Distance mindfulness training
We offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction by Distance Education and we think you will find it quite different to other online options. We believe that mindfulness training is not well-served by a "one size fits all" online model and is best done through a relationship with a teacher.
A distance course with a difference.
This course is an alive, personalised, responsive, real-time engagement between the teacher, the participants and the practice. There are no mute buttons
and no pre-recorded sessions. There is a group feel to the class, even though it is usually conducted by Skype or the phone in small groups (up to
There is time and space for your own process to be shared and explored just like in the ordinary course. There is also time for some live practice together
and inquiry into practice. And for those with a greater need for flexibility, we can offer the Distance program individually too. You will
receive a 100 page course book and access to audio recordings to support your learning.
As part of our commitment to social equity we do like to offer discounts to Health Care Card holders and others in financial difficulty. Unfortunately
the Distance course run at cost, so we are usually unable to offer discounts for these programs. But do be in touch if you want to be considered
for a discount for this course.
When might this be a good option?
Although doing the course with everybody in the same room is probably a richer experience, sometimes getting there is simply not an option. Doing the course as a Distance program can be a good alternative if you:
- simply live too far away from a place where a course is given
- won't thrive in a larger group
- would like a lot of personal guidance
- are very busy or have a very irregular schedule, making it impossible to get to a class on the same day for 8 weeks in a row
- prefer doing the course from the comfort of your own home
How does it work?
The Distance program consists of eight weekly sessions by Skype or phone, with a mindfulness teacher who will guide you through the learning of the 8-week program, and further contact by email or phone during the week if needed.
Home practice also forms an important part of any quality mindfulness training. And to make the kinds of changes you want to make in your life you will need to commit yourself to spending up to an hour each day getting to know your mind and body through:
- Practicing mindfulness meditation and/or mindful movement practices, using recordings
- Making notes of your experiences.
- Undertaking some informal / daily life mindfulness practices. These can be done as part of your routine and ordinary activities.
- Doing some reading and personal reflection.
If you are able to get to a location where one of our quarterly Days of Mindfulness are held (throughout Australia) you are strongly recommended to try and attend one sometime during or after the course.
Group or Individual?
The Distance program can be done in two different formats:
- Small group - (a maximum of 4 people) This will usually mean weekly sessions are on the same day and time. Other
participants will often be in a different geographical area and sometimes in a different time zone. Sessions are 1.5 - 2 hours depending
on the number of participants. Groups are formed when we have a few people ready to start and there is usually not a long waiting time.
- Individual - this means that there can be flexibility in weekly session times.
What happens during the weekly sessions?
The learning within mindfulness comes through our own experiences within the practices, and through the way we integrate this way of being into our daily life. Your personal home practice experience is central to your learning process. In the classes we:
- explore experiences from the home practice
- focus on the weekly topic and its applications to your life
- practice mindfulness together, depending on available time
The teacher of your course is also available in between sessions should this be needed.
We like to use Skype because this enables the teacher and all participants to see each other and speak simultaneously, just like in a regular class. Skype connections can however be a bit unreliable or have poor quality, in which case we sometimes switch to a conference call on the phone.
Each person on a group Skype video call will need:
- Skype 5.0 or higher (Windows or Mac)
- A high-speed broadband connection
- A webcam
- A microphone and speakers (built-in or separate headset with microphone)
- If using Windows, a DirectX 9.0c compatible video card
Mary McIntyre - who lives in Dunsborough in the Southwest of WA
Astrid de Ruiter - who lives in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland