MBCr 8-week mindfulness based creativity course (Tuesday evenings Summer)
Tuesday, 2 May 2017 at 18:30 - Tuesday, 27 June 2017 at 21:00
Mindfulness Based Creativity (MBCr) is an 8-week group course exploring the relationship between mindfulness and creativity as a means of playfully enhancing wellbeing and getting in touch with living the life we always imagined.
More Curiosity than Fear*.
If you already have a creative pursuit and would like to bring more mindfulness into your practice then this course is for you. If the ‘C’ word (creativity) terrifies you this is exactly the course for you!
Our brand new MBCr course combines many of the elements of the more established 8-week MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) and MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) courses but includes components of playful creativity in each session as well. MBCr provides an exploration of mindfulness meditation and creative writing and drawing exercises over eight weekly classes. Each class includes guided meditations, group discussions and practical creative exercises led by two experienced facilitators in a warm, friendly atmosphere with a maximum of 14 participants.
Using Jon Kabat Zinn’s Attitudinal Foundations of mindfulness (also known as the 7 Pillars of Mindfulness) as our guide we will explore what having more curiosity than fear in our lives could look like, feel like and ultimately mean in our lives.
Writing and drawing exercises can help to address the fundamental reason many people don’t engage creatively, because of fear. How many of us experienced a time, often at school, when we were told we couldn’t draw, or write creatively? What impact did this have then? How does this belief possibly impact our lives more subtly now? Writing and drawing are basic elements that children do naturally, until they learn one way or another that they are no good, or not as good as others and so they stop writing or drawing other than for necessity. Give a young child a pen or pencil and they will instinctively make marks until fear becomes greater than curiosity and they stop. Through this course we encourage you to unlearn the habits of judging and saying to yourself, ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘it’s no good’ and to have a go. Fear can be very constricting and so we encourage a playful sense of fun and curiosity in each session.
In our technological age where many things can be achieved rapidly on a computer we can lose the skills of basic mark-making. Once people have left school they may no longer need to write with a pen or pencil and instead communicate by text or email. Yet by engaging with, and giving ourselves the opportunity to enjoy, the more physical activity of writing or drawing we are engaging and stimulating a different part of the brain. The physical act of writing or drawing can allow us to be fully immersed in the activity and engage in a subtle relationship with our materials and implements.
Week 1 – Beginner’s Mind
Week 2 – Non-judging
Week 3 – Acceptance
Week 4 – Patience
Week 5 – Trust
Week 6 – Letting Go
Week 7 – Non-striving
Week 8 – Beginner’s Mind
Who Can Attend
This course is suitable for beginners (to both mindfulness and/or creativity), as well as those wishing to refresh or deepen their mindfulness practice, or explore their creativity in a new way. We invite everyone to put aside their previous knowledge and experience (or lack of it!) and engage a Beginner’s Mind.
Participants may join for a variety of reasons; simply taking the time to prioritise their wellbeing, wishing to rekindle a past nourishing activity; facing a fear; or recognising the health benefits of engaging with creative pursuits.
‘We do not become artists (or writers). We came as artists. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are’ - Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Please note that MBCr is not designed to be a "quick fix", relaxation class or group therapy session. Nor is it simply a drawing or writing class. The goal will not be to have pristine and finished pieces of work to take home, but to use these playful exercises to engage in learning a valuable life skill offering many potential benefits. The development of this requires a personal commitment to attending all eight classes and developing regular meditation and creative practices at home. As each class builds on the preceding week, we would recommend that anyone who misses a class attends a "catch up session" – please see the FAQ below. We are happy to accommodate this in the case of illness etc., but regret that if more than two classes are missed you may not be able to finish the course. We therefore recommend carefully checking the course schedule below before reserving a place. Thank you.
This course will be taught over eight classes from 2nd May to 27th June (excluding a half-term break on 30th May). Each class will be between 2 and 2.5 hours long and will take place on Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 8.30/9.00pm.
