Workshop / Presentation Descriptors

Friday 3rd July 2015

Understanding Mindfulness, the Transformation of Suffering, and the Awakened Heart/Mind: An exploration of ideas and experience

with John Teasdale

This workshop will present a framework which offers a way to understand

1) mindfulness as a particular configuration of mind; 2) how that configuration of mind supports the transformation of suffering; and 3) the relationship of mindfulness to the radical awakening of heart and mind that has been the aim of spiritual and contemplative traditions.

Using didactic, interactive, and experiential approaches, we will investigate a cognitive evolutionary approach which is a natural extension of the information-processing framework that played a key role in the development of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.  We will explore the interface between two foundational ideas: i) the existence of two distinct worlds of meaning, one conceptual, the other holistic, and ii) the presence of a universal pattern of organization in nature, and the mind, in which parts are integrated into wholes.  Taken together, these ideas suggest that the mind has a natural potential for healing (making whole), which mindfulness can help realize (make real).

From the workshop, participants will gain:

1) a way to understand mindfulness that will offer answers to questions such as: How does holding a difficult experience in awareness transform it? Why is mindfulness of the body so important? 

2) an understanding of the difference between mindfulness and awakening

3) insights into how their own practice and teaching of mindfulness might be enriched. 


Mindfulness and the Brain with Philippe Goldin, Peter Malinowski, Dusana Dorjee and Cosimo Urgesi


This workshop aims to provide a window into how mindfulness modifies the brain. We will start with an introduction to brain anatomy and brain function in relation to mindfulness. The brain weighs only 2% of the total weight of a human being, BUT consumes more than 20% of the total metabolic resources. The brain is never “off” and is continuously changing (i.e., neuroplasticity) in structure and function pathways throughout the lifespan in response to our experiences, thoughts, decisions, etc.  We will first present an introduction to some of the anatomical, physiological, functional and psychological features of the human brain.  

We will then consider brain changes in emotion and attention processing resulting from mindfulness practice and investigate the regulatory processes that contribute to these changes. These will be discussed in the context of guided practices targeting development of attention skills, emotion regulation, and decentering, followed by considerations about brain processes underlying the experiential changes. One of the new research findings considered will compare mindfulness with Yoga practice when examining how mindfulness may change the embodiment processes underlying empathy. We will also discuss more complex changes in the brain resulting from mindfulness practice such as decentering (realizing experientially that mental events are not facts) and changes in conceptual systems (ways the brain processes meaning).  The interactive and interconnected nature of brain processing will be an overarching theme of the workshop. We will also consider how the study of mindfulness (and contemplative practices more broadly) can contribute to our understanding of the relationship between mind and brain as well as to essential questions about the nature of consciousness and human potential for spiritual transformation.

Previous familiarity with neuroscientific research and terminology is not necessary and the workshop will help you understand the basic concepts and research techniques, such as neuroplasticity, magnetic resonance imaging. The interactive teaching throughout the day will combine presentations with mindfulness practices and group discussions.

Learning objectives:

Gain familiarity with brain structure and processing relevant to mindfulness practice.

Learn how mindfulness modifies attention, emotion regulation and empathy systems of the brain.

Explore the relationship between neuroscience of mindfulness and mind-body / consciousness research.



Implementation of Mindfulness in Schools with Sarah Silverton and Dominic Morris

The leaders of this workshop have been involved in developing and delivering training of mindfulness curricula in the schools context for more than 5 years. These experiences and the building research evidence informs the ongoing development of implementation strategies and practices. This workshop will share these experiences and invite discussion of current issues central to this work.  

This workshop will explore:

*The experiences of mindfulness in schools from the perspective of children of different ages

*The experiences of teachers who have attended mindfulness courses and those who have been involved in delivering mindfulness within schools. 

*There will be a chance to hear from children and teachers experiences of mindfulness in their school and in everyday life.

*The opportunities and challenges of mindfulness delivery within the schools context for schools and society.

*Implementation of mindfulness in a way that supports development of a mindful culture within education in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

The specifics of teaching mindfulness in this particular context.

There will be an opportunity to taste the range of curricula offered by Mindfulness in Schools Project by experiencing a lesson from .b, Paws b and .b Foundations.


Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL)
An advanced training programme to deepen mindfulness with heartfulness

with Frits Koster and Erik van den Brink

MBCL is an advanced programme for those who already followed MBSR or MBCT. The eight session programme is similarly structured as MBSR/MBCT and deepens mindfulness with the explicit practice of self-compassion and compassion towards others. In this full day workshop we will offer a concise overview of the MBCL curriculum, including the main themes as well as an experience of a number of key exercises.

