Mindfulness Africa Courses
Know the Present
“Mindfulness entails being present in the moment, which is the ground out of which tranquillity arises. One comes face-to-face with the mind and learns about it at a deep level. This leads to inner understanding and penetrating insight into the illusion we have created about ourselves and the nature of life.” Rob Nairn
Mindfulness Based Living: 8 Week Course
If you would like to give your name to the office to be notified when bookings open for the next course please contact the office.
Week 1 – Starting where we are,recognising the distracted mind
Week 2 – The body as a place to stay present
Week 3 – Introducing mindfulness support
Week 4- Working with distraction
Week 5 – Exploring the undercurrent
Week 6 – Attitude of the observer
Week 7 – Self acceptance
Week 8 – A mindfulness based life
Mindfulness Based Living - 8 Week Course
This course is a comprehensive training in mindfulness that is suitable for beginners and for those who already have a mindfulness practice. Participants will be taught progressive skills in mindfulness through presentations, guided practice and tutorial sessions. A strong emphasis is placed on experiential learning, and for this reason there are home assignments between weekends that include regular mindfulness practice, daily life exercises and journal writing. Each module will take place over a weekend.
Mindfulness is defined as paying attention to our moment by moment experience in a way that is non-judgmental and kind. In the beginning we notice how our attention is like a butterfly flitting from one thought to the next. So we start by slowing down and settling our mind through regulating breathing and counting. We then introduce practices that ground us allowing our attention to drop out of the battlefield of thoughts in our heads into the sensory awareness of the body. We then learn to rest in the present moment getting used to disengaging from our habits of compulsive doing. And then, when we notice our attention drifting away into thinking, we learn to work with the mindfulness supports of sound and breath.
We are initiated into this graduated process through the core practices of settling, grounding, resting and mindfulness support. We also practice bodyscan and walking meditation and simple practices for integrating mindfulness into daily life. Throughout each of the modules we work on developing kindness as a basis for self compassion.
Working with Distraction
Having had the opportunity to practice settling grounding, resting and support on a daily basis, we are now in a position to become more familiar with how the mind moves and the unique pathways of habit it follows. We becoming increasingly familiar with the changing dynamic of mindfulness and distraction, and begin to see how distraction reveals an inner world of habitual patterning that ensnares our energies. We also begin to recognise attitudes of preference – like and dislike – and see how they narrow and contract our awareness, imprisoning us.
At this point we introduce the model of ‘undercurrent and observer’ as a way of mapping out the inner landscape of our mind and identifying where change can take place. The ‘undercurrent’ refers to the continuous stream of thoughts, emotions, memories and images that stream through our mind moment by moment, whether we like it or not. The ‘observer’ refers to that part our mind that sees the undercurrent and has the capacity to reflect on itself. As our practice deepens we learn to step out of the undercurrent and simply leave it alone. Instead, we focus on working with the attitudes of preference in our observer as this is where genuine change can take place.
We also introduce mindful movement as a way of integrating mindfulness into how we move through our lives, and the three minute breathing space as a way of breaking the reactive cycles we get caught in during everyday life.
Throughout our training we are working in two areas – redirecting our attention to the present moment by using a mindfulness support, while at the same time learning to accept the diverse range of our inner experience. Part of mindfulness practice is learning to work with strong emotions that arise and developing the capacity to ‘hold’ difficult experiences within body and mind. The model of undercurrent and observer reveals how working on attitude is all important, and so, through training in acceptance we learn to acknowledge and come to terms with difficult thoughts and emotions by paying them close attention with a kind and inclusive attitude. This leads to a gradual dis-identification with the contents of our experience and shift in perspective in which we come to see that we are not our thoughts but the awareness that witnesses them.
We use the RAIN method (recognise, accept, investigate and non-identify) as a way of progressively training in acceptance, and practice loving kindness as a way of bringing warmth to our inner environment. We also introduce a more in depth version of the three minute breathing space in which we learn to relate with a kindly and accepting attitude to difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise in our daily life.
Deepening Practice Retreat
At the end of the course we recommend that participants attend a 10 day retreat at Tara Rokpa Centre in Groot Marico to deepen their mindfulness practice, and that they attend similar retreats on an annual basis.
8-Week Compassion-Based Living Course
with Kerri (CBLC Facilitator with Mindfulness Association UK)
For those that have already attended the 8-week Mindfulness Course, you are eligible for the next stage in the Mindfulness journey.
This course follows the Mindfulness Based Living Course and is ideal for those who wish to continue to develop their Mindfulness practice so as to hold inner experience with warmth and kindness. If you have completed the 8 Week Mindfulness Based Living Course and are interested to attend the Compassion training please email the office.
The themes of the 8 weeks are:
Why Practice Compassion?
The Compassionate Mess
It is not our fault: An Evolutionary Perspective
Creating Conditions for Safeness
Befriending the Self Critic
The Compassionate Friend Within
Day of Silent Practice
The 4 Immeasurables
Compassion for Others
Mindfulness Africa Facilitators in KwaZulu Natal
Carey Would is a qualified Mindfulness Africa facilitator and gained her 200 hour RYT certificate as a Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga instructor in 2008. Her aim is to share her practice by teaching honorably and with respect for all things. She hopes to help students find their own truth, happiness and joy in their practice.
Kerri Martinaglia is the manager of The Waterfall Retreat and Environmental Centre. She is a devoted student of the late Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche who first taught her to "Be more mindful" and "Know the Present". She has trained within the Karma Kagyu Lineage and participated in several meditation retreats over the past 19 years including a 6 month closed retreat at the Tara Rokpa Centre Retreat Valley in Groot Marico.
In 2009 she was invited to join the Mindfulness Africa organisation.
She is the Mindfulness Africa Coordinator for KwaZulu Natal and has certification in Hatha Yoga & Chi Kung disciplines. Her special interests are how the combined practices of gentle movement, mindfulness and compassion can potentially help to restore our balance.