Programme

Imagine acquiring a new sense of ease, resilience, and balance in only eight weeks.

Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate to what is going on in your life—the challenges and demands of living, whether you are alone, or in a couple, bringing up kids, taking care of elderly parents, struggling with deadlines, feeling bombarded at work, or juggling the mixed bag that comes your way. Or perhaps there is a physical complaint that persists despite attempted remedy, an illness you have to live with, with all the uncertainty that that entails, perhaps a sense of disenchantment, a feeling of being stuck.

Maybe you’ve been wondering lately about the meaning of your life?  The same old story of being asked to be more efficient and thus feeling even more exploited?  Or maybe you’re stuck in an difficult relationship and would like to get out, but because of young children, because of the mortgage, because you’re out of a job, it looks like mission impossible.

If stress affects you and you would like to learn how to calm down, sleep better, be less anxious, deal with physical pain better, get out of the rut of depressive thoughts, or you would simply like to regain a sense of well-being, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) may be of benefit to you, and even bring you unexpected rewards.

The MBSR course that I teach closely follows the syllabus developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts’ Medical School, with the main emphasis on the cultivation of Mindfulness, i.e., moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness.  The body movements derive from traditional hatha yoga and are adapted to each participant’s ability.

Because my first practicum as a psychologist was in neuropsychology in a psychiatric hospital, I am particularly interested by stress and trauma and the consequences on the body and the mind.  The human body’s stress response has basically remained unchanged despite the fact that stressors have altered hugely since our grandparents were alive, and even more so, since the time our ancestors were still hunter-gatherers on the savannah.  The stress response that got us out of tight spots back then can be potentially harmful today if turned on too often or for too long. In my MBSR course we take a close look at how chronic stress or repeated stress can potentially make you vulnerable to illness or increase the risks that you may fall ill.  What is incredible with us humans is that we can imagine all sorts of stressful events simply in our minds, triggering the stress response even when the cause is not even present. In my MBSR course you will learn how to catch yourself before you trip and fall yet again into this well-worn trap.  Or, if you do fall in, how to pick yourself up faster and be more aware the next time.  Perhaps not even fall in.

 

The 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course 

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course is made up of a course orientation, 8 sessions of 2 1/2 hours on Wednesday afternoons, plus one Saturday of intensive practice towards the end of the course.

  • One of the pathways to mindfulness is through the body: physical sensations. The body scan, first meditative practice that will be taught, focuses attention on one part of the body, exploring the whole body.  Then the breath.  Then sound.
  • You learn to cultivate a nonjudgmental attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance of the present-moment experience.
  • You become aware of what is unfolding in the present moment through awareness of the physical.
  • Gentle yoga movements enhance awareness of the mind-body experience, adapted to each participant’s ability.
  • Dyad or group exercises allow you to share your experiences as you go along, to pinpoint sources of stress in daily life and discern old patterns of reacting to stressful situations.
  • The buzzing mind settles by letting your thoughts simply be–observing as they crop up, not interfering with them, and allowing them to fade away…in their own good time.
  • How to apply mindfulness in the day-to-day, like eating with awareness, showering mindfully, waiting for your train, bus, tram with full awareness of your body’s sensations as you stand or sit, or by lending your attention to sound.
  • How stress can affect your body and mind, and how to be less vulnerable to stressors that you are well familiar with, as well as to those you encounter less often.  You learn about your old patterns of reacting; the conditioning that colors your perception.
  • What is unique to my course: as I am a psychotherapist, I am attuned to all kinds of ways we humans find in order to avoid suffering, particularly to do with the mind.  How our defense mechanisms were put in place to protect us and allow us to get on, however costly they may be.  Mindfulness truly helps in opening up to the life that you have.  Whatever your circumstances.

The dates for the next bilingual MBSR course English-French in 2017

Wednesdays 2-4:30 pm

have not yet been finalized.

If you are interested in this schedule, do send an email

manolita.farolan@gmail.com

and I will organize one in spring or autumn 2017.

The orientation session is a prerequisite for the 8-week program.  During this orientation, definitions of the word ‘mindfulness’ are given, you will learn about the origins of the Stress Reduction Program at the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts’ Medical School, as well as the content and structure of the course, the methods I use to teach it.  You will also learn what is expected of you so you can integrate mindfulness into your life.  Also, how mindfulness can be of benefit, to whom, and in which domains–stress, pain, anxiety, asthma, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis–research has been done with MBSR or meditation and what the findings were.  What you can expect of the 8-week course.  Contraindications to following an MBSR course will also be touched on.  You will be able to experience mindful meditation and some gentle yoga during the presentation of the course.

Mindfulness meditation complements medical or psychological treatment.  It does not replace it or render professional care dispensable.  If in doubt, best to consult your physician and inquire whether MBSR is suitable for you at this time of your treatment.

 

VENUE

The course orientation and the eight classes of the MBSR course will take place in an airy yoga room in Plainpalais, roughly opposite the cantonal hospital in the Plainpalais neighborhood, and easily accessible by public transport.  The nearest underground parkings are Lombard (often crowded) and Plainpalais.

 

SCHEDULE

The course orientation takes place on a Wednesday at 2 pm, date still to be announced.  It will last approximately an hour and a half.  This is a prerequisite for the course.  Please send an email if you are interested in attending.

Come and find out… about what mindfulness is, its ancient and more recent history, how the MBSR eight-week course was developed, what the course teaches you, what mindfulness practice can do for you, how I teach, and what’s expected of you as a participant.

A request…before emailing me, it would help if you read the information on my website, look at the dates posted here (as soon as there is interest I can put a course together), see whether you can make all the dates, especially the Saturday retreat day.

