Have you ever been curious about mindfulness or wanted to give it a try? Well, we have some great news for you! One of the exciting activities we have planned for our launch event on 1st July is a free mindfulness zone, which will be lead by Sarah Parkin of Ely Mindfulness Centre.
Sarah is an experienced Mindfulness trainer and member of the UK Teachers Network Listing; a national organisation which ensures that all members meet UK Good Practice Guidelines. Two years ago she set up Ely Mindfulness Centre and now runs regular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses as well as other events.
Her interest in and experience of Mindfulness began around 15yrs ago, following her own attendance at a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course.
We asked Sarah to tell us a little more about mindfulness and what you can expect on the day in the free mindfulness zone.
What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is not a therapy in itself but a specific way of being with ourselves and the world around us which, research has evidenced, has a beneficial therapeutic effect on both physical and mental health as well as general well-being.
It is ‘the art of conscious living’ (Jon Kabat Zinn).
Mindful awareness encourages us to focus our attention, as best we can, on our immediate, direct, present-moment, sensory experience in a gentle, kindly manner. This is in contrast to how we often more generally experience our day-to-day living – frequently finding ourselves getting ‘mindlessly lost’ in thoughts about the past, present or future, which in themselves are often sources of stress and distress.
What can you expect on the day?
Throughout the morning there will be a rolling programme of a variety of different meditation practices. This will give those with no experience of mindfulness a taste of how we can cultivate it within ourselves, or for those who are more familiar with such practices opportunity to continue supporting their well-being in this way.
There is nothing magical or mystical about mindfulness! All the meditation practices can be done sitting, standing or lying down depending on what is most comfortable for each individual and no particular equipment is required or clothing needed to be worn.
So, if you want to find out more about mindfulness, come along to the Talking FreELY launch event on the 1st July where you can meet Sarah and learn some mindfulness techniques. We’ll be there from 9.30am until 1pm and as well as the free mindfulness zone, our volunteers will be available all day if you want a chat, perhaps grab a drink in the pop-up cafe and listen to our guest speakers Talking FreELY about their experiences of mental health.
We hope to see you there!