8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course with Dr Jo Gosling and Steve Banks.  Monday evenings 79pm, Chapel House Studios, Totnes, 30th May — 18th July 2022

The 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course is a wonderful gift to yourself, giving you an approach to living and a set of skills and practices that can transform your life. The course has been proven to reduce stress since it was first created in the 1970s. But it does far more than that. As we uncover and learn to transform the patterns of mind and heart that lead to stress, so we discover a way of living which is more true to who we really are, more true to the life we know is possible.

Just as a sailor cannot control the weather, so we are not in control of what life’s journey brings us: work problems, bereavement, people we find difficult, the ‘inner critic’… to name just a few. But a skilled sailor knows how to respond to changing weather conditions. With mindfulness we can respond skilfully — with agency and with kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others — to life’s changing ‘weather’.

Jo and Steve attended the wonderful Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) intensive retreat run by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. Jo went on to train as a MSC teacher.  Steve’s training with Mindfulness UK gave a central importance to compassion within Mindfulness. Jo and Steve’s MBSR course includes a strong emphasis on self-compassion as a core transformative component of Mindfulness. When we approach difficult experience or inner patterns with acceptance, kindness and compassion, it helps us to make peace with what is already here, and, paradoxically, it makes change more possible.

Wife and husband team Jo and Steve offer a great wealth of expertise and experience, both in Mindfulness, and in personal development more widely.

Jo has over 30 years’ experience in the NHS, initially as a Macmillan nurse in cancer care then, after gaining a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1996, as a Clinical Health Psychologist. She has a longstanding mindfulness practice and has undergone extensive training with teachers from Bangor and Exeter Universities. She has regular mentoring and attends silent meditation retreats to deepen her practice. As a freelance mindfulness teacher she has delivered numerous MBCT groups for people with recurrent depression at the Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter and been supervisor to trainee mindfulness teachers. A personal health crisis, combined with training to teach Mindful Self-Compassion (with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff) led to a change of direction in life and she is now at Plymouth College of Art studying an MA in Fine Art. A natural follow-on has been to combine the two areas of mindfulness and creativity, in the form of retreats and workshops: ‘Mindfulness and Creativity-Working from the Heart.’

Steve trained as a Mindfulness teacher with Mindfulness UK. He has been practising meditation since 1990 within the Buddhist tradition, and then adding the understandings from Ken Wilber’s powerful ‘Integral model’.  Applying Mindfulness has helped him enormously in his many years as a professional musician, both with the nerves which are part and parcel of live performance, and also in writing music: meditation is a fantastic practice for tapping into the well-spring of creativity. Steve’s ground-breaking major new choral composition, Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio is an expression of his personal psycho-spiritual journey and practice.  Steve is a qualified Psychosynthesis counsellor and has engaged in many forms of menswork over three decades, including co-leading transformative Rites Of Passages retreats for men. He leads workshops on Ken Wilber’s ‘Integral’ model and has presented several times at the Integral European Conference, the foremost gathering of Integral thinkers and practitioners.

Steve and Jo both also offer one-to-one coaching: Jo based on Mindfulness; Steve using Mindfulness and/or Psychosynthesis and the Integral model.

Practicalities and booking

8-week course 30.5.22—18.7.22. £185. Reduced rates available depending on circumstances.

Chapel House Studios, Station Road, Totnes, TQ9 5HW. If the Covid situation get worse, we will consider running the course online, so please get in touch if you are interested in the course, but concerned about Covid.

To book, email srb.123@virgin.net, or phone 01803 782219. There will be an assessment form to fill in, followed by a phone conversation with Jo or Steve to discuss what in particular brings you to the course at this time, and to make sure that the course is suitable for you.