The Art of Mindfulness

ABOUT THE ART OF MINDFULNESS

The Art of Mindfulness is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring Mindfulness in everyday life through a creative program of courses, workshops, live events and other artistic projects.

Mindfulness (present moment awareness) has been scientifically proven to enhance brain function, improve performance and promote overall health and wellbeing. 

We’re the umbrella project for all things Arts and Mindfulness - exploring the relationship between Mindfulness, Creativity and the Arts.

SECULAR MINDFULNESS TRAINING

Our secular training is suitable for all levels from complete beginners to more advanced practitioners.

Mindfulness Evening Courses (5-weeks, Tuesday evenings)

A five-week evening course designed to help you find your own way to a rewarding practice - a powerful combination of practical exercises, brain science, psychology, meditations and discussion.

  • Gain insight into how your brain really works
  • Explore Mindfulness from multiple angles including science and martial arts
  • Create more space in your mind for new ideas
  • Discover pioneering mind-body techniques to help you easily integrate Mindfulness into daily life

Suitable for all levels.

The Trainer

Dr. Tamara Russell, PHD, D.CLIN PSYCH, is a neuroscientist, author, clinical psychologist and leading Mindfulness trainer. More about Tamara

 

Mindful Movement Workshop

In this insightful and energizing 4-hour workshop you will learn how to tap into your brain’s neural circuits in a new and profound way, helping you to achieve an alert mind in a relaxed body – the optimum state of being.

A unique blend of Mindfulness, martial arts practices and neuroscience, this workshop explores the fascinating links between Mindfulness, movement and the brain. It includes a mix of theoretical knowledge and pioneering movement meditations. Discover how to:

  • Practice Mindfulness anytime, anywhere
  • Master your own mind through movement

Suitable for all levels. Perfect for busy people; those who struggle with the more traditional seated meditations; or those looking to deepen their existing practice through movement.

The Trainer

Dr. Tamara Russell, PHD, D.CLIN PSYCH, is a neuroscientist, author, clinical psychologist and leading Mindfulness trainer. More about Tamara

Mindfulness Workshops

Mindfulness workshops focus on specific aspects of Mindfulness practice including: Mind Wandering, Mindfulness and Creativity, Mindfulness at Work, and Mindful Movement. They usually take place over several hours and can be tailored to your individual needs.

 

Graduate Webinars and Meet Ups

We offer online and offline practice sessions for all our graduates.

What is the Art of Mindfulness? (2 hour talk & Q/A)

A fascinating introduction to modern Mindfulness with neuroscientist and leading expert Dr. Tamara Russell as she asks: What is The Art of Mindfulness - and how can it benefit us in everyday life?

This insightful 2-hour session will explore Mindfulness from the multiple perspectives of Neuroscience, History, Psychology and Martial Arts, and will include:

  • An overview of Mindfulness within contemporary Western society
  • Some practical guided exercises and techniques
  • An outline of the 5-main principles of Mindfulness
  • Audience Q/A with a leading Mindfulness expert

This is your chance to ask a leading expert all the questions you ever wanted to ask about The Art of Mindfulness in everyday life.

The Speaker

Dr. Tamara Russell, PHD, D.CLIN PSYCH, is a neuroscientist, author, clinical psychologist and leading Mindfulness trainer. More about Tamara

Mind Wandering Workshop: Not All Mind Wandering is Lost

In this insightful 4-hour workshop, you will learn how to train and fine-tune your brain's attention networks, helping you to better manage your own mind wandering capacity.

Drawing on the latest neuroscience research, the workshop is a creative exploration of mind wandering, its benefits and costs. It includes a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical exercises.

  • Understand the difference between positive and negative mind wandering
  • Spot the subtleties of mind wandering more quickly
  • Get less distracted
  • Focus the mind more quickly
  • Improve clarity of thought
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve your concentration
  • Create more space for creative thinking
  • Increase working memory

Suitable for people with some experience of Mindfulness training or Meditation looking to enhance the quality of their practice.