Themes that support the deepening of self-inquiry, include: the evolutionary perspective and multi-layered brain; the three basic emotion regulation systems and the value of training our soothing system; expanding the stress theory with the psychological equivalents of fight, flight, freeze and their antidotes self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness of suffering; tend and befriend; cultivating a compassionate mind and an inner helper rather than an inner bully; overidentifying and disidentifying; Four Friends for Life: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

Exercises, of which some will be practised during the workshop, include: soothing breathing rhythm, working mindfully with our imagination (safe place, compassionate companion, embodying compassion); dealing compassionately with resistance, desire and maladaptive patterns; cultivating kindness towards ourselves and others; a compassionate bodyscan and walking with kindness; writing a compassionate letter; compassionate breathing (tonglen); practising sympathetic joy, gratitude, forgiveness and equanimity; informal practices and compassion in daily life.

Aim of the workshop

The aim of the workshop is that participants will have a basic understanding of the scientific background, content and clinical application of the MBCL curriculum.

Van den Brink, E. & Koster, F. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living: A new training programme to deepen mindfulness with heartfulness. London: Routledge.


Mindfulness and Compassion  with Judith Soulsby


‘Mindfulness and compassion’ is a large subject, and of present interest to many who are practising and teaching mindfulness – as can be seen in this conference from the one-day workshop on ‘Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living’ by Frits Koster & Erik van den Brink, and the workshop on ‘What is compassion? The inter-woven nature of mindfulness and compassion’ with Christina Feldman and Willem Kuyken.  My own interest stems from a growing appreciation over my life of the Buddhist practice of compassion, and from my training to teach and train in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) with Chris Germer & Kristin Neff.

Delegates attending this SIG group will be invited to share their particular interests in this area, and we’ll work with contributions on the evening.  Some areas that might be up for discussion are:


Whether and how compassion and self-compassion are appropriate to be taught, implicitly or explicitly, as part of mindfulness-based interventions such as MBSR and MBCT.


Do we need a base of mindfulness practice to work most helpfully with compassion? 


Is self-compassion a good way in to learning compassion for others? 


Are there considerations of care that need to be brought into the teaching of compassion?


I’ll offer a little informal practice from MSC, such as the Self-Compassion Break and Compassionate Movement, and look forward to your input!



Death Cafe with Trish Bartley and David Shannon


Opening up a conversation about death and dying.


Tea and cake!

Small group conversations

Audio and video clips to frame our conversations

Exploring the question "What really matters to you?" (whether living or dying)

Agreeing a declaration to offer to the conference


"Death is something that happens to everyone else." Stephen Jenkinson, Griefwalker


This workshop is not intended to replace individual counselling and may be unsuitable for anyone recently bereaved.


Mindfulness for Families with Eluned Gold and Nancy Bardacke.

Nancy Bardacke has been a midwife for more than 30 years and has developed Mindfulness based Childbirth and Parenting, a programme which aims to help expectant parents manage the stress of childbirth, and begins to cultivate the skills of mindfulness to support family life.

Eluned Gold has worked as a psychotherapist for more than 30 years and works bringing mindfulness to parents, particularly parents in stressful situations.

Together they have an interest in  mindfulness to support families from before birth and into the parenting years. This Special Interest Group aims to bring together parents and professionals who are interested to explore the potential of mindfulness in our families and communities and ultimately our societies.

The SIG will offer opportunities to explore:

networks and meeting others with similar interests

projects and research already developed or developing

future developments, including influencing policy in the UK and around the world


Mindfulness and Criminal Justice with Chris Cullen, Ruth Passman and Jamie Bristow


There is growing interest in how mindfulness training might support some of the key aims of offender care and management within the Criminal Justice system by improving self-regulation and impulse control in ways that could have significant implications for reducing risks of re-offending and self-harm. Recent initiatives with prison staff and police officers have also highlighted the potential of mindfulness-based approaches to improve resilience, reduce stress and promote skilful interpersonal relating.


This SIG, arising out of the work of the Criminal Justice strand of the Mindful Initiative in Parliament, will provide an opportunity to hear about and discuss recent initiatives in this area, considering what can be learned from projects in the UK and US about the effective implementation of mindfulness programmes in various settings within the Criminal Justice system.


Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviours  with Devin Ashwood


This workshop will introduce the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) model, its structure and content as well as identifying similarities and differences with MBSR and MBCT.  Participants will be guided through the key exercises at the heart of the model and introduced to the theory and research underpinning it.  Best practice and training pathways to delivering MBRP will be explored and a training video showing the model in use with ‘clients’ will be previewed. 


Saturday 4th July 2015

Contemporary Mindfulness – The long View. Perils and possibilities in the path of mindfulness teaching with Christina Feldman

This presentation will begin by reflecting on the origins of contemporary mindfulness, tracing the development of mindfulness teaching in western culture to the place we find ourselves in now – living in a society where mindfulness has become not only a household word but is increasingly integrated into a wide range of settings from schools to mental health.  What is it important for us to learn and continue to learn as teachers and practitioners from the early teachings of mindfulness?  The future of mindfulness teaching will be the outcome of values, depth and understanding we foster in the present. For mindfulness approaches to continue to play a pivotal role in the alleviation of distress, protecting the foundations of mindfulness - integrity, compassion, embodiment and a deep understanding of the the landscape of mindfulness is a collective responsibility.  The perils contemporary mindfulness approaches face are the same challenges faced in the development of all contemplative traditions.


Mindful Nation UK: making mindfulness a part of politics with Madeleine Bunting, Chris Cullen, Amanda Bailey and Jamie Bristow

Eighteen months ago the Mindfulness Initiative was set up to engage politicians in the potential of mindfulness in policy. In May 2014, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on mindfulness was set up under the enthusiastic leadership of Chris Ruane (former Labour MP), Tracey Crouch MP (Conservative) and Lorely Burt MP (LibDem). The first project of the APPG was to launch an inquiry which the Mindfulness Initiative has clerked. The Inquiry’s report is due to be launched in parliament in September 2015. The inquiry has involved more than eight hearings in parliament with over 80 speakers giving evidence of their work with mindfulness. The inquiry focused on four key areas: education, health, criminal justice and the workplace.

 The Initiative grew out of the work of Chris Cullen teaching mindfulness in parliament and over a hundred parliamentarians and staff have now taken the eight week course. The Initiative represents a coalition which includes three university mindfulness and research centres (Oxford, Exeter and Bangor), Sussex Mindfulness Centre and the Mental Health Foundation. A team of associates have worked on the inquiry in a largely voluntary capacity including Madeleine Bunting, Chris Cullen, Amanda Bailey and Jamie Bristow. All four of them will give their differing perspectives on the process and the challenges it has thrown up.

 By the end of the session, attendees will have a clear understanding of the expectations of politicians and policy makers around mindfulness and the challenges which face the mindfulness community to meet them.


Compassion with Christina Feldman and Willem Kuyken


This workshop will consider a number of questions:

1. What is compassion?

We will consider the ways Buddhist psychology and mainstream psychology define compassion, as well as the inter-woven nature of mindfulness and compassion.


2. How can we contextualize compassion?

We will explore traditional understandings of compassion and contemporary understandings of compassion. We will explore how compassion is deep in our natures. The role of compassion in the landscape of depression will be examined in terms of theory, research and first person perspectives.


3. Can compassion be trained?

We will explore how compassion can best be cultivated in mindfulness-based interventions.


4. What is embodiment?

We will explore how mindfulness teachers learn to embody compassion through a journey of practice and working with our inner critics.


The workshop will involve teaching, practice, small group dialogue, Q&A, and video/audio illustrations.

By the end of the workshop, delegates will have:

A deeper understanding of compassion and its place in mindfulness-based cognitive therapies.

Had opportunities through practice to explore some of the practices intended to cultivate compassion.

Considered how best to integrate what they have learned into their practice and work.



Mindfulness Supervision with Jody Mardula


Supervision of mindfulness-based teachers has a range of roles and functions and is a component in an MBCT/MBSR teacher training pathway.


Elements present are:

Investigating and clarifying the integration of mindfulness in the supervisees’ professional role including:

Understanding both the context and the essential essence of mindfulness when adapting programme forms to the supervisee’s context

Supporting the supervisee to hold the paradox of non-striving and non-fixing in secular, results-oriented contexts

Using mindfulness practice and teaching skills to:

Bring inquiry to the exploration of the supervisee’s experience

Guiding and mentoring the supervisees’ personal meditation practice in terms of:

ongoing development and deepening of personal practice 

supporting the interface of personal practice with MBCT/MBSR teaching, therapeutic work and everyday life

These principles apply also to those who are not directly teaching an 8 week course, but who are working individually using a Mindfulness Orientated Approach.


