Structured, experiential learning
The UK College of Mindfulness Meditation teacher training course is structured through a specific, day-by-day programme, designed to guide students, over 5 consecutive days, through a combination of practical ‘hands on’ learning along with the teaching of underpinning theoretical knowledge. As well as being provided with a comprehensive printed training manual, students also receive the contents of this electronically to enable them to tailor teaching to specific needs. Additional handouts are provided as needed. Similarly, PowerPoint slides used within some parts of the training are also supplied to students for them to use / modify for use, where appropriate in their teaching.
Teacher training includes the unique Mindfulness Now programme, which offers an integrated / eclectic approach to mindfulness teaching and aims to equip teachers to work with individuals and groups with many requirements including helping with physical and emotional pain, stress and anxiety, as well as building emotional resilience. This programme is designed to incorporate one-to-one work with participants, along with group work, and is fully adaptable to meet the needs of individual participants. Mindfulness Now has also been designed in such a way as to make it possible for practitioners to integrate it with other therapeutic modalities.
Formal meditation practice is an important part of the training, with students being led through regular practice meditations, each followed by a particular form of discussion / feedback (enquiry). Students also work, both one-to-one and in triads, with their fellow students to practice the range of techniques covered. Students learn assessment techniques and methods of preparing clients / learners, including identification of contraindications and other potential problem areas.
Once the course is finished – (it’s only a lifetime journey!)
At least part of the real learning begins following the practical teacher training, when all students undertake an assignment based upon a brief question paper and a practical case study which is written up for assessment. Students have up to six months from attending the course to complete and submit their assignment. Examples are given of assignment structure and guidance over the required content.
After completion of the course and assignments, successful graduates are offered the opportunity to join the network of Mindfulness Now licensed and accredited teachers. The learning / support is ongoing and open-ended. The college maintains an open-door policy of welcoming students and graduates in person or via skype / phone.
Each Monday evening the college has a meditation ‘sitting’ we call Mindful Mondays, open to all students and graduates. Mindful Mondays run every Monday evening at 7pm.- 8pm on zoom. One of our trainers hosts the session but this is very much a group for our graduates. We invite graduates to come up with themes, engage in group discussion, questions and the sharing of many different practices. Exclusively for the Mindfulness Now Community, Mindful Mondays provides graduates with a chance to regularly connect back to fellow graduates and tutors, and many have found this nurturing space a great way to gain further confidence in their teaching.
In many ways learning mindfulness is a lifetime journey and one where do our best to ‘embody’ the practice in order to be authentic. We can’t really be an effective teacher without this. Graduates who wish to be part of our ‘programme’ are required to sign up to our code of ethical practice, maintain supervision, and undertake a certain amount of ongoing developmental study (CPD).