The Trainer

Dr. Tamara Russell, PHD, D.CLIN PSYCH, is a neuroscientist, author, clinical psychologist and leading Mindfulness trainer. More about Tamara

The Trainer

Dr. Tamara Russell is a neuroscientist, author, clinical psychologist, martial arts expert and leading Mindfulness trainer. She has helped people all around the world transform their lives using her groundbreaking Mindfulness techniques. 

Tamara works as an academic, clinician and consultant – teaching groups and individuals in the public and private sector. Her clients include NHS trusts, arts organizations, professional athletes, businesses, teachers, artists, lawyers, journalists, parents and students.

Tamara is also involved in international research investigating how Mindfulness changes the structure of the brain. She lectures in Neuroscience and Mindfulness at Kings College London, has been in dialogue with his Holiness the Dalai Lama, and speaks regularly on Mindfulness around the globe, appearing both on stage and radio. Her forthcoming book, ‘Mindfulness in Motion’, is due out in 2015.

Read more about Tamara in her interview with Run Riot Magazine here.

Trainer in action

  • Tamara Russell leads a Mindfulness session on Barbican stage as part of Wonder: Art and Science on the Brain. 8th April 2013. – 7:34 min
  • Tamara Russell on BBC Radio Four program Brain Culture: Neuroscience and Society, talking about Mindfulness – 22 min in
  • Tamara Russell’s dialogue about the Clinical Applications of Mindfulness with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Sao Paulo, Brasil. – 5:21 min

More about mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of present moment awareness. It is about deliberately paying attention to the reality of our moment-by-moment experience; experiencing life directly, as it unfolds.

Our over-active minds, unlike our bodies, are rarely in the present moment. More often than not, we are consumed by the past or worrying about the future - both major energy zappers. Mindfulness trains our minds to be calm, focused and still. But far from dulling our senses or emptying us of thoughts, it actually wakes us up! We stop wasting our lives away on automatic pilot, eventually gaining mastery over habitual patterns of thinking and behaviour that are holding us back. As we allow our mind to rest in its natural state, we free up valuable brain energy, creating space for new ideas.

When we bring full conscious awareness to all the subtle sensations of our bodies and minds, amazing changes begin to take place within us. We learn that we can’t change our external world, but we can transform our relationship to it. We begin to appreciate more - reconnecting deeply to the beauty, joy and wonder of life.

Mindfulness gives us more time and space in our lives for the people and things that matter most. It is a beautifully simple, yet profoundly powerful way of being.

Mindfulness is for anyone and everyone who wants to get the most out of life. It is now practiced by all kinds of people, from top executives at Apple and Google to Olympic athletes, artists, the US Marine Corps and even members of our UK Parliament!

Mindfulness is described in many different ways nowadays – anything from a performance enhancer, a form of brain training or stress management tool, to an ancient spiritual practice. In truth, it is all these things and more. Though its origins lie in ancient eastern traditions, it began to attract the interest of western scientists over 40 years ago, and the practice has now been adapted to suit our modern secular lifestyles.

Not only is Mindfulness an incredible life skill, it is also a profoundly personal experience that means many different things to different people. So whether you want the practice to help you be a better leader - to improve the quality of your relationships - or to guide you on the path to spiritual enlightenment, you find the entry point that works for you. It really doesn’t matter what beliefs or philosophy on life you hold, the practice will take you where you need to go.