In this workshop participants will be invited to explore their own intentions around mindfulness and supervision, reflect on the elements present in a wide range of mindfulness based supervision contexts and on how mindfulness supervision might be developed personally and organisationally. 


Participants will be introduced to a comprehensive model of Mindfulness Supervision that holds the entire supervision process, imbuing it with the characteristics of integrity, embodied presence and compassion. In the workshop we will explore the contexts and applications of mindfulness supervision and the process and skills involved in the supervisory relationship.

We will reflect on how the supervisor’s ability to work from their own mindfulness practice and from an understanding of the principles and deep structure underpinning mindfulness is essential to the supervisory process.


Research symposium: Mindfulness in Education


11.15 – 11.55am Lessons from the classroom: How to integrate consultation and user involvement in research and delivery of mindfulness in education. Three research talks with Lisa-Marie Emerson, Georgina Rowse, Siobhan Hugh-Jones & Pam Hanley:


Mindfulness in primary education: Lessons from the classroom with Georgina Rowse and Lisa-Marie Emerson

Can we develop a whole school, mindfulness-based program to promote young people’s well-being?: What young people, schools and services have to say with  Siobhan Hugh-Jones

Challenges and opportunities of providing mindfulness courses for teachers with Pam Hanley


11.55 Mindfulness training improves adolescent metacognition and attentional efficiency with Kevanne Sanger


12.15 It's weird how much it's changed what I do: A qualitative investigation of mindfulness-based training for older adolescents with Susanna Alyce 


12.35 Mindfulness in primary schools: Associations with brain indexes of affective processing and markers of autonomous nervous system balance in children with Dusana Dorjee


12.55 – 13.15 discussion




The Mindful Delegate: Nourishing our minds and bodies

with Vanessa Hope and Taravajra

Conferences can offer us new ideas, ignite our enthusiasm and give us the opportunity to connect with others. There is also the possibility of overstimulation, of finding ourselves caught up in comparison and judgment or feeling drained or disconnected.

How might it be to engage fully in this conference from a place of practice that may enhance our learning and enjoyment? 

Having some space to pause, breathe and come home to ourselves can be profoundly nourishing.

This workshop will be primarily an invitation to drop back into 'being' mode and reconnect with our bodies in the midst of the excitement of activity.

We will explore how practice can support us both in sitting and in movement and offer some time to reflect on our experience.




Mindfulness-based interventions: What do we know, what don’t we know?

with Thorsten Barnhofer, Anne Speckens, Jo Rycroft-Malone and Rebecca Crane

Chair: Willem Kuyken

Discussant: Mark Williams


This symposium and panel discussion seeks to provide an overview of the role of theory, research and context in the sustainable development of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Theory, mechanisms, effectiveness and implementation are key aspects of the research agenda around the sustainable development of any intervention 1, including psychological interventions 2. This symposium provides an overview of the evidence base to date, and draws out suggestions for the next ten years. There will be time for questions and discussion in the panel discussion.

1. The warp and weft of MBIs. Willem Kuyken

2. Mechanisms in MBIs. Thorsten Barnhoher

3. Efficacy and effectiveness of MBIs. Anne Speckens

4. Implementation of MBIs. Jo Rycroft-Malone and Rebecca Crane



Discussant: Mark Williams


Panel discussion and Q&A



1.           Craig P, Dieppe P, Macintyre S, Michie S, Nazareth I, Petticrew M. Developing and evaluating complex interventions: the new Medical Research Council guidance. BMJ 2008; 337: a1655.

2.           Holmes EA, Craske MG, Graybiel AM. Psychological treatments: A call for mental-health science. Nature 2014; 511(7509): 287-9.


Mindfulness and Life Threatening Illness

Led by Trish Bartley and Stirling Moorey

This workshop will offer a selection of mini presentations that include practice, research, case studies, ideas and new approaches from some leaders and innovators in the field of mindfulness and life threatening illness. The workshop will involve a wide mix of experiential and more conventional presentations.

We will consider the range of challenges faced by people with life threatening illness and explore what mindfulness-based practice has to offer them and those who care for them. We will use a framework of the four practice ‘movements’ of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer – namely Intention; Coming Back; Turning Towards and Kindness. to hold the many varied aspects of our workshop process – and include a range of short practices that might support people at different points on their journey.


