The history of MBCT
Mindfulness meditation teaches you to recognise memories and damaging thoughts as they arise. It reminds you that they are memories. They are like propaganda, they are not real. They are not you. You can learn to observe negative thoughts as they arise, let them stay a while and then simply watch them evaporate before your eyes. And when this occurs, an extraordinary thing can happen: a profound sense of happiness and peace fills the void.
it was secular enough to appeal to a wide range of people from all sorts of walks of life;
it was grounded in science;
it was intensive enough to make a difference; and
it was short enough to be "do-able" in a community setting.
The scientific paradigm emphasises objectivity, cost-effectiveness of health outcomes and a quest for evidence-based practice – and has been crucial for mindfulness to be able to have found it’s strong and impactful place in the world. The teachings from Buddhist practice bring their profound experiential understanding of the mind and body - providing a useful map for how to investigate the relationship between our 'inner' and 'outer' lives in order to really understand how to reduce suffering for ourselves and others.
Over the years Jon Kabat-Zinn's original program has now been translated into a range of mindfulness applications for specific issues including: substance addiction, pain, depression, anxiety, eating problems, cancer and for specific contexts such as leadership, workplaces, education, the criminal justice system and for frontline workers such as medical staff, child-protection workers, police personnel and firefighters.
People came to those original mindfulness trainings with Jon with all their stress, hope, curiosity, skepticism, busyness, pain, physical illness, demanding jobs, anxiety, depression, relationship troubles, general disenchantment and unease, and genius - to do an experiment in living with more presence and care over eight weeks and beyond.
We invite you to come and do that same experiment and see what it can offer you.