Strengthening our resources to respond effectively to the demands of modern living
About the Course
Specially designed for those who are working in the education sector, and for parents whose children are learning mindfulness in school .bFoundations is an 8 session, evidence-based, programme of simple yet powerful practices that can be brought into daily life. The programme is suitable for adolescents and adults.
Engaging with mindfulness and compassion practices can enhance our collective well-being and enrich interactions and activities in the classroom and beyond. It also serves as a community of support for those educators who are integrating mindfulness into their classroom and school communities. This strengthens the integrity and sustainability of bringing mindfulness to school in enriched, meaningful and effective ways.
- develop awareness of our present moment experience
- feel calmer and more present in everyday life, in work and communication
- increase resilience in the face of stress and difficulties
- cultivate compassion
- experience mindfulness teaching from the inside-out
- feel happier, more fulfilled and connected
Completion of .bFoundations also serves as part of the prerequisites for those who wish to teach mindfulness to children in their lives, as recommended in international best practice guidelines for mindfulness in education.
To bring mindfulness to schools in a sustainable, well-designed and locally sensitive manner:
Know that mindfulness is not simply about calm and concentration but it is about cultivating attitudes of curiosity, care and openness that supports learning, development and relationships.
Put on your own oxygen mask first: ‘you wouldn’t ask a teacher who can’t swim to teach others how to swim from a text-book’. Mindfulness is experiential and research shows it is most effective when learned and shared from the inside-out.
Avoid universal, top-down ‘mindfulness for everyone’: start with taster sessions for teaching staff and parents, courses for adults who are interested and support teachers who wish to avail of specialised training to teach mindfulness with children.
Ongoing support from management and key stakeholders in the school community is essential for sustainable, appropriate and responsive implementation.
The .b F Curriculum
Trialled successfully with 100s of teachers in UK and Irish schools through the Mindfulness in Schools Project, this particular curriculum was developed with schools in mind. Grounded on the core principles of the well-established and evidence-based Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), this curriculum is tailored to make the course accessible and effective for busy people in addition to learning practices that are taught to children in schools.
What does the course look like?
Each 90 minute session focuses on a particular theme or aspect of mindfulness and will involve
- group discussion
- interactive exercises
- meditation practices.
Until the next session, there will be the invitation to make time for daily practice so we can bring mindfulness to our daily lives and thus build our mindfulness or awareness muscle in any moment.
Weekly Session Themes
Session 1: Waking up to the autopilot
The course starts with waking up to the human tendency to operate on automatic pilot. We practice paying attention in new ways and becoming aware of what happens when we step out of automatic mode.
Session 2: Bringing curiosity to experience
In this session we learn about the evolution of the mind and explore how the body can be an anchor to the present and a radar for important messages. We learn how ‘keeping the body in mind’ can help us to befriend body sensations as a way to anchor and steady our attention. It can helps us to tune in to sensitivities to anxiety, stress, fatigue and pay attention in helpful ways to these messages, rather than being overwhelmed.
Session 3: Mindfulness in Daily Life
Mindfulness can be practised throughout the day in our everyday activities and helps us to build flexibility and transform the ordinary to extraordinary. In this session, we practice formal and informal ways of approaching our experiences with attitudes of curiosity, kindness and patience. We learn how regular practice helps to slow down the momentum of daily frictions and unhook us from unhelpful thought loops.
Session 4: Tuning in to Thoughts & Feelings
In this session, we zoom in on the mind’s ever-present running commentary. We practice relating to thoughts as we can relate to sounds. We can listen, observe and begin to see thoughts as creations of the mind rather than facts. We learn how we can see more clearly, recognise habits of mind and how they powerfully influence mood and behaviour. This gives us great freedom, the space where we can choose our actions wisely rather than react on impulse.
Session 5: Exploring difficulties: Buidling resilience
In this session, we practice a new attitude towards difficulties with an invitation to turn towards and befriend aspects of our experience that we may typically avoid and resist. Usually when faced with a difficulty or discomfort, our habit is to shutdown and push away. Yet the paradox is while this may feel best in the short-term, long-term we are learning the habit of automatic avoidance and we can handle much more than we think we can. When we practice gently turning towards, when we feel steady, step by step, breath by breath, we are building the our resilience skills.
Session 6: Relating to ourselves and others
The intention of this session is to consolidate all our learning in the previous sessions. We continue to practice ‘approaching’ difficulties, stepping back from unhelpful thinking habits and fostering kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others. We deliberately move from a quality of harsh attention to kind and calm attention, especially to the inner critic when s/he appears.
Session 7: Developing balance in our lives
In this session we bring our mindful awareness to habitual patterns of living our lives and we open up to attending to the ways that help us to flourish. We reflect on how we can choose what we do and how we act to nourish ourselves everyday.
Session 8: Mindfulness and the rest of your life
We celebrate completing this course and we reflect on what we are taking from the course and how mindfulness may fit in the rest of our lives. Life is the curriculum and we have to weave our parachute every day so it is there for us when we need it!