Trish Bartley – The Role of Intention in MBCT for Cancer – a map

Ursula Bates – A daily mindfulness intervention - Turning Towards the end of life – a case study

Kate Binnie – Music and the Breath - Coming Back to ‘live until you die’- an experiential process

Susan Chater – MBSR with Hospice Staff – a pilot study

Trish Luck – Resilience for the caregivers – an overview

Stirling Moorey – Bringing M for mindfulness into CBT for Cancer – some thoughts

David Shannon – Mindfulness & the care giving encounter, at end of life  – a research overview

Christina Shennan – Kindness in MBCT for Cancer – a practice


By the end of the workshop, participants will have some understanding, experience and appreciation of:

Aspects of the four movements within MBCT for cancer and what they offer people with life threatening illness

Some research perspectives within palliative care and staff well-being.   

Some short mindfulness practices (from diagnosis to end of life).

Using mindful creativity within challenge and uncertainty.




Informal music session

Come and join us on Saturday evening with your musical instrument or, if you don’t play an instrument, come along and sing! There will be opportunities for people to play any kind of music on any instrument of their choosing in an informal open mic session and also possibilities for people to collaborate with one another if they wish. There will also be music provided for group singing of songs (or playing of instruments).


Meet the Author

Many of the field leading authors who are attending the conference will be available for informal discussion, to answer your questions and personalise your books.


These include Nancy Bardacke, Trish Bartley, Vidyamala Burch, Michael Chaskalson, Rebecca Crane, Dusana Dorjee, Frits Koster & Erik van den Brink,  John Teasdale and Ruby Wax.


Sunday 5th July 2015

A day of mindfulness practice and dialogue

with Mark Williams


Mindfulness is about everyday life.  It is in the rush of daily life that thoughts, feelings and impulses of any instant come together to change the trajectory of the next instant.  If we wish to be more mindful in these ‘ordinary’ moments when life is rushing by, then it is good to set some time aside each day when only mindfulness practice is prioritised.

What goes on when we practice? Exactly what happens in the world ‘outside’ practice: thoughts, feelings, body sensations and impulses to act.  We call it a ‘wandering mind’, but as far as the mind itself is concerned it is not wandering!  It is only doing what it needs to do: reminding and planning, daydreaming or brooding, mostly about unfinished business and its consequences.  We need such mind-wandering in our practice. Without it, it would be like going to the gym and finding no equipment – nothing to work with, nothing to train on.

So in our ‘laboratory of practice’, we wake up to our habitual patterns of mind, feelings and impulses.  More than this, we begin to use the micro-reactions when we awaken to mind-wandering  – the subtle colour or feeling tone – to witness the tiny start of a cascade of secondary reactions. 

In our day of practice together, we will have the chance to turn towards our mind-wandering to see the quality of its patterns (especially those we have found frustrating), and to discern how we may choose to respond more tenderly.

Much of the day (including breaks) will be in silence.



Monday 6th July 2015

From Cushion to Chaos: The place of practice in community-based change

with Tony Bates


Moving from the safety of mindful practice to participative action in a disorderly, broken, pain-filled world is not easy. But the very practice of mindfulness invites us to be actively present to everything, aware that this alone carries the potential for growing through suffering and so transforming it. The most intriguing and appropriate change strategies gain wings when we are able to embody the very change we seek to implement. Action born of practice does not come from an ego seeking recognition or approval. Rather, it acts from a deeper place, from what Jack Kornfield calls “a chord of the heart that responds to life out of connectedness and compassion, independent of results.”

This talk will reflect on the author’s experience of changing how Ireland thinks about youth mental health. For the past 8 years, Headstrong has been developing, implementing and evaluating a large-scale ‘system of care’ approach to youth mental health in Ireland, called Jigsaw. Working with a broad range of stakeholders in each community, Jigsaw brings together and re-engineers key agencies, services and persons committed to supporting youth mental (aged 12-25). Jigsaw has now been accepted by Government as a national model and is being mainstreamed across Ireland. This presentation will describe the twin factors out of which systemic, community-wide change has arisen: a strategic approach based on chaos theory and implementation science; also, the awareness of interconnectedness which has informed that approach. Such awareness is born on the cushion; it not only informs how we relate with others but also infuses our own decision-making in harsh, chaotic environments.




