our patterns of reactivity to Stress
Theme and learning focus - There is pleasure and power in being present. Attending to and investigating the way things are in the body and mind in the present moment through the practices of Mindful Movement and meditation. Cultivating mindfulness can reduce the negative physiological and psychological effects of stress reactivity, as well as help develop more effective ways of responding positively and pro-actively to stressful situations and experiences.
The present is the only time that any of us have to be alive - to know anything - to perceive - to learn - to act - to change - to heal. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Session 4 - The Shadow of Stress - Habitual Stress Reactivity
Theme and learning focus - Cultivating Mindfulness can reduce the negative physiological and psychological effects of stress reactivity, as well as help us develop more effective ways of responding positively and proactively to stressful situations, experiences and pain. Our conditioning and perception shape our moment to moment experience, and in this session we will be exploring how our Pain x Resistance equals Suffering. In fact there is a statistic that says our experience is shaped by 10% due to the situation (pain) and 90% due to our perception (resistance)!
Our session this week continues our exploration of how a Mindfulness practice cultivates curiosity and openness to all experience, helps us learn new ways to relate to external and internal stressors, recognise and inquire into our habitual reactive patterns and how to soften resistance and reduce suffering.
The overall tenor of mindfulness practice is gentle, appreciative and nurturing. Another way to think of it is heartfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Session 5 - Practicing Mindfulness to Respond instead of React - You are not your Thoughts
Theme and learning focus - When we relate differently to our thoughts we free ourselves from the ruminative doing mode and see clearly that negative thinking is a distorted product of the mind. It is enormously liberating to realise that our thoughts are merely thoughts, even the ones that say they are not! During this session we will be learning how to observe our thoughts as events so that you can come to realise that “You are not your thoughts”
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein
Session 6 - Stressful Comunications - and Awareness of Emotions
Theme and learning focus - Stressful communications; knowing your feelings; expressing your feelings accurately; developing a greater awareness of interpersonal communication patterns, and barriers to doing so are all explored. Interpersonal mindfulness: remaining aware and balanced in relationships, especially under conditions of acute or chronic stress, the strong expectations of others, past habits of emotional expression/suppression and the presentation of self in everyday life are investigated using a wide range of “embodied” methods. Based on the skills that we have been developing through the entire program, all instructional processes emphasize cultivating the capacity to be more flexible and to recover more rapidly during challenging interpersonal situations.
We practiced last week how becoming aware and labeling thoughts can keep us grounded in the body and out of our ruminating mind. In this session we’ll explore becoming aware of specific emotions and how awareness moves us out of the emotional mind trap. The practices today will help you see emotions as “just emotions” As best we can recognising them, allowing them to be with us rather than resisting, investigating what we can feel and practicing not becoming the emotion. For example, replacing “I am an unhappy person” with “there is a lot of unhappiness here” These practices are key cornerstones of the MBSR 8 week course.
Session 7 - Lifestyle Choices - How can I be kind to myself? - Cultivating Compassion
Theme and learning focus - If your life feels like a struggle with the world, it may be that your real struggle is with yourself. At times, our own suffering can also cut us off from others, and experiences like stress, pain or depression can make us preoccupied with our difficulties.
However, if we turn towards our experience with kindly awareness we can find the deepest kind of peace and happiness that comes from within. Developing kindness for ourselves can help us reconnect with the world and open into kindness and compassion for others. The practices we will learn today help develop a disposition of generosity in formal meditation so that it may arise more readily enriching both our own day-to-day lives and the lives of those we meet and interact with.
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf! Jon Kabat-Zinn
Session 8 - A Mindful Life - Keeping your Mindfulness Alive
Theme and learning focus - Planning for a new way of living - the eighth week is the rest of your life! Maintaining and extending a more mindful and caring way of being requires clear intention, attention, attitude and planning. It is helpful to link regular mindfulness practice to a personally significant value or positive reason for taking care of yourself. Perhaps, start by asking yourself “how do I feel differently to the start of the 8 week course?”
“Mindfulness provides a simple but powerful route for getting ourselves unstuck, back in touch with our own wisdom and vitality. The most important point is to really be yourself and not try to become anything that you are not already….being in touch with your deepest nature, and letting it flow out of you unimpeded” Jon Kabat-Zinn