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Mindfulness workshops have been organised at the university for the last three years with a more than satisfactory result. Students, lecturers and administration staff have taken part in them. The motivation of each participant for taking part in these workshops has been different: receiving credits, curiosity of a millennial activity that is in fashion, searching for balance between mind and body, improving their state of mental health... On this page, we would like to provide information about Mindfulness, both for people who have never tried it before, and for those who have previously taken part in a course and wish to deepen what they have learned.

Chica relajada en un prado

What does ‘Mindfulness’ mean?

Mindfulness has been translated into Spanish in different ways: Full Attention, Full Awareness and Full Presence/Open Mind among others. The most widely used translation nowadays is “Full Attention”.

The word ‘Mindfulness’ is one of the first translations that was made from the word “sati” in Pali, a vernacular language similar to Sanskrit that was spoken 2500 years ago. Sati is the nominalisation of the verb “sarati”, which means remember or recall. Recall is bringing to the present. Sati or Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be in the present and to “recall ourselves” as being in the present, that is to say, constantly returning to the here and now.

We cannot live without the ability to be in the present: it is that which allows us to remember where we’re going while walking, even though we get lost in thousands of thoughts on the way. Without Mindfulness, it would be impossible to be able to observe and learn from our own experiences and live in this world. Although we have control over our attention, what normally happens is that we are constantly paying attention to thoughts of the past and future, which means we are only recognising a small part of what is happening in the present.


Mindfulness allows us to recognise what is happening as it happens, actively accepting the flow of the experience exactly the way it is. Therefore, although we experience something unpleasant (what is, by the way, something unavoidable while we live), we will be able to save ourselves the added suffering of trying to make the unpleasantness disappear. Being alone with what we experience without adding suffering is the practice that Mindfulness allows.

Although Mindfulness is commonly associated with Buddhism, many of the religious traditions of the world use Mindfulness in an implicit or explicit way, because it is a basic and human skill for connecting with the present.

Mindfulness o Mente llena

A scientifically proven way of reducing stress

During the last 30 years, the practice of Mindfulness is integrating itself into Western Medicine and Psychology. It has been scientifically studied, and therefore recognised as an effective way of reducing stress, raising self-consciousness, reducing the physical and psychological symptoms associated with stress and improving general well-being.

Mindfulness means paying attention to the experience of the present moment with interest, curiosity and acceptance in a conscious way.

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn, known globally for having introduced this practice to the Western medical model, founded the Centre for Mindfulness in the Medical School of the University of Massachusetts. There he introduced the patients to the practice of Mindfulness to treat physical and psychological problems, long-term pain and other symptoms associated with stress, obtaining very positive results.


Paying attention to the present moment in an intentional way, without judging
 

Jon Kabat-Zinn defines Mindfulness as such: “This type of attention allows us to learn to relate in a direct way to what is happening in our lives, here and now, in the present moment. In contrast to a life in which we don’t pay attention, in which we find ourselves more worried about what has happened or what still hasn’t happened, what leads us to neglect, obscurity and isolation.”

Mindfulness helps us to recover our internal balance, comprehensively assisting the aspects of the person: body, mind and spirit. By practising Mindfulness, we develop a greater capacity of discernment and sympathy. The practice of this attention opens the door to new possibilities; it brings us the here and now, inviting us to live life to the full, in the present.

Cartel y flechas señalando la dirección del ahora, mañana y ayer

Our workhops

- Getafe Campus: from 12th February to 15th Abril  2020

- Colmenarejo Campus: from 11th February to 14 th Abril 2020

 

Instructor:   Elena Villalba

Consultant in Transpersonal Mindfulness. Professional in the field of individual and group therapeutic support. Trained in Mindfulness, Transpersonal Therapy, Body Psychotherapy, Authentic Movement and Process Work. He develops spaces for personal growth since 2008. For 8 years he has participated in the growth and development of the Spanish School of Transpersonal Development.

Recommendations

 

As a current cinematographic recommendation, we suggest watching the documentary Camina conmigo (Walk with me). Directed by Marc Francis and Max Pugh, it travels to the origins of “mindfulness” through the lessons of the master and spiritual leader, Thich Nhat Hanh, known internationally for being one of those introducing this technique to the West.