Zen Mindfulness Course


I run 10 week introduction courses on mindfulness, devised using elements from MBSR (Mindfulness based stress reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness based cognitive therapy), alongside insights from various mindfulness books, in particular the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

Each week is 2 hours long, and covers 2 worksheets which participants can take away with them for further reflection and practice. (Note: Due to Coronavirus these courses are now online and run for 1 hour instead of 2)

The course covers the following:

Week 1: Love Vs Fear

  • Introduction to mindfulness
  • The mindfulness triangle
  • Love Vs Fear – what frightens us
  • Introduction to the ego mind
  • Discussions on 3 practices to begin: mindful breathing, sitting with demons and forgiveness.
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking

Week 2: Ego as a suit of armour

  • What is zen? Four attributes: open-mindedness, curiosity, selflessness and mindfulness
  • How zen are you? Asking key questions.
  • Ego as a suit of armour
  • Discussions on 3 practices: positive affirmations, removing drama (heaviness), present moment – clock time Vs psychological time
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation – body scan, 5 minute tune in, 15 minute sitting meditation

Week 3: The three elements of mindfulness

  • Looking at each element of mindfulness: present moment, awareness, non-judgment
  • Spotting the ego
  • Recognizing our fears and demons
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, mindful movements, sitting with emotions meditation

Week 4: The cosmic flow

  • Introduction to the cosmic flow of the universe
  • Ego/thought blocks: imagination, storylines, judgments
  • Introduction to the opening heart
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, Creative visualisation meditation

Week 5: The opening heart

  • Mindfulness and the opening heart
  • Introduction to mindful communication
  • Ways to keep the heart open: gratitude, generosity, seeing the wonder, silence and space, joy, loving-kindness, compassion
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, mindful tea ceremony, mindful doodling

Week 6: The Ego circle Vs The Zen circle

  • Two ways of responding to an event
  • The ego circle Vs the zen circle
  • Clues of the ego mind
  • Movement between the two circles
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation – loving-kindness, noticing thoughts meditation

Week 7: Rumination

  • What is suffering
  • Ego and Zen circle recap: the suffering and non-suffering circles
  • Notice thinking and body responses
  • STOP and RAIN practices
  • Sitting with emotions practice
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, the mindful touch, sitting with emotions meditation

Week 8: Consumption

  • Ways we consume
  • Our store consciousness
  • Watering our positive seeds
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, 30 minute sitting meditation

Week 9: The eight mindful attitudes

  • Discussion on the eight mindful attitudes: non-judgment, acknowledgement, non-striving, self-compassion, self-reliance, letting be, equanimity and beginner’s mind
  • Discussion on patience, abundance and intentions
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation, 30 minute sitting meditation

Week 10: The art of mindful communication

  • Gratitude of conversation
  • Letting go of the ego
  • Mindful listening
  • The zen warrior approach
  • PRACTICE SESSIONS: Guided meditation – joy and pain, story of the week

For those who have heard about mindfulness and just want to see what it’s all about, or for those who’d like a reminder or follow up to their practice, this could be for you.

Due to the Coronavirus, I am moving these courses online and doing hourly sessions to cover the course. Cost is the same for the entire course (see below).

Stay tuned for more courses planned for 2020; or perhaps you’d like me to run this course for your organisation?

Cost: £100 per person (£10 per week), or £15 per hour for organisations, plus travel.

For more information on attending these or future courses, please use the contact page. Alternatively please text me: 07846-399-594

To book on the course just e-mail: info@craig-gilbert.com with your name and e-mail address and we’ll take it from there.