Towards the end of Breathworks courses, a kindness meditation is introduced. There is a solid, fascinating, and ever-expanding evidence base showing that kindness and connectedness are good for us on so many levels: psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Yet there are many individual responses to this element of practice. Some take to it immediately and find it a vital and enriching element of their practice, some struggle to connect with it meaningfully at all, and everywhere in between on the scale. This workshop is designed for all of the above; to help us connect with compassion and self-compassion as a practice, as well as to take it further and deeper. We will spend three hours in a group exploring deeply the experience of compassion and connectedness, with discussion and guided meditation, in order to integrate it into our our personal practice, our teaching (if you teach) and our lives.
Next Kindness and Compassion workshops: Review underway!
We're taking a step back from arranging any further events this year in order to learn more about what people want, and need, to enable them to deepen their practice. This will include us writing to past course participants with a short questionnaire - please look out for it!
So, while Breathworks mindfulness courses are similar to the MBSR and MBCT courses (probably 90% in common), they are also a little different. One of the ways they differ is our inclusion of the kindly awareness, or kindness meditation practice. Although this is taught on the MBSR and MBCT day retreats, it is not part of their eight-week course.
We've therefore been heartened and encouraged to hear of the work of Professor Paul Gilbert in the UK, and Professor Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, in the USA, on compassion. To find out more about the benefits of developing kindness towards oneself and others, we recommend The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer, and Self Compassion by Kristin Neff. The Art of Being Kind by Stefan Einhorn, is also a lovely, practical book, and if you're interested in the proven health benefits of kindness, Why Kindness is Good for You by David R. Hamilton is full of the results of various research studies.
"I'd like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you for the truly wonderful workshop on kindness and compassion. I enjoyed all the aspects of it very much indeed, and have learned a great deal to take forward into both my meditation practice and my daily life. I came away feeling a profound sense of inner peace."
"One of the most meaningful aspects of the workshop for me was meeting and practicing with other people who have similar stories to me to tell, and knowing that there are other people who know where I'm coming from right now.PLEASE do some more workshops. I'll be first in the queue (again)!!" Email from someone who attended a recent Kindness and Compassion Workshop
"I found the kindness meditation from the mindfulness course last May one of the most powerful of the exercises that I did, both at the time and later over last summer when I returned to it for a time."- email from someone who attended the Mindfulness for Stress course.