School of Philosophy | Melbourne

Mindfulness for Life: science, practice and philosophy

A short course offered by Assoc. Prof. Craig Hassed

Mindfulness is 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' with applications in fields as diverse as mental health, neuroscience, genetics, education, sport and leadership.

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 by various names 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.

'Mindfulness for Life: science, practice and philosophy' will be presented by well-known mindfulness teacher, Associate Professor 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 various aspects of life. Each week the first half will include the first of a series of interactive presentations exploring the scientific underpinnings of mindfulness and the evidence regarding its use in various settings. The second half 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 Tuesday evenings running from 7.00pm to 9.30pm on October 3, 10, 17 and 24. 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 ($90 concession). Places are limited so booking ahead is recommended.

 

 

Date

Topic

October 3

Week 1: Mindfulness, physical health and the brain

Week 1 will focus in particular on the mind-body interaction, the effect of attentional states on the brain and how mindfulness practices have positive effects on physical health. It will include the science of mind-body medicine and the role of mindfulness for physical health including its impact on immunity, genetics, cancer and heart disease. The second half will be an introduction to the formal practice of mindfulness meditation and the informal practice of being mindful in daily life.

October 10

Week 2: Mindfulness for mental health

The first half includes a presentation focusing on the role of mindfulness for mental health problems like depression and anxiety and explore the principles of mindfulness-based approaches to psychotherapy. The second half will debrief the formal practice of mindfulness meditation and the informal practice of being mindful in daily life from week 1. Perception and non-attachment, the first two cognitive topics underpinning a mindfulness-based approach to psychotherapy, will be introduced as well as an experiment in dealing with distractor influence.

October 17

Week 3: The role of mindfulness in education and performance

The first half will focus on the role of mindfulness in education and work. This session will also include experiments and discussion on mindsets and multitasking. The second half will debrief the formal practice of mindfulness meditation, the informal practice of being mindful in daily life and the first cognitive topic, perception. The next two cognitive topics, acceptance and presence of mind, will also be introduced.

October 24

Week 4: A Philosophical Take on Mindfulness

The first half will focus on a philosophical perspective on mindfulness and what it can teach us about self-knowledge. We will also explore a little of what the world's great wisdom traditions have had to say about it. The second half will debrief the formal practice of mindfulness meditation and the informal practice of being mindful in daily life and the four cognitive topics.