Mindfulness and Academia

Blue mortar boards

The study of mindfulness as an academic field is growing rapidly. Here, we survey one Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program, and offerings by some university campuses in Australia.


Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Online Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program

Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.
There are a handful of mindfulness teaching programs in North America, designed to train the next generation of secular meditation teachers as well as Insight meditation teachers from Buddhist-identified organisations like Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society. 

Additionally, for individuals interested in teaching mindfulness meditation in their own communities, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, two of the preeminent mindfulness and Insight meditation teachers in the West, offer a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, a two-year online training program in awareness and compassion-based practices. 

Their fourth cohort begins early next year. In addition to teachings and strategies from Jack and Tara, students are supported by over 70 teacher mentors as they are divided into small groups, guided by a qualified mindfulness meditation educator, to traverse the course together. 

The course started in 2014 as a live, online offering. Over breakfast one day, Jack and Tara were discussing the need for qualified teachers for the rising interest in mindfulness and meditation, especially where there is a need but little access. I asked Tara what participants of the program should expect. She replied: “Participants should know that there is a deep emphasis on ‘compassion in action’ throughout the program as well as a commitment to one’s own spiritual unfolding. We can only teach what we live ourselves.” After successful completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate from the Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.  

The program at a glance:

  • A two-year online program with weekly video lessons with associated readings and journal entries
  • Monthly mentorship group calls and peer group meetings of 6 students and 1 highly qualified mentor
  • Approximately 1,000-2,000 students in the 2023-2025 cohort
  • Full course tuition before savings is $8,700 USD

University of Western Australia
Mindfulness made simple

https://www.extension.uwa.edu.au/course/CCBF406
Mindfulness is both a Buddhist practice and a psychological therapy. It has gained great popularity in recent years, for good reason as it has many physical and psychological benefits.
Research now shows that mindfulness practices can help with many common maladies, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and pain management. Also, mindfulness activates the parasympathetic nervous system in the body, reducing tensions and promoting the body’s natural healing mechanisms. So it is good for your health! In this two week workshop Kate will introduce several mindfulness and meditation practices that you can explore and incorporate into your daily life. You will learn how to quickly relax your mind and body, pay attention to specific aspects of moment by moment awareness and easily shift focus from one activity to the next.

University of Western Australia
Project: Mindfulness in clinical psychology

https://www.uwa.edu.au/Projects/Mindfulness-in-clinical-psychology
Mindfulness practice has gained considerable regard in psychology with different mindfulness techniques designed to help people with anxiety, depression, bipolar etc. Although the empirical study of mindfulness has increased exponentially in the last decade, more research is needed to establish its efficacy with academic confidence.

This research will focus on the effects of mindfulness on emotional processing including: emotional reactivity emotional regulation; emotional awareness (alexithymia), in both in clinical and non-clinical samples.

Some of the proposed questions to address are:

  • how much mindfulness is enough? (Dosage effect)
  • isn’t mindfulness just a complex relaxation technique? (Agent of change)
  • would any mindfulness technique have the same effect? (Type of mindfulness)
  • is mindfulness for everyone? (Dispositional mindfulness)

University of South Australia
Mindfulness and Meditation

https://i.unisa.edu.au/students/student-support-services/wellbeing-at-unisa/skillstoboostyourhealthandwellbeing/mindfulness/
Mindfulness is a modern practice with roots in a number of ancient contemplative traditions, in particular meditation. To be mindful is to be intentionally aware of the present moment, allowing whatever arises to come and go without judgement.

When we consciously bring our awareness to our present moment experience without judgement, we learn to intimately connect with the richness of our daily life, loosen destructive thought patterns and increase our levels of personal wellbeing.

