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Embarking on the Masters in Mindfulness Based Approaches with the CMRP at Bangor University has been a journey on many levels. I remember arriving in October 2012 in a room full of 40 plus other students enrolled on the Foundation module, unsure about what I'd let myself in for! The warmth and camaraderie I felt that first Friday evening set the tone for the next four years (…) the training is not just about gaining academic credits, the programme takes you on a journey to your heart (…) This Masters is like no other; yes you gain an academic qualification, but you walk away with so much more. Everyone should embark on this journey!

Mark Roberts, MSc student - see his full piece in our July 2016 Newsletter

In terms of my mindfulness training programmes, I chose university of Bangor as I felt they had a wide range of mindfulness programmes taught by experienced and excellent teachers. As a Mindfulness Project Lead and supervisor within the NHS setting, I needed different trainings to meet my personal and professional needs to work with clients from diverse backgrounds. In teaching mindfulness it was important for me to work with my identity so I could discover my own authenticity, authority and friendship. Each training programme has been designed with such care that it evokes participants’ curiosity to deepen the experience of enquiry and practice. In my experience, Bangor tries its best to connect with the wider community and there is an on-going dialogue in terms co-creation of projects and meeting the educational and training needs of the community.

Meera Bahu (Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher and Supervisor.)

Taking the masters programme at Bangor has been life-changing for me in more ways than one. Perhaps most significantly it has enabled me to deepen and develop my own mindfulness practice considerably, which in turn enables me to be steadier and more skilful throughout my life, work and relationships. It has also transformed my working life: I began teaching 8-week courses privately part-time alongside my employed job during my second year on the masters programme. This grew to the point where I was able to take the leap and become fully self-employed as a mindfulness teacher a couple of years later.

The rhythm of travelling up to Bangor five weekends a year really supported the learning for me. The camaraderie which evolved through shared travel, finding accommodation, getting to know where to eat (or not!) in Bangor was all part of the experience and provided a sense of being held in a larger group of mindfulness colleagues as we each found our way with the various elements of the programme.

I found the quality of teaching superb - it was both highly skilful and enormously kindly. In fact I generally found that the patient, kindly and non-judgemental attitudes implicit in mindfulness infused the whole culture of CMRP. Overall this made it a thoroughly life-enhancing and transformative experience which Id recommend wholeheartedly.

Ali Lambie (MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches)

Embarking upon a masters degree in mindfulness was an exciting yet trepidatious undertaking for me. I didn't go to university after school and so entering academia in my 40s filled me with a mixture of thoughts, feelings, and emotions, including self-doubt, uncertainty, and fear.

I''m sure many students experience this but from day one the energy and attitude of all the staff on the masters programme was warm and calm. I settled easily into the first weekend and as a wheelchair user I felt welcomed and included without any unnecessary fuss or awkwardness. Indeed, any specific considerations regarding access or participation in exercises etc. were handled sensitively and professionally and consequently there was never a problem.

It has been a pleasure to meet so many genuinely compassionate people at Bangor. The programme is run with great integrity and I'm proud to have gained a masters with them. It's so much more than an academic qualification and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Simon Barnes (MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches)

Doing the Master's Degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches has probably been the most enjoyable educational experience of my life.

The teachers are passionate about their work and lead with both a depth of personal experience and good humour. Having a structured period of some years to study the teaching of mindfulness is the perfect preparation, as it acts as a container in which I have time to grow and embody the practices I will be teaching.

Practicing and studying with such a diverse and inspiring group of people (staff and fellow students) has touched me deeply. I will always value the great friends and connections that I have made on this course.

Devin Ashwood (MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches)

I remember clearly at our very first day a sense of coming home: a place to combine my two passions, meditation and academic studies, both offered to the highest standards. I started with keen curiosity for deepening my practice and understanding, but without any clear objective of training to be a teacher. The supervision and support I received were superb, a wonderful teaching in themselves, and teaching mindfulness has become a great joy and practice.

The vocational training was strengthened considerably by the theoretical investigation of Mindfulness-Based programs, and particularly by writing essays to consolidate this understanding. Conducting research and writing my thesis were the culmination of all previous learning, with fantastic guidance from expert supervisors. Besides academic and vocational learning, the personal development involved in becoming a teacher really set this program apart, an aspect woven throughout all course modules, greatly enhanced by the high calibre and unstinting support of the tutors, most of whom have first-generation training alongside in-depth teaching and research experience.

Travelling to Bangor regularly was quite an undertaking, requiring commitment but richly rewarded, with the added bonus of joining a new community of fellow mindfulness teachers. All in all it has been a tremendous privilege to study at the CMRP, which has enriched my life beyond measure.

Eva Ruijgrok-Lupton(MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches)

As a long term meditator, who deeply understood the personal benefits, coming to the end of a mainstream IT management career I wanted to retrain to teach mindfulness. I realised it was going to be a huge challenge, and at the same time I wanted the best possible training. I had plenty of transferable skills from other education and training and from life experience, but I had done very little experiential teaching and not taught meditation.

Bangor University were willing to accept me, and I joined the Masters course at CMRP in 2013. Looking back over the three years, it has been a fascinating personal journey. There has been as much unlearning as there has been learning, and the shift from traditional didactic teaching skills to a more facilitative, experiential approach was slow and sometimes difficult for me, but I had some great and supportive teachers along the way and I have made many friends on the journey.

The experience has been transformative in other ways, and it has certainly deepened my understanding of meditation, mindfulness and myself. I now teach around West Yorkshire, in a range of settings from public courses to workplace. And the journey has not ended - rather it has just begun. Bangor was the right choice for me to start that journey - the staff and students have made it delightful and worthwhile, and the curriculum has stretched me and provided a good academic context as well as helping me develop my skills as a teacher.

Kenn Lunn (MA in Mindful