Mindfulness is typically taught using an 8-week course structure, either face-to-face in a group setting or online / distance learning.
The two main mindfulness-based approaches (MBAs) are Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) – both are similar in their core but aimed at participants with different needs. Mindfulness is cultivated by purposefully paying attention in a non-judgemental way, to what is going on in your body, your mind and in the world around you. We call this moment-to-moment awareness mindfulness. It is about being awake and aware – living in the present – rather than dwelling in the past or anticipating the future.
Many organisations and teachers offer 8-week mindfulness courses as an entry level to practicing mindfulness. The British Association for Mindfulness-based Approaches (BAMBA) aims to uphold standards across the mindfulness community through their Good Practice Guidelines and UK listing of mindfulness teachers. The Mindfulness Network is proud to be a BAMBA affiliated organisation, meaning that teachers who are training or have trained with us are well-qualified and adhere to BAMBA’s protocols.
Compassion is also taught using an 8-week course structure, either face-to-face in a group setting, or online. However, these are often condensed into an ‘intensive’ 5-day retreat format, weekend workshops or spread out over several weeks online, to suit the various different needs of participants.
The two main compassion-based approaches (CBAs) are Mindfulness Self Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living (MBCL). In compassion-based courses, kindness and compassion are taught more front and centre than they are in MBSR and MBCT, and there is more focus on developing these qualities. Courses that combine mindfulness with compassion training can help us develop our capacity for compassion, so that we can be kinder to ourselves and others. Find out more about compassion.