Interest in meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation has grown exponentially in recent years. Rather than being seen as mystical practices from ancient Buddhism or esoteric philosophy, they are increasingly seen as technologies rooted in evidence from psychology and neuroscience. Mindfulness has become the basis for numerous therapeutic interventions, both as a treatment in healthcare and as a means of enhancing well-being and happiness. For millions around the world, mindfulness has become a life-style choice, enhancing and enriching everyday experience. Mindfulness is big business.
But, what actually is mindfulness? Is it really good for you? Can anyone learn it? How can you recognize charlatans? Would you want to live in a mindful society, and would it smell like sandalwood? What does it feel like to be mindful? Are you mindful already, and how would you know?
Evolving from the popular Honours Academy course at Leiden University, this innovative course combines conventional scholarly inquiry from multiple disciplines (ranging from psychology, through philosophy, to politics) with experiential learning (including specially designed ‘meditation labs,’ in which you’ll get chance to practice and analyze mindfulness on yourself). In the end, the course aims to provide a responsible, comprehensive, and inclusive education about (and in) mindfulness as a contemporary phenomenon.
During the production of this course, we have been supported by Willem Kuyken, Director of the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and Stephen Batchelor, co-founder of Bodhi College. And we gratefully acknowledge the contributions made by Mark Williams, co-developer of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Rebecca Crane, Director of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at the University of Bangor.
I dropped this course after just 1 wk when it became clear that the instructor is trying to bias his students against science with striking images, outlandish images, which studies have been shown to elicit a biased response, while the meditation instructors seek to make the students more susceptible to magical thinking by having them imagine outlandish things, such as breathing through their toes or through a blow hole in the top of their head during meditation. Do not take this course, unless you want to be manipulated. I recommend the very good course, Buddhism and Modern Psychology, if you are seeking a scientific approach, from a western standpoint.
This is one of those rare courses which beautifully combines the academic and practical aspects of mindfulness. I not only gained a deeper understanding of how Mindfulness can impact different aspects of our lives and how it can be operationalized, but I also got to dive in and practice to see for myself what it actually feels like. This way, I got not just the third-person objective knowledge about mindfulness, but also the first-person subjective experience, in a perfect blend. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in mindfulness, either academically or to practice.
I spent 17 years in the virtual learning industry as an online teacher and course developer, an IT Professional, and Professional Learning Project Manager, and I can tell you this course is the real deal. The course is very well built, Chris Goto-Jones is a fantastic lecturer, and his content is both engaging and relevant. There was even a module on politics and social implications of Mindfulness that I thought was likely additional fluff, that turned out to be both relevant and engaging.
Finally, if you are looking at this course for a way to bring mindfulness to your life, as a way to make a change in your life, the experiential learning part of the course is very good. The mindfulness activities are in alignment with all of the external reading I have done on the topic. I will likely be returning to this content even though I have not completed the course.
Karencompleted this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Excellent course. It was a bit more academic work than I had anticipated, but I have realized as I went along that I put a lot of pressure on myself to excell. I am a science/math person and never like essays, or having to do critical written responses to lectures, etc. However it caused me to stretch and expand my abilities.
I really found the practical meditation exercises to be useful in my day to day life. I am hopeful that I will continue on with them to help with my daily stress, and to improve my mental and physical health.
I will also suggest this course to some of my patients who might also benefit.
Although I have practiced mindfulness for a couple of years now I didn't really have a full understanding of the background to Mindfulness. This course provided a very complete, concise overview of the background philosophies that inform mindfulness practice. The labs also scaffold to develop your mindfulness experiences by providing different meditation practices to complete. Add in to read of others in the class from around the world practising - I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Many thanks.
Very interesting course. A wonderful blend of social sciences and history, and personal practice. This course gives great information about different approaches to mindfulness in history as well as present day. It also challenges the student to examen their own views on these maters. The individual practice section is well supported by audio tracks made available, and a the forum discussions. Yes, it does raise questions, but only those that are worth asking yourself.
I found this course to be a perfect blend of academic knowledge and personal practice. If you have an interest in mindfulness this course will do two things for you, 1) give you some thought-provoking context in which to consider mindfulness, and 2) allow you to practice mindfulness and think about your reactions to that practice. I found the 5 week course to be insightful, interesting, and well-worth the effort. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Carmencompleted this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course has two parts, the theoretical one, composed by videos, and the practical one, where you get the chance to meditate to provided audio recordings.
In the first weeks the meditation are short, between 10-20 minutes, on later weeks you are looking at 40-50 minute meditation sessions, hence the hours per week and the “medium” difficulty because it can be hard to fit that on your schedule.
I learned a lot about meditation, mindfulness, and their roots throughout the course. The guided meditations can be downloaded and used outside of the course, which will be helpful in my future practice. This course had a positive impact on my overall ability to be mindful and present in my life.
Excellent course. Great balance of theory and practice, providing a perspective on mindfulness in a professional and neutral way. It has been a transformational experience for me, I can only recommend it for anyone curious and interested in enriching their own personal development journey.
Helmutcompleted this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Excellent course! I learned where meditation comes from and thanks to a lot of practical exercises I found out quite quickly how mediation can help me in my daily life. Due to this course it became a habit and I mediate now every day in the morning and sometimes also on the way to work.
Luciacompleted this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course gave a broader understanding of the influence everything we do has on everything else. I like the structure od the course and, mainly, all the people that are part of the teaching team together with the group of people we don't see but make this possible. Thank you