Research has shown that mindfulness is an effective technique to assist in stress reduction. It can also increase self-awareness, enhance general psychological health, increase concentration and decrease levels of depression and anxiety.
Mindful Living

A daily practice of mindfulness will help you stay calm, connected and concentrate on what matters. Form a mindfulness habit by allocating just ten minutes at the same time every day, for at least three weeks. Find or create a peaceful, quiet space where you will not be disturbed and make this your mindfulness zone. Start with these practices to ease yourself into a mindful state. Also use them whenever you need some calm and focu

University of South Australia
Mindfulness Practice Sessions

https://i.unisa.edu.au/students/student-support-services/counselling/on-campus-workshops/mindfulness-practice-sessions/
Join our mindfulness community and learn how to manage the stresses of daily life. When faced with uncomfortable changes and challenges, practicing mindfulness can give us control over how we adapt and respond.

Session details

Come along to one or more of our mindfulness practice sessions and experience different activities each week. Find yourself in the present moment through breathing practices, awareness meditations and attention-focusing activities.

Learn how to:

  • Manage your thoughts, feelings and study habits
  • Reduce study stress and the pressures of daily life
  • Improve your focus and concentration
  • Feel happier and more in control

University of Tasmania
Stress, Self-Care and Mindfulness PSY114

https://www.utas.edu.au/courses/chm/units/psy114-stress,-self-care-and-mindfulness

In this online unit you will learn about a range of contemporary approaches to managing stress and enhancing wellbeing which can be applied by individuals. As a foundation, you will learn about stress, coping, well-being and happiness, considering different models used in psychology to explain these concepts. Then you will explore the theory, evidence base, and practice of a range of approaches used to manage stress and enhance wellbeing within a self-care context. These approaches are grouped into three themes:
1. lifestyle (nutrition, physical activity, sleep, leisure and relaxation, social connections, digital health)
2. mindfulness (everyday mindfulness, formal mindfulness and meditation, compassion and self-compassion) and
3. positive psychology (gratitude, acts of kindness, character strengths, meaning, flow and creativity).

University of Tasmania
Stress, Self-Care and Mindfulness PSY214

https://www.utas.edu.au/courses/chm/units/psy214-stress,-self-care-and-mindfulness

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain key concepts relating to stress and psychological well-being.
  • Evaluate approaches to managing stress and enhancing well-being, referring to theory, evidence base and practice.
  • Apply techniques to manage stress and enhance well-being in a self-care context, and critically reflect on your experience.

Queensland University of Technology
Mindfulness at Work

https://cms.qut.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/933362/VIRTUAL-FLYER-Mindfulness-at-Work.pdf

Mindfulness at Work
Overcome challenges, revitalise wellbeing, and improve performance and leadership with mindfulness. The use of mindfulness in the workplace is growing. With large, forwarding-thinking companies like SAP and Google teaching and encouraging mindful practices amongst their employees. What are these practices, and how can you use this approach to navigate business environments?

Core concepts
This one-day workshop covers a range of topics, including:

  • What is mindfulness?
  • Why is mindfulness attracting so much attention in organisations like Google, SAP, Medtronics and Intel?
  • The neuroscience of mindfulness.
  • How mindfulness relates to emotional intelligence.
  • Use of technology to support mindfulness practice.
  • How to embed mindfulness into an organisation.
  • Participants will get the opportunity to practice several different approaches to mindfulness

University of Sydney
Centre for Continuing Education
Mindfulness Course

https://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/MIND

We live in an increasingly busy world. With the speed of technology, our lives are moving at a rapid pace. However, with this speed there is sometimes an increase in stress or anxiety. Ironically, we need to learn how to slow things down.

This course will teach you how to live more mindfully. That is, how to enjoy the present moment, free from stress or worry. This course is particularly relevant for those juggling busy careers and lives in general.
Aims

This course aims to teach you how to ‘disconnect’ from the chaos of life and ‘reconnect’ with yourself. You will learn how to slow things down through choosing to live mindfully and be given tools that can be applied for stress-free living.
Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • investigate the nature of the human mind & the importance of training our brains
  • increase awareness of your daily routine and learn how to come off ‘autopilot’
  • strengthen your capacity to manage stress
  • identify why mindfulness meditation works (looking at the neuroscience)
  • enjoy an increased sense of wellbeing and balance
  • develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’
  • develop a greater sense of connection, meaning and purpose.

