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Mindfulness Now and its Power to Effectively Transform Your Mindfulness Practice

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Here is a detailed review of the Mindfulness Now Teacher Training, a recognised and accredited course in mindfulness-based approaches, operating across the United Kingdom. Founded by Nick Cooke, a leading in the field of mindfulness teaching, Mindfulness Now is grounded in evidence-based practices and offers a combination of well-researched approaches to mindfulness teaching, delivered in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way.

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Mindfulness has long been an interest of mine and well before I decided to formalise my practice, I spent time exploring the various traditions that daw on present moment awareness. Ever since I first encountered the tangible positive effects of regularly being still, on purpose, non-judgmentally, and fostering a sense of grounded awareness, I have committed myself to sharing these techniques with others and broadening my own knowledge and experience, including most recently the Mindfulness Now teacher training course. 

Now, as a dedicated, longstanding practitioner and advocate for the scientifically supported benefits of mindfulness through my website, social media platforms and outreach sessions in the community, I have had the privilege of seeing the impact of a new wave of interest in wellbeing in action over the past few years.

After participating in a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course previously, it felt like the right time to deepen my knowledge and experience through a formalised teacher training course. The Mindfulness Now teacher training programme stood out due to its robust structure rooted in MBCT and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), integrated theory, practice, and discussions, and a thorough and uniquely flexible, adaptable, and person-centred approach to delivery.

Mindfulness Now is a programme developed by Nick Cooke, a qualified teacher and therapist who has learned from and been positively influenced by some of the foremost mindfulness pioneers in the Western world, including, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Mark Williams, Dr. John Teasdale and Dr. Zindel Segal.

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Choosing the Right Mindfulness Training Programme

One of the challenges today, a positive yet difficult byproduct of a society which has increased in openness to discussions around mental health and wellbeing, is that there are a lot of offers out there that are not necessarily grounded in science or broad evidence-based research. Where people are tackling mental health stigma head on, and tangibly making a difference on the ground and in policy and practice more broadly, we are also finding that there are a significant number of people who are potentially delegitimising progress through misinformation and overpromising outcomes online.

I think of myself as someone who values the rigorousness of scientific research, the realness of practical application and the authenticity of lived experience – the sweet spot is a combination of all three. The decision to join the Mindfulness Now training was influenced by this value, and I was most attracted to its reputation for offering a comprehensive fusion of MBCT and MBSR techniques in a down-to-earth, easy-to-implement manner. Mindfulness Now promised an approach that catered not just to theoretical, but also to the practical side of teaching in a dynamic and relatable way, which was exactly what I needed to progress in my mindfulness journey and to share this with others.

A Deep Dive into the Mindfulness Now Teacher Training

The five-day intensive course was meticulously designed to immerse participants fully into both the theory and practice of mindfulness. Each day was structured around a blend of learning activities that included guided meditations, group discussions, and practical teaching exercises. The diverse background of the participants enriched the learning experience, as each brought their unique perspective and reason for embracing mindfulness – be it to enhance their professional counselling, coaching or therapeutic approaches, support colleagues in stressful workplaces, or deepen their personal practice, everyone provided an enrichment to the shared learning environment. 

Community and Collaborative Learning

Nick, Rachel, Ashton, and Nikki, who led the course, each skilfully drew on the collective experience of the group, embodying mindfulness in their own unique ways and ensuring that everyone felt included. Their empathetic, person-centred style of teaching was particularly powerful. The training also shone a light on the deeper connections within our group, fostering a palpable sense of shared purpose and experience that enhanced the supportive learning environment. Stories shared by peers not only inspired but also demonstrated the transformative power of mindfulness in real-world scenarios. The tutors played pivotal roles in creating an atmosphere where each participant felt valued and understood, underlining the program’s commitment to a person-centred approach.

Exploring Mindfulness Techniques

Throughout the course, we explored a wide range of mindfulness techniques. These included traditional practices such as breath-focused meditation and body scans, as well as more cerebral approaches like using poetry and metaphors to convey mindfulness concepts. The training manual was an invaluable resource, offering detailed insights into each technique and how it could be adapted to various needs and settings.

