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 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 (where I trained in 2010m, 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  each participant adapts the movement to their ability.

Because my first practicum as a psychologist was in neuropsychology in a psychiatric hospital, I am particularly interested by stress, trauma, and ageing, 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 in English is made up of a course orientation, 8 sessions of 2 1/2 hours on Monday evenings, 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, gradually exploring the whole body.  Then attention will be focused on the breath.  Then on 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 hone your listening skills, become more intuitive as a listener as you share your experiences. Group sharing helps 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.

MBSR Course in Spring 2021 in both French and English*

Saturday mornings – this class is now in session

Orientation sessions : Thursday, 25 March & Monday 12 April

19:00 – duration more or less an hour

Venue: 2, Ch. Châteauvieux, 1242 Satigny

To register: manolita.farolan@gmail.com

*teaching will be primarily in French with English translation when required – some working knowledge of French would be helpful. My mother tongue is English.

Course schedule for Saturday mornings

Saturdays: 9:30-12:00 as follows:

1st week – 17 April

2nd week – 24 April

3rd week – 1st May

4th week – 8 May

No class on 15 May

5th week – 22 May

6th week – 29 May

Retreat on Saturday 5 June*

7e semaine – 12 juin

8e semaine – 19 juin. End of course.

Dates

The orientation session on Thursday, 25 March, is a prerequisite for the 8-week program.  It will last approximately an hour. 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 you and in which domains–daily or chronic stress, anxiety, asthma, diabetes, cancer, pain–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.

Come and find out 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 in this life you lead, 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, check whether you can make all the dates, especially the Saturday retreat day.

In case you miss a course, I am afraid I cannot offer a make-up session.  Please note: beyond the second class, I do not refund. By then it is impossible to find someone for the slot you have taken.  It will be essential to practice the body scan diligently during the first week to discern any problems that crop up.

Please email to register: manolita.farolan@gmail.com

 

VENUE

The course orientation, and the classes will take place here: 2, Ch. Châteauvieux, 1242 Satigny.    This is a prerequisite for the course.  There is one other must before you are registered for the course: make a date for a personal interview with me, during which you fill in a questionnaire about your motivation, your health, stress level, sleep quality, etc.

The course orientation, the eight classes of the MBSR course, as well as the all-day retreat will take place in a beautiful new space in the tiny village of Peney-Dessus, Satigny, accessible by public transport (train/bus) that bring you directly to Peney-Dessus.  Parking is not a problem.

This link to Geneva’s public transport, TPG, will help you find public transport to the venue: http://tpg.hafas.de/hafas/tp/query.exe/en

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 : 650.- CHF

Students, retirees, unemployed: price may be discussed/modality of payment as well.  Do not hesitate to contact me via email and ask.  No refunds beyond the second class.

Your payment ensures your registration in the class.  In order to guarantee your slot, payment is required before or on the 1st day of class, in cash or using the information below.

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 WeTransfer; a workbook that includes homework in view of group discussion, as well as inspirational poems and quotes. Yoga mats and meditation cushions will be provided.  Stools 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 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, therefore come 5 min. before class starts.

Language: this course announced as ‘in both French and English’ will be in primarily in French. However English is my mother tongue, and I can easily translate when necessary.  The recordings for home practice in body scan and sitting meditation will be sent according to your language.

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

POST MBSR – Two alternatives

Support for your mindfulness practice – Satigny

When: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from September to June.

Dates in spring 2021: Wednesdays, 24 March; 14 , 28 April; 12, 26 May; 9, 23 June 2021. 19:30-21:00

Format: A short opening sit, 30 min. of gentle yoga movements, a time for discussion–questions on meditation welcome, sharing of reading that inspired you–then a longer sit (if you’re not familiar, a sit is meditation in the sitting position, on a cushion or a chair).

All those having already meditated, MBSR with me or another facilitator, or who learned meditation following another tradition and wish to meditate in a group, are welcome to attend.

Cost: mindful payment – what you you are able to pay, what you wish to contribute, on that day.

 

PRIVATE MBSR TEACHING – as this spring I will be teaching two courses, I will not be free to take on private, one-on-one teaching of MBSR.

 

POST-MBSR seminars or cycles

I am open to teaching post-MBSR cycles–like Mindfulness and Negative Emotions, 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 insights the 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, and above all, Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche, Khenpo Gelek Jinpa have illuminated the path of dzogchen for me since 2012.  Not that I am in any way more than a novice.

 home03

In 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 thoughts.  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 that pop up in your mind.