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Mindfulness for Life: science, practice and philosophy

A short course offered by Assoc. Prof. Craig Hassed

'Mindfulness for Life: science, practice and philosophy' is sponsored by the Melbourne School of Philosophy and will be presented by well-known mindfulness teacher, Craig Hassed. The course will be informative, experiential and interactive, exploring not just the theory, philosophy and science of mindfulness but also how to apply it to all aspects of life, personal as well as professional.

Description

Mindfulness can be described both as a form of meditation and a way of living. For millennia the world's great wisdom traditions have embraced the principles and practice of mindfulness but in recent times it has been 'discovered'. Enormous interest has been created in fields as diverse as mental health, neuroscience, genetics, education, sport and leadership. Mindfulness may well be the single most important life skill we ever develop.

Each week will include various guided mindfulness practices and experiments and participants will be encouraged to apply the practices between sessions.

The course will be offered over four Wednesday evenings from 7.00pm to 9.30pm (February 22, March 1, 8 and 15). No prior learning or experience is required. The venue is MacLaren Hall, 45 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn (Erasmus School: enter car park from Through St) and the enrolment fee is $120 ($80 concession). Click on the link to register your interest.

 

Date

Topic

February 22

Week 1: Mindfulness: the science

The first week will include an interactive presentation exploring the scientific underpinnings of mindfulness and the evidence regarding its use in various settings. It will include the mind-body interaction, the stress response, the effect of attentional states on the brain and genetics, the role of mindfulness for mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and the importance of mindfulness for performance and learning. This will lead on to an introduction to the formal practice of mindfulness meditation and the informal practice of being mindful in daily life.

March 1

Week 2: Mindfulness: the practice

This week will explore in more depth the formal practice of mindfulness meditation and the informal practice of being mindful in daily life. Four cognitive practices associated with mindfulness will also be introduced: the role of perception and stress, letting go (non-attachment), acceptance and being in the present moment. The impact of multitasking and dealing with distractor influence will also be explored through a variety of experiments.

March 8

Week 3: Mindfulness: the philosophy

This week will include an interactive discussion exploring what the world's great wisdom traditions of East and West had to say about mindfulness and the importance of attention. Questions discussed will include how mindfulness can assist in the pursuit of self-knowledge, happiness, transcendence and the relief of suffering. An in depth contemplative exercise will help to underpin the discussions. The second half will debrief the formal practice of mindfulness meditation, the informal practice of being mindful in daily life and the four cognitive practices.

March 15

Week 4: Mindfulness: the way of life

This week we will debrief the formal practice of mindfulness meditation and the informal practice of being mindful in daily life as well as having a further inquiry into the four cognitive practices. We will also open up discussion, questions and reflections on how participants have fared in applying mindfulness personally and professionally, as well as the role of mindfulness more broadly for cultivating effective leadership and a harmonious society.