There is now a list of scientifically proven benefits to be gained from regular Mindfulness practice, enhancing brain function and promoting overall health and wellbeing:

  • Clarity of thought
  • Improves concentration
  • Enhances creativity
  • Heightens self-awareness
  • Improves memory
  • Increases emotional intelligence
  • Improves mood
  • Improves focus & attention
  • Increases compassion
  • Relieves stress & anxiety
  • Relieves depression
  • Promotes self-acceptance
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves emotional resilience
  • Reduces pain
  • Increases reaction speed
  • Improves sleep

Neuroscience studies have also proved that Mindfulness training can change the structure and function of our brains in as little as six weeks - increasing the thickness of the pre-frontal cortex region (areas responsible for attention & emotion); changing the way our amygdala responds (area activated when we are stressed and fearful), and preventing age-related decline in cognitive functioning.

So not only does Mindfulness help us feel more creative, connected, productive and energized, it also helps us cope better with the stresses and strains of modern living - a total rejuvenation for body and mind.

Mindfulness helps us cope more skillfully with a whole range of life issues from relationship and family problems to work-related stress. It is a very effective way of managing difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions, and can be particularly useful for dealing with distressing states such as OCD, addictions, anger, alcoholism, sleep problems, binge eating, panic attacks, anxiety and depression.

So can Mindfulness really do all this stuff? Yes it can. It’s all about where you are at in your life right now - what you need - and how you choose to apply the practice in your daily life. Everyone’s experience is unique. You simply have to give it a go.

Mindfulness is a skill. And just like learning to paint, dance, or play a new instrument - our ability improves with training and practice. So for most people, a course with an experienced teacher is the best way to get started.

A course can also provide a much-needed booster along the way, motivating us to keep going if the habit has lapsed, or helping us deepen our practice when the time is right.

Mindfulness training gives us choice and mastery over our mind state, so we can learn to connect more reliably to our best self. And whilst some people are naturally more mindful than others, absolutely everyone can improve with regular training and practice.

Mindfulness is the practice of awareness. It is less of a technique, and more a way of being. We can develop the art of Mindfulness by training in meditation, since focusing on the breath and body helps anchor us to the present moment. However, with Mindfulness, we are not seeking to empty the mind of thought, but simply to be aware of what the mind actually does. Many every-day experiences can be used as the training object when developing Mindfulness e.g. walking, eating, brushing our teeth, or even standing in a bus queue!

Course FAQs

It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to connect to Mindfulness practice. There are many different types of training and techniques, so you must find the path that’s right for you.

This course is entirely secular. It is a pioneering approach to Mindfulness that takes it off the cushion and into the real world, challenging the conventional theory that you have to be sitting still or lying down to meditate. You will learn to practice Mindfulness anytime and anywhere, without the need for any special devices, recordings, quiet space or a dedicated practice time (often between 30 – 40 minutes a day on other courses).

The training framework is built around the classic definition of Mindfulness provided by the founder of modern Mindfulness Jon Kabat Zinn: ‘The awareness that arises out of paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non- judgmentally, ‘ and is based on 5 main principles of Mindfulness: PAUSE (slowing down), INTENTION, ATTENTION, INSIGHT (Understanding Me) and COMPASSION.

The course offers multiple entry points to Mindfulness, exploring the practice through neuroscience, the moving body and psychological theory. Although slightly shorter in length than many of the more traditional 8-week programs, the groundbreaking exercises and techniques allow for a deeper and more accelerated learning experience.

You will get the most benefit from the course if you attend all five sessions. However, if you are not able to attend all the dates, we will try to accommodate this. If you can do less than three sessions, and are likely to miss the first one, then it is possible that you will not get the most out of the training. Please talk to the course tutor before commencing the course.

This is not a fitness class. Some slow gentle movements (both seated and standing) are used throughout the training to illustrate key teaching and learning points. All of these movements can be adapted to accommodate any injuries or physical limitations. Please ask the tutor if you are unsure.

Some sessions may include some very gentle movement based exercises, so it is advisable to wear something comfortable and reasonably loose fitting. No need for gym kits or yoga pants though.

The course room will be available from 6pm, so please try to arrive by 6.15 so that we can start promptly at 6.30. Each weekly session is from 6.30 to 9pm.

