Preparation and attendance
We would very much like to encourage you to attend all of the group sessions, if at all possible, and if you can’t make it to let us know beforehand. You are invited to wear loose and comfortable clothing for the course, appropriate for some gentle body movement and stretching. If you already use a meditation bench, stool or cushions, you are welcome to bring them along with you. There will be chairs that we can use and yoga mats for the stretching and floor exercises.
If you are concerned about your health or ability to engage in some gentle stretching and floor based exercises based upon yoga, we would advise that you discuss this with your GP and that you are able to work safely within your own limitations, opting out of any exercises which you do not feel confident about. However, these exercises have been developed in programmes designed for people with a variety of health conditions, and will be relatively gentle. The primary aim is to practice movement with awareness whilst being fully sensitive to our body’s needs in the moment.
We would like to suggest some background reading, although would caution against reading taking the place of practice as it can move us too much into thinking rather than experiencing. Reading one or two pages at a time may inspire us and support our practice, or you may choose to read nothing until the end of the course, allowing the experience to resonate deeply on its own.
Rob Nairn: Diamond Mind – psychology of meditation, Kairon, 1998
Jon Kabat Zinn: Wherever you go, there you are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life, Hyperion, 1994
Thich Nhat Hanh: The Miracle of Mindfulness, Beacon, 1976
Tara Brach: Radical Acceptance, Rider, 2003
Paul Gilbert and Choden: Mindful Compassion, Constable, 2013.