The Still Mind

learn MBSR mindfulness in Sydney

frequently asked questions

Is mindfulness suitable for everyone?

Mindfulness is suitable for a broad range of people of different ages, interests and levels of wellbeing. Many people do the program to enhance the quality of their lives, to develop personal resilience or professional effectiveness. Many are seeking help to manage day to day stress, anxiety or physical illness. Some wish to explore mindfulness and creativity. Once you have registered, you will be contacted by the facilitator by email or a brief phone chat is also possible. This is a time to raise any questions you have about the program or about the home practice.

What is the average size of a class?

The average size of our classes is between 10 - 18 people.

Is mindfulness training a type of group therapy?

No. Our training is educational, offering you a chance to investigate your own life patterns systematically. We provide an opportunity to learn about stress, stress reactivity, and how to respond to the challenges of life with more acceptance and compassion. Through lectures, discussions and a variety of meditation practices, learn the skills to integrate mindfulness into everyday life.

How much daily practice is required?

Daily practice forms the foundation of the program. Our programs are experiential, you learn by doing, just like learning to ride a bike or to play a musical instrument. We encourage and support you to engage with 30 minutes of daily practice. If you commit to the practice you will begin to experience more balance, focus and wellbeing.

Will mindfulness help me control my thoughts?

Mindfulness explores how the mind works and offers skills to become more aware of your experience in the moment. By becoming familiar with the patterns of your mind, feelings and actions, you are better equipped to interrupt thoughts of negativity and self-criticism. This self-awareness opens up more choice and options for responding to situations rather than reacting habitually. Control is not the goal of mindfulness however more choice for where you place your attention will contribute to working with thoughts and emotions in a more productive and effective way. Participants report that they are able to engage with all the experiences life brings, both joyful and the difficult. Rather than trying to avoid or escape sensations mindfulness offers a path to turn towards these with surprising and unexpected results.

Will mindfulness make me more passive?

No, mindfulness is a very active process of self-regulation. It is about developing an investigative type of awareness. Training in this way allows you to be able to choose with intention and clarity how you would like to interact with people and the world around you.

Are there any potential risks in doing a mindfulness course?

You are encouraged to take your own authority with all the meditations offered in the program. Gentle movement is part of the program and this may be difficult if you have injury or are experiencing pain. Please practice self-care, working within your limits. For a few participants it is possible that becoming more aware of the inner experience can lead to a perceived increase in conditions, it may appear that stress, anxiety, pain or depression seem to worsen temporarily. There are always options for how to practice so please speak with us if you are experiencing difficulty. Learning new skills and changing existing habits can take time, we encourage you to continue with your practice so you can experience the benefits the program offers. Research shows that symptoms of stress, pain, anxiety and depression most often are reduced as the programs progress.

Are there conditions or life situations where taking a mindfulness course is not recommended?

It is best to do the program when you are able to commit to regular attendance and the home practice schedule to fully benefit from the program. If you are experiencing drug or alcohol addiction, thoughts of suicide, severe trauma or panic, or require psychiatric assistance, please consult us and your GP before enrolling. If you have any concerns please contact us to discuss if the course is right for you at this time.

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