Mindfulness and Social Suffering

with Nick JohnsMeg Barker & Ron Purser.  Chaired by Steven Stanley

This session aims to critically and sympathetically question the role of mindfulness in society, by addressing our collective social suffering in modern life. Talks will be informed by theory and research in social policy, social psychology, and organization studies. In ‘Making social policy mindful: opiate or revolutionary tool?’ Nick Johns discusses three possible models whereby mindfulness might be co-opted, consumed, or charted to a revolutionary social policy context. In ‘Depression or oppression? Tuning in and turning out through mindfulness’ Meg Barker considers the key element of self-criticism in all of the most common mental health problems, and the role of wider self-monitoring consumer culture in such criticism. In ‘Recontextualizing Mindfulness: An Integral Vision of Social Liberation’ Ron Purser considers the potential risks of a privatized, self-help oriented nature of secular mindfulness, and how this movement can evolve beyond such narrowly conceived conceptions of self-in-a-world to a greater socio-ecological vision. The session comprises a series of three short talks, interspersed with guided practices and time for questions and discussion.

Learning outcomes: understanding mindfulness in its social and cultural contexts; evaluating the potentials and challenges of applying mindfulness as a therapy in a modern capitalist society; understanding how mindfulness-based interventions might address social aspects of suffering.


Research session: New clinical applications of mindfulness


11.15 Adapting Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Participant Insights. Georgina Robinson


11.35 The cost of Mindfulness Based Approaches: A micro-costing analysis. Lucy Bryning


11.55 Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Compassion Training in Recurrent Depression. Rhoda Schuling


12.15 A Mindfulness-based programme for patients with chronic pain: Exploring the barriers and facilitators to engagement. Fathima Marikar Bawa


12.55 – 13.15 discussion.


Research Session: Improving our understanding of mindfulness and its applications


11.15 Eudaimonia and Mindfulness: a Historical and Anthropological Perspective. Francis Mckay


11.35 Does mindfulness enhance persistence and success in behavioural change? Hana Sysalova


11.55 Mindfulness, Behaviour Change and Engagement in Climate Change Policy. Mark Whitehead


12.15 Improving audio-delivered mindfulness interventions: What type of voice do people prefer and find most effective? Rhian McHugh


12.35 The Distress of 'Not-Practicing' Among Longstanding Practitioners. Kitty Wheater          


12.55 – 13.15 discussion.


MBCT courses for people living with long-term physical health conditions: learning and reflections with Christina Surawy, and Emma Evans and Mary Kavanagh

Living with chronic physical conditions can be difficult and stressful. As many as 25% of those having to cope with illnesses such as diabetes, cardiac problems, rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, suffer from depression, low mood and anxiety, not to mention chronic pain.  Factors such as having to cope with the effects of medication and physical changes are compounded by psychological factors such as a sense of loss, anger and resentment, rumination about what the future may hold and impaired capacity to work and maintain relationships. So how can Mindfulness training help?

We hope that the workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to:

Reflect on the rationale for MBCT with participants suffering from long term physical conditions in an NHS setting

Hear about our experience of running courses, including challenges and discoveries, and also the experience of the participants

Discuss preliminary evidence

Discuss and share their own experience of working with this population.


Staying Mindful:  Exploring ways of developing or enhancing a regular practice with Annee Griffiths


This workshop is suitable for participants interested in deepening their own practice and also for teachers who wish to develop their follow-up courses. We shall focus on ways to keep practice fresh and examine the essential elements of a follow-up curriculum. 


The eight week course is very much an introduction to practice.  How do we take it forward?  The interest for regular practice may well drop off significantly after the course as we know both from research and anecdotal feedback.


This workshop will be an opportunity to enquire into what motivates us to continue and what hinders us to commit to a regular mindfulness practice. What inspires us?  What are the difficulties? We will explore the importance of approach mode in turning towards difficult emotions and in cultivating foundational attitudes in the practice. The significance of the place of kindness and self compassion will be explored.


The workshop will be an opportunity to share different practices and to discuss in pairs and small groups as well as the whole group.


By the end of the workshop the participants will have: 

enquired into intention and motivation around their own practice, 

investigated hindrances to practice,

explored essential elements to continue with their own practice and discovered ways to enrich their teaching.


Mindfulness in the World: What's Going On?

with Saki Santorelli


During the last two years, unprecedented national and international publicity about mindfulness has appeared in Time magazine, Newsweek, L’Express and the US news hour, 60 Minutes.  This media reporting has favorably introduced mindfulness to millions of people around the world.  In parallel, US Congressman Tim Ryan wrote the book “A Mindful Nation” and the UK Parliament’s “All-Party Mindfulness Initiative” has taken an unprecedented step forward by participating in 8-week mindfulness programs and elucidating the potential utility of mindfulness across a wide array of UK social institutions.  

