Mindfulness FAQs

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a natural human quality which allows all your other human qualities to shine. It is about being aware and alive in the present moment. This brings an attitude of self-compassion and wise acceptance to ourselves and others. We are able to choose what we do, able to make productive decisions, and respond creatively to life’s challenges. By practising mindfulness and mindful meditation, we learn to notice what triggers and settles our nervous systems, and to better understand what drives our emotions and behaviours.

How will I know if mindfulness helps? 

People experience the benefits of mindfulness in different ways. You may find that you relax significantly within one class, or during one meditation. Or, it may be hard to notice any discernible difference, especially if you find the meditation difficult. This does not mean it has no effect. Quite the contrary. Many people find themselves experiencing moments of calm or happiness at other times of day, or an overall increase in wellbeing over time. Check out what other students say here: student testimonials.

Is mindfulness religious? 

The meditations taught in mindfulness classes have their roots in Eastern meditation traditions. However, they are entirely secular exercises, and you are not asked to accept anything except what you experience for yourself.

What sort of mindfulness course is this? 

My four-week courses are based on Cambridge University’s own Mindful Student Study (The Lancet, 2017), which showed significant benefit to students. Originally taught as an eight-week course, the four-week format has also been shown to benefit, and offers students a more do-able timeframe. The two halves of the eight week course are now taught as two separate courses: Mindfulness for Grounding and Resilience and Mindfulness for Confidence and Self-Compassion. In addition, drawing on the sleep-related elements of the researched course, I offer Mindfulness for Better Sleep, and a variety of workshops. You can check these out  in the ‘Mindfulness Courses’ (Mindfulness at Cam), or on my professional pages: Course and Workshops.

These courses bring together a number of mindful approaches, including Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). In addition, I focus on wise choices to manage procrastination and other challenges (drawing on Marshall Rosenberg’s ‘Nonviolent Communication’), and build kindly inner listening and emotional intelligence (with Eugene Gendlin’s ‘Focusing’). The ‘Recollective Awareness’ approach also adds ease and creativity (from meditation teacher, Jason Siff). I weave these approaches in my own way in my  ‘Gentle Guides’ series to mindfulness and meditation, offering a page-a-day approach, with poetry and prose (see background reading above). 

Leaving Cambridge Uni?

Welcome to the alumni group, Mindfulness After Cam, where you can keep practising mindfulness, and meet like-minded folk. The group is also open to your family, members of staff and non-university members.

Mindfulness for staff