From the outset, the training emphasised practical application. We were encouraged to lead mindfulness sessions with our classmates from the second day, which rapidly enhanced our confidence and ability to teach. The Mindfulness Now members’ portal was an excellent resource, packed with videos, audio recordings, and digital copies of all training materials. This not only facilitated our learning during the course but also equipped us with tools to continue developing our skills after the programme concluded.

A key lesson from the training was the importance of adaptability in teaching mindfulness. We learnt to tailor our approach to suit individual capabilities and needs, making the practice accessible and engaging for everyone. This adaptability extended to self-care, with frequent reminders from the tutors to practice self-compassion—taking breaks when needed and adjusting practices to suit our personal comfort levels.

Delivery Mindfulness Sessions

One of the best aspects of the five-day intensive course was that each session of the day was different, purposeful and practical. We were provided ample opportunity to trial delivering mindfulness sessions to groups and individuals, to consider how we would adapt our approach dependent on who we were engaging with, such as children and young people, or adults in the workplace, as well as how we might share nuanced sessions to other intersections in society that may be unfamiliar with or sceptical of mindfulness-type practices. Looking ahead, I am excited to apply what I have learnt through my own initiatives, particularly through Mindfulness Talks, which aims to offer free mindfulness training to community, charity, religious or educational establishments. Mindfulness Now has also helped me to feel empowered to generate leads and target teams in the commercial world as a way of funding these other activities. Mindfulness Now are at their core, committed to this crucial work in making mindfulness accessible, including to those who might not have the resources or cultural capital to consider such training typically or even be aware of its existence.

Reflections on Mindfulness Now

For anyone considering a pathway in mindfulness teaching, I cannot recommend the Mindfulness Now programme enough. It lays a solid foundation in both the theoretical and practical elements of mindfulness, through a thorough and supportive approach. This program has not only firmed-up essential teaching skills but has also enriched my personal mindfulness practice. Thank you to Nick and team for welcoming me to what felt like a “home-from-home” for a week, and I am excited to see how my mindfulness journey develops next.

Key Takeaways

Here is a summary of the key points mentioned above:

  • Solid Foundations:
    The program provides a thorough grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of mindfulness, integrating MBCT and MBSR techniques.
  • Creative and Adaptable Application:
    Emphasises the versatility of mindfulness techniques across various settings such as educational institutions, corporate environments, and community groups.
  • Person-Centred Approach:
    Ensures all participants, regardless of background or experience, find personal growth and value through empathy and inclusion-focused teaching.
  • Supportive Learning Environment:
    Instructors and fellow learners create a nurturing atmosphere that fosters personal transformation and collective learning.
  • Community and Collaboration:
    The course fosters a strong sense of community, enhancing the learning experience through shared insights and collaborative practice. There are also lots of opportunities to connect after the course through the Mindfulness Now Facebook group, members website, and regular online member meetings.
  • Confidence in Teaching:
    Practical training components, including leading sessions early on, build confidence and competence in teaching mindfulness.
  • Long-Term Support:
    Equips participants with the tools to effectively lead mindfulness sessions and promote mental wellness in various professional and personal settings. There are many opportunities for CPD and Mindfulness Now also provide practical support with things like DBS checks.

About Mindfulness Now

Mindfulness Now operates across the UK and offers recognised and accredited teacher training courses in mindfulness-based approaches, integrating the key elements of both Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Founded by Nick Cooke, a leading in the field of mindfulness teaching, Mindfulness Now is grounded in evidence-based practices and offers a combination of well-researched approaches to mindfulness teaching, delivered in a straightforward, uncomplicated manner. Mindfulness Now is committed to providing comprehensive training that equips teachers with the tools necessary to bring mindfulness into diverse settings. Through a range of courses, the organisation aims to foster an environment of support and growth, enabling individuals to implement mindfulness practices in their professional work or personal self-care routines. Mindfulness Now is dedicated to expanding the accessibility of mindfulness training to a broad audience, ensuring that its transformative benefits can be shared widely. For more information, visit the Mindfulness Now website.

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John-Paul Kozah

John-Paul is the Founder of Benefits of Mindfulness and has been committed to working with and supporting the most vulnerable members of society throughout his career. Combining experience in the mental health sector and education, his aim has been to raise awareness about the impact of stress, anxiety and depression in modern life and explore the ways that mindfulness can help. John-Paul is a trained advocate, qualified teacher and has a particular interest in supporting open dialogue about mental health within minoritised ethnic groups.

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