This is unprecedented. What is happening?  Is this reporting a fad, frenzy or the signs of a social movement unfurling?   It now seems to be the time to collectively wonder aloud about the real work of mindfulness in society.  Is mindfulness pushing against the dominant societal rivers of materialism, consumption, competition, haves and have-nots, and free market powers or is it in danger of being co-opted by these forces? 

Could it be that mindfulness is offering people a thirst-quenching sense of the sacred in an increasingly secular society?  Are the mercy, compassion and clarity that are the bedrock of mindfulness beginning to be recognized as being as essential to our lives as food, water and air?  Is mindfulness beginning to permeate our work with patients, clients, students and our relationships at home and work?

While I don’t pretend to know the answers to these questions, in this Keynote I’ll invite us to individually and collectively ask ourselves if this so called  “mindfulness movement” can purposefully contribute to forging social values and ethics that express our responsibility for and membership in a common humanity.

Learning Objectives:


Review recent international media coverage of mindfulness

Familiarize participants with critical aspects of large social movements

Identify critical social institutions engaged in the integration of mindfulness into society

Detail approaches that might create a more coherent mindfulness network




World Café Conversation – Exploring Learning from the Conference

with Rebecca Crane and Eluned Gold

As we come towards the end of the conference we invite you to join us in an exploration of our individual and collective learning. In small groups we will investigate meaningful questions using the structure of the world café method ( and guided mindfulness practice to support us.

The process will be held within a clear structure, and through co-created conversation we hope to facilitate:

1) individual and collective distillation and clarification of how our learning during the conference has touched us.  

2) growth of  an individual and collective awareness of what is here now and how that might influence us as we move forward in our lives.


Coming back to stillness with Vidyamala Burch, Sona Fricker and Gary Hennessey

This quiet hour will provide you with space to begin to assimilate your conference experience. Conferences inevitably include a great deal of input and stimulation, which can be exciting, provocative, stirring, challenging and delightful. But, all too often we head straight from this input back into busy lives, with little opportunity to sit quietly and reflect on all we have learned.


This space to ‘come back to stillness’ will be just that. A space to rest the body, mind and heart and allow our experiences to settle and take shape within us so our learning can go deeper. There will be some guidance in this session but the main emphasis will be on silence, space and personal meditation practice. 

Tuesday 7th July 2015

Insight of the Heart: Cultivating the Essential Teaching Competency

with Saki Santorelli

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) emerged out of many intentions - the primary one being the relief of suffering.  As MBI teachers, learning to inhabit this intention requires us to become increasingly attentive to our own suffering and equally so, our capacity to care and to love.  The call to teach mindfulness escorts us, unremittingly, into a direct relationship with the tender vulnerability indomitable fierceness of the heart.   Essential in the life and work of an MBI teacher, in this workshop we’ll explore, in detail, the cultivation of the heart, the ways this essential instrument of understanding expresses itself in the MBI classroom, and our inborn capacity to become intimate with the joys and sorrows of life and wiser about meeting life with greater openness, ease, understanding and delight.


As an MBI teacher, this workshop will offer you 1) an opportunity to become more familiar with the realm of heart 2) a means of understanding its place and value within the MBI classroom, 3) a laboratory for learning to cultivate warmth, stability and love when facing difficult times in your own lives and the lives of those with whom you work, and 4) an exploration of the dialogue and inquiry process as an expression of the heart source from which it originates and moves.


Learning Objectives:

Cultivate mindfulness through silence, conversation and dialogue

Become familiar with the therapeutic power of the heart as expressed in clinical and educational settings

Understand how to balance vulnerability and openness skillfully and sanely

Investigate and practice the process of inquiry as used within the MBI classroom



Mindfulness in the workplace – discussions and review 

Contributions from Philippe GoldinMichael ChaskalsonRon Purser, Chris Tamdjidi and Ruth Passman. Chair - Steven Stanley. Discussant - Philippe Goldin. Hosted by Sharon Grace Hadley

This series of presentations and open discussion is intended to review mindfulness based interventions being offered in the workplace.  The diverse opinions of the panel will reflect on the types of interventions being offered and hear case studies of where mindfulness has been successfully integrated into organisations.  We will also consider the ‘McMindfulness’ debate and discuss organisational culture following the introduction of mindfulness. 