I am afraid I cannot offer a make-up class if you miss a course.  Please note: beyond the second class, I do not refund, because it is by then impossible to find someone for the slot you have taken.  It is therefore of the utmost importance to practice the body scan diligently during the first week to discern any problems that may crop up.

 

CLASSES

Wednesdays from 2-4:30 pm in spring 2017:  DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED earliest January 2017

If you would like more information, or are not sure whether MBSR is suitable for you, feel free to contact me at:

manolita.farolan@gmail.com

Cost : 600.- CHF

Payment by installment possible.  Students, retirees, unemployed: price may be discussed.  Do not hesitate to contact me via email and ask.  No refunds beyond the second class.

Your payment ensures your registration in the class.  You may pay before the orientation session in order to guarantee your slot but latest on 1st day of class, in cash or using the information below.

Payment should be made to:

Manolita Doise-Farolan

Postal account: 12-80233-3

IBAN: CH95 0900 0000 1208 0233 3

The price includes a recording of guided meditations sent via dropbox, a workbook that includes homework in view of group discussion, illustrations of yoga postures practiced in class, various articles connected to stress or other themes, as well as inspirational poems and quotes. Yoga mats and meditation cushions will be provided in class.  Chairs will be available for those who prefer this alternative.

This is a highly participatory course. A commitment to attending each class, being punctual, and practicing the various meditative techniques as well as yoga movements at home, is required. Home practice will entail carving out 45 min. a day for 8 weeks.  See these eight weeks as intensive training in mindfulness–learning how to be present and aware of your experience this very instant. How to meditate (lying down, sitting, walking, yoga), but above all, how to stay with the present moment. How to take a moment out of your busyness to allow the dust to settle.

Daily home practice of 45 minutes, in one big chunk for the first three weeks, is strongly suggested for results.  What you’re doing, basically, is taking a radical turn in your life.

Clothes: wear loose, comfortable clothes that will allow you to stretch, lie down, or sit cross-legged.  If you need to change, there is a place to do so, come 5 min. before class starts.

Language: this course will be in English, my mother tongue, and for French-speakers who wish further explanations, there will be immediate translation. The recordings for home practice in body scan and sitting meditation exist in both French and English.  For you to be comfortable in this Wednesday afternoon class, you need to have an understanding of spoken English, but you are welcome to express yourself in French.

Punctuality is essential so as not to disrupt the moment of silent transition at the beginning of each session.

 

POST 8-WEEK MBSR PROGRAM

BOOSTER – My former students having requested meditation and yoga sessions on a regular basis,  I am pleased to announce that on the first Tuesday evening of the month (Sept-June), together with Sandra Bourquin, we offer a 90-minute meditation and mindful movement session in French, available to all those who have followed the 8-week course with me.  Former students in my English courses: let me know you are coming and I will include English guidance if necessary.

The ‘booster’ sessions take place on a regular basis. The first Tuesday evening of each month, Sandra Bourquin and I conduct a 90-minute session of sitting meditation, mindful mouvement, and sharing of mindfulness practice.  What time: 7-9:30 pm. Where: Psychomotricité de la Jonction, 12 rue du Village-Suisse, 1205 Geneva.  Ground floor behind the stairs.  Code: 4444.

If you’d like to attend a booster session having followed the MBSR course with Sandra Bourquin or myself, an email to both of us would be great so that there are enough yoga mats and cushions:

manolita.farolan@gmail.com

sbourquinw@hotmail.com

You have followed an MBSR course with me and have a friend who would like to experience an evening of mindfulness practice? The booster sessions welcome you both.

 

NEW!

Organize a ‘BOOSTER’ with your former group

Does the idea of practicing meditation and yoga again with the group you were part of appeal to you?   Would you like to share your discoveries about mindfulness (or your frustrations) with persons you’re familiar with?

This is now possible.  If you contact your former group mates, and you decide on a date (either early Friday evening, or Sunday late afternoon) I could reserve the yoga room, 24 rue Goetz-Monin, for a 90 min booster session. This offer is valid from February 2017.  Other evenings are possible but only from 8:15 pm on (not Thursdays as I teach then).

…..

POST-MBSR seminars or cycles

I am open to teaching post-MBSR cycles–like Mindfulness and Negative Emotions (ongoing but in French), Mindfulness and Ageing, Mindfulness and Dementia, among others.  I am also willing to share at my modest level what I have learned during retreats with other teachers, such as Insight Dialogue, with Gregory Kramer, Phyllis Hicks, and Patricia Feldmann; as well as other Mindfulness-informed skills like R.A.I.N. by Michele McDonald, and the insights other teachers who set me on the path of mindfulness afforded me: Charles Genoud and Patricia Feldmanm, Bhante Bodhidhamma, Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Christina Feldman, John Teasdale, Joseph Goldstein, Ajahn Sucitto, and Sayadaw U Tejaniya.  The lineage masters of the Tibetan Bön tradition, Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche, have illuminated the path of dzogchen for me for the past six years.  Not that I am in any way more than a novice.

 

 

About pageIn meditation, there is no failing, for there is nothing to achieve.

Abandon the idea of emptying your head.  Mindfulness practice has to do with opening, releasing, relinquishing.

Meditation is like poetry–appreciating the immaterial, the ephemeral.

Meditating isn’t about becoming more efficient, about controlling your life.  Meditation is about becoming more receptive to things as they are.  About being present with what is–the temperature, the light, the sounds in the background, the sensations within your body, the emotion that holds you in its thrall, the thoughts popping up in your mind.