Yes, there will be a short break during the evening. You are welcome to bring any drinks or snacks with you into the sessions.

Participants are encouraged to share their experiences with the group, but there is absolutely no pressure to do so.

Dr. Russell’s approach inspires informal practice techniques that easily slot into a busy lifestyle. However, you will be encouraged to experiment with the material between sessions, exploring body and mind awareness in your daily life. Nothing is compulsory, so just practice as much as you feel able.

Yes, it is suitable for complete beginners and more advanced practitioners, including those who have already completed traditional MBSR or MBCT programs or other Mindfulness / Meditation courses. It is for anyone who would like to fully experience the benefits of Mindfulness in their everyday life.

We really do believe everyone can benefit from Mindfulness, whether you have a specific problem in your life or not. However, if you are currently going through a major life change such as a recent bereavement, this may not be quite the right training environment for you. In the event of exceptional life circumstances, our tutor may advise you to attend a parallel course more suited to your personal needs. Please do let us know if you have any questions or concerns, and we will put you in touch with our course tutor.

No, this is first and foremost a Mindfulness course. However, some simple meditative techniques (e.g. mindfulness of the breath, mindfulness of sounds, mindful eating and mindful walking) may be used throughout the training to help us connect easily to the present moment.

No not at all. It is entirely secular. You can benefit from the course regardless of your religion or spiritual beliefs.

Yes. This is an alternative training approach that will revitalize your relationship to Mindfulness and meditation, complimenting any existing knowledge and techniques you may have. It is designed to fit in with your existing lifestyle, values and beliefs.

No. This is not group therapy, self-help or cognitive therapy. Mindfulness is not a cure all or fashionable quick fix - it’s a way of being. You will of course develop a far deeper understanding of your own body and mind, which will help you to make positive and lasting changes in your life.

Mindfulness is about process not content - understanding how minds work, and becoming more skilled at detecting our own subtle patterns of thinking and behaviour, rather than focusing on specific issues or problems. This course is not a substitute for professional medical help or counselling in any way, although it will certainly compliment any treatments you may be having.

Yes. You will be in extremely good hands. Dr. Tamara Russell is a highly experienced Mindfulness trainer and practicing clinical psychologist. She has conducted Mindfulness training in all sorts of settings including NHS Trusts, schools, prisons, and private corporations. Tamara is a member of the British Psychological Society and is registered under the Health Professionals Council.

Yes. You will receive guided audio recordings and a course booklet.

We are offering a number of concessionary rate places for the unemployed and students, available on a first come, first served basis. Please be prepared to provide proof of status on arrival.

Full payment will secure your place on the course. If you need to cancel, you can do so 4 weeks prior to the course starting date with a full refund. If you need to cancel within 2 weeks of the course starting, you receive 50% of your payment back.

Once you have commenced the course, there is no refund. If you need to withdraw for reasons beyond your control, every attempt will be made to accommodate you on the next available course

The Art of Mindfulness is a not-for-profit venture. Any profits generated through the project (beyond the costs of putting on the course), will be reinvested for the development of further courses. Our intention is to make Mindfulness training accessible to all, by offering subsidized places for as many people as possible.

Booking

  • Mindfulness Evening Courses (5-weeks, Tuesday evenings)

    A 5-week evening course designed to help you easily integrate Mindfulness practice into your daily life. More.

    Date & Time Group size Location Price Concessions ? We are offering a number of concessionary rate places for the unemployed and students, on a first come, first served basis.
    26 Jan - 23 Feb 6.30-9pm 16 Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3GA £250 £180 Book
  • Mindful Movement Workshop

    A 4-hour workshop exploring the fascinating links between Mindfulness, movement and the brain. More.

    Date & Time Group size Location Price Concessions ? We are offering a number of concessionary rate places for the unemployed and students, on a first come, first served basis.
    Sat 19 March 1-5pm 25 Anatomy Museum, Kings College, Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS £38 £25 Sold out

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