The facilitators for this course are Dr. Lauri Bower and Clare Belbin.
Lauri has 30 years experience of mindfulness and meditation practice, and has been managing courses and retreats for 15 years. She joined the York MBSR team in 2012 and has recently completed her Ph.D. in Mindfulness. To date, over 200 people have completed mindfulness courses with Lauri. She has always engaged with creative pursuits in sewing, dressmaking, embroidery, calligraphy, jewellery and bookbinding and has more recently discovered how the practice of mindfulness informs her poetry writing. She regularly posts poems and her creative work to her blogs, Mindful Living http://lauribower.blogspot.co.uk/, and Creative Living http://bowerl.blogspot.co.uk/
Lauri’s own experience of fear overcoming curiosity was on an Art Foundation course. She had a good enough portfolio to get onto the course but in the middle of one life-drawing class the tutor explicitly said to her, ‘don’t draw! You can’t draw!’ And she spent many years believing this until she was fortunate enough to meet Clare who managed to teach her otherwise!
Clare has been fully committed to her practice of mindfulness for over ten years, enjoying the support of meditation groups in York and Kirkbymoorside; it is a central part of her life. Her practice transforms and enlivens everything she does and enabled her to work with the demands of a complex life managing a large shared household to benefit the needs of adults with special needs, alongside bringing up her own four children.
The exercises offered by Clare in the course are deeply rooted in her daily practice, which includes drawing and painting in the Helmsley Walled Garden. Clare studied Fine Art at Newcastle and completed her postgraduate degree at Edinburgh. She is the artist-in-residence at Helmsley Walled Garden and can often be found painting in the garden. Her work is a daily, animated study through the seasons - winter earth, first shoots, blossom, fruit and leaf fall. This constant change generates a natural curiosity for her to search for ever more fresh observation. www.clarebelbin.com
Frequently Asked Questions...
What creative aspects are covered on the course?
Creativity can take many different forms, including how we build a home, cook a meal, or create an atmosphere where people feel relaxed. For the purposes of the course these are specifically writing and drawing as we consider these to be the solid foundations upon which to build creativity into all areas of our lives. All creativity involves an openness to what is in front of us, noticing what is present which is why we use the term ‘more curiosity than fear’.
What if I miss a class?
We are happy to provide catch up sessions for delegates who miss a class. Catch ups are usually provided on a one-to-one basis with one of the course instructors and take 30 minutes to complete. There is a nominal charge of £15 for this service.
Is there disabled access to the venue?
The venue is accessible. There is a temporary ramp available to place over the threshold, allowing access for a wheelchair. Please let us know in advance if this is required.
What further information will I receive?
All our delegates receive "Joining Advice" one week before their course commences. This email will include information on the class schedule, venue and facilities, and a link to our "pre-course questionnaire" which we would be grateful if you could complete before the course commences.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you decide to cancel your place on this course, we will refund...
- Your full course fee, minus a £20 administration charge, if we receive notice from you at least 7 days before the 1st class
- 75% of your course fee if notice is given before the 2nd class
- 50% of your course fee if notice is given before the 3rd class
- No refunds will be issued after the 3rd class
In the case that the course is cancelled by York MBSR, all course fees will be refunded in full.
I am considering training to teach mindfulness, will an MBCr course enable me to do this?
No, you would need to take an 8-week MBSR course or MBCT course (if you suffer personally with depression) instead. Please have a look at the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Organisations which gives guidance on good practice and teacher training organisations within the UK. An 8-week MBSR/MBCT course is generally considered a good starting point and often a pre-requisite to attending teaching training. If you are looking to follow a particular training route it is worth checking any stipulated pre-requisites.
* Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear.
Save This Event
When & Where
The Northern Centre for Mindfulness and Compassion
The Northern Centre for Mindfulness and Compassion offer a range of courses and events for individuals, healthcare professionals, schools and organisations centred on the practice of mindfulness meditation.