Cambridge Buddhist Centre

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

The course tutorsThe course tutors

At the Cambridge Buddhist Centre we offer courses in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. These courses use mindfulness - a way of paying attention to our experience which helps to free us from the cycles of reactivity which make our life more unpleasant.

Although neither of the courses are Buddhist in content, mindfulness is central to Buddhist practice and the teachers, as well as being fully trained to teach their course, also have many years of mindfulness practice to draw upon.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses are aimed at anyone who would like to deal more effectively with stress.

WHO WILL TEACH THE COURSE?

Ruchiraketu and Sagaraghosa will co-lead the Wednesday afternoon course, and Ruchiraketu will lead the Wednesday evening course.

Ruchiraketu has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order since 1981. He holds a master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches for Health and Wellbeing and currently teaches on the part-time postgraduate programmes in mindfulness at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University. This is one of the leading centres for mindfulness in the UK. Meditation, mindfulness and related disciplines have been the core of Ruchiraketu’s full-time work for most of his adult life. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, following his ordination, Ruchiraketu focussed on leading meditation retreats and on developing Buddhist ‘right-livelihood’ teamwork in the context of ‘work as a spiritual practice’. From 2000 he chaired the Cambridge Buddhist Centre for twelve years, where since 2004 he has specialised in teaching secular mindfulness-based courses. As of 2015, he has led more than 50 MBSR courses. He observes and promotes the good practice guidelines of the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teachers for teaching mindfulness-based courses.

Sagaraghosa has been meditating since 1996 and was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2005. She ran a meditation class at Cambridge University Press from 1998 to 2013 and has been teaching meditation and Buddhism regularly at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre since 2005. Sagaraghosa has supported and co-led various Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Courses since 2009 and is being trained by Ruchiraketu.

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION (MBSR)?

The mindfulness-based stress reduction programme is designed to help you learn new ways of handling difficult physical sensations, feelings and moods. The course we teach is an amalgamation of the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course, developed by the clinical psychologists Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale to help prevent depressive relapse, and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the USA.

The core skill that you will learn is ‘mindfulness’ – a way of paying attention, on purpose and non-judgementally, to what goes on in the present moment in your body, mind, and the world around you. Mindfulness can enable you to see things differently, undoing mental and physical knots and tensions. It can increase your sense of personal confidence, of having more options and more strength to face the different challenges in your life.

There is a rapidly-growing body of research evidence for the benefits of mindfulness practice. Most people completing MBSR programmes report that they gain lasting benefits, such as:

- more energy and enthusiasm
- a greater capacity for relaxation
- more self-confidence
- an increased ability to handle stressful situations

WHAT DOES THE COURSE INVOLVE?

The course consists of eight two and a half hour weekly classes of up to 18 people working together as a group, preceded by an introduction session, and also includes one all-day session which is usually held from 10.00 till 16.00 on the Saturday following the sixth week of the course. On the course, you will learn several key mindfulness practices and have the chance to discuss these and your experience of them in the group. Home practice is an important part of the course, and each participant is required to undertake to do up to one hour of this, six days per week, between each class. To get the most from the programme, you need to work at it. This requires a strong commitment to work on yourself through a gentle but rigorous daily discipline of awareness exercises.

Please note: once you have booked you will be required to attend the introductory evening and then be invited to have a 15-minute one-to-one talk with the tutor to ensure that the course is suitable for you at this time. In the event that the course is not for you at this time, a full refund or transfer to a later course will be made available.

WHO IS IT FOR?

Everyone who wants to work to change themselves. The MBSR programme is known to help with a wide range of problems, both physical and psychological. But its benefits extend beyond that. We all have times when we experience stress and difficulty. MBSR can significantly change the way we relate to these, greatly enhancing our capacity to cope. By developing more awareness, you can learn to deal more effectively with difficulties and take more pleasure in the good things in our lives. The course will be useful to anyone who is at that point where they are ready and willing to look deeply into themselves.

Although the course is held at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre, it is completely secular in nature and is open to those of any religious denomination or none.

Find out when our MBSR courses run.

GOING DEEPER WITH MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION

Once you have completed an MBSR Course you can attend an MBSR Practice Day.

Check all MBSR Events to see if there is anything else available.