The September mindfulness week
Our intention is to provide an environment throughout the week that is conducive to developing and maintaining a robust practice of mindfulness. We will start and end each day with a series of formal (sitting) meditation sessions and will offer a daily programme of mindfulness-based activities, including mindful walking, mindful awareness of the environment, mindful eating, moving and mindful talking. Overall, we will aim towards a total each day of around 6 hours of meditation and properly structured mindful activities. The rest of the time participants will be free to let go, relax and do their own thing.
Each day (weather permitting) we will spend some hours walking and meditating in the mountains and surrounding countryside. The walking will be less strenuous and less physically demanding than those on our “walk and talk” weeks. So there is less need for participants to be very physically fit (see eligibility criteria below).
We will provide all meals during the week. The meals we provide will be exclusively vegetarian (and mainly vegan). Please contact us in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.
We will provide a variety of teas and coffee free of charge. You are welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic drinks. However, we do ask that you do not drink alcohol during the week (with the exception of the final evening—during which we will relax this rule.)
in the French Pyrenees
For people who stutter
We have planned the week in such a way that it is especially well adapted for people who have taken courses in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and/or various forms of Buddhist mindfulness training.
If you would like to know more about mindfulness and how it can be relevant to stuttering, you may find this article by Paul Brocklehurst about Mindfulness and Stuttering helpful.
For a general introduction, try the book: Mindfulness—a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world By Mark Williams and Danny Penman (this book is based on the contents of the 8-week “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” course pioneered by Kabat-Zinn. It also comes with a CD filled with guided meditation practices).
Prior to enrolling on this week, participants must already have a clear idea of what mindfulness is and must have already had some practical experience of mindfulness-based meditation. Each day some (but not all) of the meditations will be guided. Importantly, participants should be able (and willing) to sit still for at least 30 minutes at a time.
Although you are completely free to choose which sessions you attend, we do ask that you take the practices seriously and that you remain disciplined throughout the various meditations and mindful activities that you take part in. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or require further details.
The walks will be slower and easier than on our “walk and talk” week. We stick to well defined paths and there is no climbing involved. Nevertheless, these mountain environments can be dangerous and accidents can and sometimes do occur. So participants must be relatively fit, accustomed to walking on rough (and sometimes slippery) paths and, in particular, must be able to walk up and down hills. Depending on the weather and people’s abilities, we aim to spend between 2 and 4 hours walking each day (excluding breaks for lunch etc.). More specifically, we plan to do 4 shorter walks and 2 longer walks. The longer walks will involve ascents and/or descents of up to 500 metres, up to an altitude of 2000 metres. Contact us if you need more details.
Important…Please ensure that you have adequately considered your medical and travel insurance needs before beginning a mindfulness week. You may wish to get a trekking/hiking insurance policy that covers you for mountain rescue and/or emergency medical attention. The cost is currently around £42 for the week (depending on your age and state of health). There are many companies that supply such insurance. Previous participants have used The British Mountaineering Council