Mindfulness for Emotional Well-Being
This course is ONLINE
This course is a deep dive into the often-murky world of our emotions. Research shows that emotional diversity and regulation are essential for our wellbeing. We all want to live full, enriching lives. We all want to flourish and thrive. Yet fear of our emotional life and of strong and difficult emotions can limit us and leave us with feelings of guilt and shame for our natural, human responses to the challenges in our lives and the world we live in. We ‘add on’ layers of judgment and self-criticism, adding misery to an already difficult experience. We may even conclude that we are not very mindful if we experience what we see as negative emotion. In this course, we will combine ancient contemplative and modern scientific methods to navigate our emotional landscape, allowing us to access our full range of emotions and come to a place of balance and regulation :
“Emotions are challenging, and they need to be navigated with care, but our rich diet of emotions allows us to engage with others and to enjoy our world”. Dacher Keltner, Founder of the Greater Good Science Centre.
One of the central pillars of mindfulness is Mindfulness of Feelings. At the heart of this practice is the recognition that emotions are part of the richness of human experience. Rather than trying to control or resist them, we can learn how to have a wiser relationship with them and even become friends with them. We can’t be selective with our emotional landscape – selectively numbing the ones we don’t want to feel, that we think of as negative – and still feel the fullness of the positive emotions. If we try to do this, we just end up dulling our capacity for joy and love and happiness as well. As Jack Kornfield says, “Joy and sorrow are woven together. You can’t have one without the other.” Emodiversity relates to the variety and relative abundance of emotions experienced. Psychologists say that people who exhibit emodiversity are better able to regulate themselves, suffer less from exhaustion, and have enjoy better health. Alan Cohen’s map of emotions contains 27 different emotional responses with many different levels, and we will explore this during our time together.
Compassion based Mindfulness allows us to be present with emotions as they arise, and to respond to them with acceptance and care. The practice of RAIN allows us to investigate our emotional life and as we become more comfortable with and attuned to our emotions, we may discover that “even in the moment when you experience the most destructive emotion, such as rage, if you can penetrate to its essence, you find tremendous space and energy, luminosity”. Ponlop Rinpoche. We will discover that even negative emotions contain their own wisdom and energy and through our practice, we can transmute this energy into something positive – turning what may seem to be poison into medicine.
During this course, we will explore emotions from the perspective of modern neuroscience. We will look at the ground-breaking work of Neuroscientist Dr Jill Bolte Taylor whose research has shown that “when a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop”. We will discover how mindfulness can take us out of that emotional loop of reactivity and bring us into a place of balance and equanimity. We can come to a place where our emotional life can be guided by reason, and we can let our emotions be a guiding light for that reason -setting us free to live full, rich, and rewarding lives.
“Can we find a place in the middle, where one is neither overcome by emotion nor repressing emotional states? That is a place of discovery, exploration, and enrichment”. Sharon Salzberg
Time: 7 pm – 9 pm
Dates: Thursday 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th October
Duration: 4 weeks
About The Facilitator
- Joan Flannelly is the founding teacher of Heart Space, a meditation centre based in the West of Ireland.
- Joan is a tutor on The Sanctuary’s Teacher Training programme and also teaches on The Sanctuary’s Level 2 – Responding with Compassion, the Art of Compassion and the Caring for the Caregivers programme.
- Joan has been inspired to teach through the incredible changes she experienced in her own life through the practice of mindfulness.
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