A suitable way to become familiar with the practice of mindfulness is to follow a training course. Courses are nowadays offered both inside and outside the health services.
Practising mindfulness helps us to gain insight into the workings of our mind. It is a contemporary form of inner science, using methods of self-inquiry rooted in ancient wisdom traditions. Everyone can put these to the test by investigating one’s own experience. Mindfulness can be practised outside a religious context. Anyone who is motivated to practise, whatever one’s philosophy of life or religious background, can deepen the capacity to be mindfully present.
Many teachers and participants of training courses emphasize the value of practising in groups, in addition to daily individual practice at home. Other ways can be to learn the practice of mindfulness from self-help books or within the setting of a traditional meditation tradition, such as Vipassana or Zen.
In health care the best known courses are Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
A course usually consists of eight weekly sessions of 2 ½ hours, and ¾ to 1 hour daily practice at home. Often a silent day or half day is added to the program.
To the mind that is still,
the whole universe surrenders.