Workshop InformationFor Mindfulness, Meditation and Meditation Teacher Training
Mindfulness Workshops with Eric Harrison
|Mindfulness||17 June||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
|Teacher Training||8 & 15 July||2 Saturdays||See below.||Enrol Now|
|Mindfulness||22 July||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
|Advanced Workshop||29 July||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
|Mindfulness||12 August||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
|Mindfulness||28 October||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
|Teacher Training||11 & 18 November||2 Saturdays||See below.||Enrol Now|
|Advanced Workshop||25 November||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
|Mindfulness||2 December||Saturday||9:00 — 3:00pm||Enrol Now|
All workshops are held at the Subiaco Community Centre at 203 Bagot Rd. This is 100 metres east of the petrol station on the intersection with Rokeby Rd. The fee of $210 (or $150 concession) includes a copy of The 5-Minute Meditator, which will be posted to you in advance when you book in. It also includes four guided meditation CDs that will help you continue to learn once the workshop or course is over.
We meditate in chairs, not seated on the floor or lying down. If you can’t attend your usual class for any reason, you can catch up in other class that week or later in the year. You can postpone or switch classes after booking in, but there will be no refunds after a course has started.
Each class presents 2-4 meditations with explanations, guidance and discussion. Some exercises are long but others are quite short. These ‘spot-meditations’ will help you shed the unnecessary stress rapidly and restore a sense of balance and control during the day. Nor do you always have to sit down to meditate. You can easily do it whenever you walk, wait or do exercise. A spot-meditation well done can restore you to a base-line level of arousal in less than a minute. Done frequently, this can help you pace yourself and avoid exhaustion.
People meditate for a variety of reasons: to control an overactive mind, to sleep better, to wind back anxiety, to manage illness or distress, to be more focused and productive, to get more pleasure in life. If you understand what happens in your body and mind when you meditate, you can confidently adapt your practice to suit your own goals and lifestyle.
The course or workshop will teach you how to meditate without having to rely on a group or a teacher. You will learn to read the physical and mental signs of success and know to how deal with the bugs that arise (distraction, fatigue, bad mood, runaway thought. . .)
Meditation is based on just two abilities: relaxation and attention. Both are natural and intuitive but we hardly ever develop them as skills. We can all relax: we all fall asleep eventually. Most babies can do it perfectly but it becomes harder as we get older. Meditation trains us to relax quickly and consciously at any time, even with a stressed, busy mind.
Learning to pay attention is a cognitive skill with enormous benefits, but in meditation it starts very simply. Focusing on the breath or the body more deliberately than usual accelerates the process of relaxation, while the act of focusing calms the mind.
You are likely to get good results from the very first class. It is easy to meditate when you are being guided by someone in a place free from your usual distractions. However it still takes practice to develop meditation as a reliable, do-it-yourself skill. I suggest a minimum of 15 minutes a day in total, five days a week, for two or three months, if you want to consolidate it.
Mindfulness Teacher Training Workshop
$500 or $400 concession. Class limit: 12
A workshop over two Saturdays:
8 am to 4 pm on the first Saturday
8 am to midday on the second Saturday
8 & 15 July
11 & 18 November
This workshop is for anyone who is in a position to help others with relaxation, stress, anxiety, pain or illness. It is suitable for health professionals (psychologists, doctors, nurses, counsellors, physiotherapists, yoga instructors) as well as teachers, trainers and parents.
The prerequisite is that you have already completed a Mindfulness Course or Workshop. Even people with years of experience in other kinds of meditation find this essential to get the most from the Teacher Training.
This workshop aims to give you the ability, understanding, confidence and teaching experience to share this skill with others. You will be encouraged to prepare two or three meditations to deliver to the class and to learn through the sympathetic analysis of each others’ presentations. It is assumed that you will develop a teaching style and content that is personal to you and your situation.
The course also examines:
• How to explain meditation to others;
• How to structure and guide an individual meditation;
• How to structure a class and a course;
• How meditation complements other disciplines;
• Practicalities such as money, self-promotion and resources.
You will be provided with a 20-page manual of useful information, including lesson plans for a course and a workshop, and authority to use the books and CDs from Perth Meditation Centre. Given fulfilment of course requirements, you will also be awarded a Certificate of Meditation Teaching. This can be used to obtain the necessary Public Liability Insurance that many organisations require before they employ you, or allow you to hire their premises.
Advanced Mindfulness Workshop
Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.
$180 (or $150 concession)
This is the follow-on workshop from the Mindfulness Courses and Workshops. It is also suitable for experienced meditators who have learnt in other traditions. The fee includes a copy of The Foundations of Mindfulness, which will be sent to you in advance when you book in.
This workshop will show you how the Buddha taught the concept of ‘attention’. It will lead you through the 4 stages and 21 exercises in the Buddha’s original text The Foundations of Mindfulness. These involve mindfulness of the body; emotions; states of mind; and the process of thought itself. This short text clarifies what mindfulness is, and why it is so useful to develop it.
The purpose of paying attention, then and now, is to accurately evaluate what we perceive in order to refine our responses. For the Buddha, ‘mindfulness’ didn’t mean ‘nonjudgmental acceptance’ or detachment or equanimity or compassion, or even the practice of meditation. His language was quite sophisticated and he had other terms for those concepts.
Modern writers tend to regard ‘meditation’ and ‘mindfulness’ as identical. As a standard sit-down practice they are very similar, but it is worth distinguishing them. ‘Meditation’ is usually thought of as ‘time-out.’ It is about body-mind stillness, detachment from thought, relaxation and rest. ‘Mindfulness’ on the other hand is about self-observation in the moment. It involves a more active processing of thought, emotion and behaviour towards immediate and ultimate goals.
Meditation usually requires sitting still with eyes closed for a few minutes. It is frequently a calm but somewhat dull state close to sleep. Mindfulness is more alert and self-aware: ‘knowing exactly what is happening in the moment’. It is about holding any perception ‘in mind’, and seeing it more accurately than usual. ‘Mindfulness’ refers to the monitoring of our thoughts and behaviour in a way that goes beyond the tranquility of ‘meditation’. For example we can’t ‘meditate’ when we drive but we can be ‘mindful’.
We can easily train ourselves to be more mindful if we want to. We just have to think outside of the meditation box. To be mindful is often a ‘stop and look’ manoeuvre that reduces overthinking and emotional reactivity on the spot. Being more self-aware helps us pace ourselves, make good choices and fine-tune our behaviour all day long. This is intrinsic to the states of absorption, pleasure and ‘flow’ that are common in people who feel good about their lives. Mindfulness is also the starting point for higher mental functions such as attention, good judgement, learning and self-control.
For the Buddha, all the training above aspires to what we can call ‘embodied cognition’. This is the fourth of the four so-called ‘foundations’ of mindfulness. It is a way of thinking through and with the body. This is a form of controlled, intuitive, lateral, insightful thinking that the Buddha said was ‘the only way to enlightenment’. Hardly anyone now pursues the Buddha’s goal of enlightenment (it is too cold and ascetic), but we can easily apply his mind-training methods to any purpose. His DIY manual The Foundations of Mindfulness is still the most systematic and practical exposition of the subject available to us today.