Read more


Swinburne University
Resilience, Stress Management and Mindfulness

https://www.swinburne.edu.au/study/course/international/stress-resilience-and-work-life-balance-concepts/
This essential short course for professionals teaches the fundamentals of how to build resilience, manage stress and practice mindfulness at work. You’ll learn supportive and practical tools to cope with the pressures of the modern workplace and take care of your mental wellbeing so you can lead and perform at your best.

In a world where occupational stress in on the rise, we’re constantly told to become more resilient. But how do you actually do it?

This resilience and mindfulness training course will introduce you to new skills, tips and exercises to manage and self-regulate feelings and emotions at work. You’ll gain an awareness of your mindset and internal questions and learn helpful ways to shift negative thinking and relax at work. You’ll understand the impact stress has on body and mind so you can identify it in yourself and others.

The benefits of applying these tools and practices at work include feeling greater resilience, reduced stress, improved concentration, increased productivity and a greater ability to manage interpersonal conflict. You’ll leave the course feeling more in control of your stress levels at work, and better equipped to manage whatever your professional or personal life throws at you.

Who should attend?

This short course is for anyone wanting to learn effective tools and techniques to improve resilience, manage stress and practice mindfulness in the workplace.

Swinburne University
Weekly Mindfulness Class

(for students) https://studentlife.swinburne.edu.au/Events/bemindful


University of Melbourne
Micro Certificate
Mindfulness in Clinical Practice

https://study.unimelb.edu.au/find/microcredentials/mindfulness-in-clinical-practice/

In a world filled with uncertainty, mindfulness is an increasingly sought-after treatment. It’s crucial that practitioners are drawing on an evidence base.

This course is ideal for health practitioners across a range of settings – including allied, clinical and educational – seeking the skills and confidence to offer clinical mindfulness practices to clients or patients and ensure their knowledge is backed by the latest research.

Learning is aligned with industry standards and registration frameworks of groups including the Australian Psychology Society and the Australian Clinical Psychology Association.
Explore clinical mindfulness techniques, applications and research

Gain a strong grounding in mindfulness and clinical mindfulness techniques and applications, and explore their efficacy. Integrate and understand theoretical and practical aspects of mindfulness, its benefits, and its relationship to research.
Understand how mindfulness influences behaviour change

Develop your understanding of how clinical mindfulness relates to client self-knowledge, wellbeing and behaviour change. Draw on research and evidence to decide when it’s appropriate to use mindfulness as an intervention to support mental health.

University of Melbourne
Contemplative Studies Centre

https://psychologicalsciences.unimelb.edu.au/CSC
About

Amid the action and distraction that fill everyday life, contemplative practices help to provide insight and connection into who we are, who we want to be, and what is most meaningful to us. With foundations in introspection, connection and awareness, contemplative practices help individuals to achieve a quieting of the mind, realisation of what it is to be human, and aid in the development of a more balanced and ethical life. These profound practices have the potential to transform not just individuals but the entirety of human society, through greater connection.

We work with interdisciplinary collaborators across the University of Melbourne, in the community, and worldwide to develop, deliver, support and promote innovative and authentic contemplative study. Our model is based on a strong research program foundation, which drives our interconnected education, engagement and practice programs:

Research

The Centre  facilitates and fosters truly interdisciplinary, evidence-based research into contemplative practice and methodology. The Centre  facilitates evaluation of the best ways to learn, practise, and understand contemplative concepts and ideas.

Education

The Centre  develops and leads the delivery of outstanding education and lifelong learning to encourage the pursuit of knowledge for the wellbeing and flourishing of society.

Practice

The Centre  supports diverse communities to attempt, learn about, and sustain a meditation practice through free guided meditation sessions presented by expert teachers from varied spiritual, faith, Indigenous and secular traditions. Offerings are available for beginner, intermediate and advanced meditators.

Engagement

The Centre  delivers a world-class engagement program and forum for the transfer of knowledge, new ideas and discussion, and provides a space for interdisciplinary discussion of traditional, contemporary, and academic/scientific understanding of contemplative practice and experiences.

 

The Meditating Monk

 


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