Where does mindfulness come from?
Some of the origins of mindfulness based approaches include...
- adult learning theory
- stress physiology
- cognitive science
- group process
- wisdom traditions as secular practices
How come it's so popular?
Well, the 'What is Mindfulness' page helps to answer this. Essentially Jon Kabat Zinn (now an Emeritus Professor of Medicine) developed it from the origins mentioned in the previous column. The first trials were successful and there have subsequently been tens of thousands of research studies including Randomised Control Trials and Cochrane reviews (i.e. the highest standards in contemporary research). Most importantly though, as more people practice it for themselves, word spreads.
what happens in a class or on a course?
Well, that depends on the class or course. The ones provided by Mindful Edinburgh, draw from the origins mentioned above and involve their application (eg cognitive science) in the details of the practices. Guidance is offered, however this guidance includes repeated reassurances to only adopt (or adapt) the guidance if it feels right for you. There is no judgement about whether you do or don't follow the guidance. We are simply practicing techniques together and so there isn't a lot of talking as such.
What's the role of the teacher?
Well, sometimes there is teaching, and other times it could be said that the role is simply about facilitation of learning. We could go further and say that actually, when we are practicing together the role is that of co-creating. If the teacher is being fully present with people and the environment, then ultimately what arises in that moment together becomes the practice. After all, mindfulness is said to be about noticing what happens in the present moment.
is it religious?
No. Mindful Edinburgh offers mindfulness training which is free of any religious contexts. The origins of mindfulness as mentioned above are drawn upon, and the techniques offered are grounded in science, 'art' and ethics. Religious terms or references are neither used nor made during sessions with Mindful Edinburgh. This makes the courses suitable for people of all religions or none, and everyone is welcome!