The Chaplaincy offers a variety of wellbeing activities, which are all supported by substantial research studies indicating that they are likely to improve mental health and wellbeing, offering us peace and contentment. Our main activity in this area is mindfulness, led by Dr Kitty Wheater, Mindfulness Chaplain, and our Edinburgh University Mindfulness Initiative (EUMI) Team members.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness refers to ‘kind awareness’. It is about living fully in the present moment. This means paying deliberate attention to what you are doing, as you are actually doing it, with deep acceptance and kindness.
Mindfulness increases your moment-to-moment awareness so that you can notice and choose skilfully. This enables the individual to respond creatively to life and work challenges. Mindfulness training offers an excellent foundation for understanding and practicing mindfulness and kindness meditation in a direct practical way. It can offer insight for many in cultivating a different kind of relationship with oneself and others and enhance your experience of living and being.
Mindfulness at Chaplaincy:
We have offered Mindfulness training at the Chaplaincy for over nine years. During these years, mindfulness has been an integral feature of the Chaplaincy’s service. We started with regular weekly drop-in’s which gradually gained interest and popularity from both students and staff members. As a result, the Chaplaincy began a Mindfulness Initiative across the University in 2014-15.
We offer regular weekly mindfulness drop-in sessions at the Vet school, Medical school, King's Building and also offer a systematic eight-week mindfulness training course for staff and students.
With the growing interest in mindfulness the University of Edinburgh, Chaplaincy has expanded the opportunities for students and staff to have access to well qualified systematic teaching and training in the meditative practice and lived experience of mindfulness and compassion. It sits within the Chaplaincy’s interest in experiential and academic approaches to well-being, compassion, and spirituality, to what heals in body, mind, and spirit.
Anyone at the University can benefit from mindfulness. In our student training sessions, we have had students coming from every school and discipline. In our staff training sessions, we have had professors and domestic staff sitting together.
The Chaplaincy offers various mindfulness courses, with the support of EUSA and with the help from the Student Experience Project (SEP). The SEP wanted to support the mindfulness initiative and build an evidence base for the future of mindfulness at the University. Evaluative research has been conducted on most of the courses over the last few years. The results are very favourable.
Mindfulness and compassion based living can really improve the quality of our life and transform the way we think, feel and relate to our experience of day to day living.
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