Here are some commonly asked questions.
Q: What is mindfulness? Is it meditation? Is it religious?
A: Mindfulness trains the mind to purposefully pay attention to the present moment, without judging the experience. This means noticing the experience just as it is, bringing moment-to- moment awareness to our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations.
The formal mindfulness practices participants will learn through our courses include body-scan meditations and awareness of breathing meditations, done seated on a chair. However, there are also informal mindfulness practices, whereby participants learn how to bring attention and awareness to our day-to- day activities and interactions.
Brahm Centre is a secular charity, and everyone is welcome to attend our mindfulness courses, which are taught from a secular and non-religious perspective.
Q: Will I be required to sit on the floor to meditate during your mindfulness course?
A: No, you will not be required to sit on the floor; participants will be seated on a chair for the formal meditation practices. Cushions, however, are available if you choose to sit on the cushion for the sitting mindfulness practice.
Q: Is there an age limit for your mindfulness courses?
A: Participants have to be 16 years and above to attend our mindfulness courses.
Q: I’m new to mindfulness. Which course should I attend, the Mindfulness Foundation Course (MFC) or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?
A: The MFC is a 4-week course, while the MBSR is a more intensive, 8-week course, that includes a 1-day retreat, and is highly participatory and structured.
You are welcome to attend either the MFC or the MBSR as a beginner. Some participants have attended both at different times and have found both useful.
Q: Is there any requirement for attending the Mindfulness Intermediate Course?
A: Yes, you need to have taken our Mindfulness Foundation Course before taking the Mindfulness Intermediate Course.
Q: What is the difference between Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?
A: MBCT is an adaptation of MBSR that uses the same basic format and structure – an 8-week class with an all-day retreat; a class structure that includes psychoeducation, formal meditation and movement practices, and teacher-led discussion and inquiry; and daily home practices and exercises.
As in MBSR, participants learn to recognise habitual, unhelpful reactions to difficulty and learn instead to bring a curious, accepting and non-judgmental attitude to all experiences, including difficult sensations, emotions, thoughts and behaviour.
MBCT replaces some of the content of MBSR, focusing on specific patterns of negative thinking that people with depression are vulnerable to, but which we all experience from time to time.
MBCT was developed to reduce future episodes of depression in people with a history of recurrent depression. The key difference in MBCT is an explicit focus on turning towards low mood and negative thoughts early in the program so that participants gain experience with recognising these symptoms and confidence in their ability to respond skilfully.
Q: Are the mindfulness courses suitable for people with mental illness?
A: The mindfulness courses are not recommended for people with severe mental illness (psychosis, schizophrenia, severe major depressive episode).
Q: I’ve already graduated from the MBSR course. Is there another course I could take to deepen and continue my practice?
A: Yes, you could sign up for the 4-week MBSR Practice Program for MBSR graduates to support and deepen the personal formal and informal mindfulness practices. Through a shared community space, participants will be given the opportunity to share their experiences, insights and challenges faced upon completion of the MBSR course.
Q: Mindfulness for Parents and Students: Can my child(kid/teen) attend the mindfulness course alone?
A: At least one parent will be required to attend the mindfulness course together with their child/children to gain the maximum benefit from the course. Parents will attend the Mindful Parenting course in a separate classroom from the kids (7-12 yrs) and teens, who will also have classes conducted in separate groups.
Q: Mindfulness for Parents and Students: My child has special needs. Can he or she attend?
A: If your child has, or may have, autism, ADHD, behavioural issues etc., please kindly write in to email@example.com to arrange for a personal consultation for us to better assess the suitability of the course for your child.