Questions up for debate:

What types of delivery are possible in the workplace? What research evidence is there?

Is a detachment from Buddhism context acceptable and/or necessary to introduce mindfulness to the corporate world? If so to what extent?

What impact is there on organisational; culture when mindfulness is taught to senior management?

How can organisations promote sustainability, ensuring training does not become a ‘one time only’ exposure with unrealistic expectations for change?

While we believe that there are many benefits related to introducing mindfulness in the workplace, are there any drawbacks for the individual or the organization

Is mindfulness training in the workplace cost effective as a proactive intervention to aid employee well-being? 

This range of panel presentation followed by Q&A sessions provides an opportunity for debate with input from those working and researching in the mindfulness workplace field.


Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting:  A Possibility for Transforming Intergenerational Patterns of Suffering?  with Nancy Bardacke

Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) is a childbirth education program designed to offer expectant parents the opportunity to learn the life skill of mindfulness for reducing stress during pregnancy, coping with pain and fear during childbirth and to have these skills in place for parenting mindfully from the moments of birth.  A formal adaptation of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, MBCP fully integrates the teaching of mindfulness into the current knowledge of the psychobiological processes of pregnancy, the physiology of childbirth, the psychobiological needs of the infant and individual and couple adjustment to parenting.  Expectant parents report that as they practice mindfulness they are able to live through this ordinary—and extraordinary-- transition in the adult life cycle with greater confidence, wisdom and joy.  The practice of mindfulness becomes a lifelong resource for parenting and living with greater awareness, kindness, connectedness and care.

 As a growing body of empirical evidence from both animal and human studies indicates, stress and negative mood during pregnancy are 1) risk factors for poor pregnancy and childbirth outcomes 2) a contributing factor in postpartum depression 3) related to less than optimal parent-infant attachment.  In addition, evidence continues to accumulate regarding the negative effects of prenatal and early infancy stress on the long term physical, emotional, cognitive and social development of babies and children. Stress also seems to have a significant role in setting the precursors for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression and addiction in adulthood.  Initial preliminary research regarding MBCP seems promising, showing a significant reduction in maternal depression during pregnancy that persisted postpartum and the continued use of formal and informal mindfulness practices for self-regulation, distress tolerance and greater attunement in parenting 1 to 3 years post-course.


At the conclusion of this workshop participants will:

~ understand the core elements of the MBCP program

~ experience the pain practices as taught in MBCP

~have an overview of the current research regarding MBCP



Bardacke, N. (2012). Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond. HarperCollins/ HarperOneBardacke, N., & Duncan, L. G. (2014).

Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting: Cultivating Inner Resources for the Transition to Parenthood and Beyond. In R. A. Baer (Ed.), Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and Applications. Academic Press, 213–237.

Duncan, L. G., & Bardacke, N. (2010). Mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting education:

Promoting family mindfulness during the perinatal period. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19, 190–202.


Mindfulness and compassion for pain and long-term health conditions  

with Vidyamala Burch, Sona Fricker and Gary Hennessey

“The Breathworks approach to Mindfulness-Based Pain Management (MBPM) is the most comprehensive, in-depth, scientifically up-to-date and user-friendly approach to learning the how of living with chronic pain and reclaiming one's life that I know of….I admire Vidyamala tremendously…her approach could save your life and give it back to you”

Jon Kabat-Zinn


Since 2001 Vidyamala Burch and her colleagues have been developing and refining ways to apply mindfulness and compassion to the intractable suffering that comes with pain and chronic illness. Their programme draws on best practice from MBSR/CT along with elements from the Pain Management field and what Vidyamala has learned from her personal experience of living with chronic spinal pain.

In this post-conference institute - led by the three co-founders of Breathworks - participants will have the opportunity to learn the theory behind the Breathworks programme as well as experience the practices and approaches. Throughout the day we will follow the progression of the Breathworks programme – from Breath Awareness and Body Scanning; through Mindfulness in Daily Life and Mindful Movement; to compassion practices that develop self-compassion towards one’s own suffering as well as compassion for others that suffer.

Participants will:

Become familiar with the structure and approach of the Breathworks programme.

Experience the Breathworks’ sequence of meditation practices.

Gain an understanding of how mindfulness and compassion helps those with chronic pain or other long-term health conditions.

In addition, mindfulness teachers will learn how to integrate the ideas and specific practices of MBPM into their teaching.