In this new 6-week course we explore together how to bring the 5 Mindfulness Trainings (5MTs) more fully into our lives, using them as practical guidance and spiritual friends on our intended path of living mindfully.
We offer a concentrated examination of the 5MTs in a supportive group atmosphere of people practising together. Each week is an opportunity to explore one MT and see what challenges it presents. What parts are difficult/easy to follow now? They are an ethical way of checking in to how closely we are following what we value in life, our intentions, and making conscious decisions instead of acting habitually, without awareness.
You may enjoy this short video from Sr True Dedication explaining the importance of the 5MTs within the Plum Village tradition. NB, the trainings are not only for young people!
What to expect
The course is held online via zoom, enabling you to participate from wherever you are geographically based.
In each session we will:
- meditate together
- reflect on one training in each session, through the Course Leaders’ sharing and a relevant video
- personal reflection time and dharma sharing with the same group throughout the course.
- follow specific home practice related to each training.
You will be provided with a handout summarising each session and recordings of the guided meditations used on this course.
We recommend the book The Mindfulness Survival Kit as a companion to the course.
Please note, the course and the retreat are separate items and not conditional. You do not have to attend the retreat after the course, nor do you have to have done the course to attend the retreat. This is an optional extra.
Schedule for the Course
The course is held on Tuesday evenings, 7-9pm UK time (2 hours per session). Beginning on 12th September at 7 pm it will run for 6 sessions.
Please ensure you are available for all 6 Tuesdays of the course from Tuesday 12th September until 17th October 7 – 9 pm.
Themes for the sessions
1. An Introduction to Living Mindfully
2. Reverence for Life
3. True Happiness
4. True Love
5. Deep Listening and Loving Speech
6. Nourishment and Healing
7. Optional session explaining the content of the ceremony
“I found the beautiful, thoughtful, generosity of the Course Leaders (Vari and Lauri), their humour, candour and compassion most helpful”.
“The Course Leaders were very generous and open in their sharing of how the topic had helped them and this is appreciated. I really feel I benefited from having regular time with the Dharma teachers each week, I am sorry it ended but so grateful for the opportunity”.
“The way you work together is very natural and professional”
This course is led by two experienced practitioners in the Plum Village Tradition,
Dharma teacher Vari McLuskie and Be Calm Be Happy Course Co-ordinator Lauri Bower.
Vari was ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 1995 into the Order of Interbeing and as a lay Dharma teacher in 2012 and given the True name True Action of Loving Kindness. Vari arrived home on her first Plum Village mindfulness retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1990. Life became brighter, calmer, more enjoyable and understandable. She began to recognise how, supported by a mindfulness practice community, she could cultivate peace, love, and understanding in herself every day. It was clear that developing these qualities in herself also truly benefitted others. She put mindfulness practice and sangha at the centre of her life. Bit by bit; building her practice, accepting her shortcomings, encouraging herself through the difficulties – perceived and otherwise. Through difficult times in her life, she has practised seeing that there cannot be happiness without suffering (“no mud, no lotus”)– through the premature death of a beloved friend, the sudden deaths of her parents, the challenges of parenthood, and work and health challenges. Vari has been an ordained Dharma teacher since 2012 and combines this responsibility with work as a Strategic Consultant. She has shared mindfulness in corporate settings, with female offenders and victims of sexual abuse as well as through Plum Village UK retreats and the Be Calm, Be Happy courses which she co-developed. Vari is based in the Midlands having lived many years in London.
Lauri has been practising meditation for over 30 years and met Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings in 2006, from which point she committed to putting mindfulness practice at the centre of her life. From 2008-12 she researched a PhD on Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings of Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism. With her PhD complete Lauri began teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) courses and is delighted to bring this experience to courses devoted to the Plum Village mindfulness tradition. Mindfulness has become a crucial aspect of Lauri’s life and she has experienced first-hand the transformational aspects of peacefulness, calm and clarity that this practice generates. She has many years’ experience of running and organising retreats. She teaches the Be Calm Be Happy and Looking Deeply courses, and Mindful Writing Workshops. She is firmly committed to the Plum Village approach to mindfulness and received the transmission of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings at Plum Village in 2014 to become an Order member. Her True name is True Mountain of Non-Fear. Lauri also has a creative practice as a paper collage artist and finds the combination of mindfulness and creativity fit together extremely well. Her creative work (poetry, handmade books and cards and original artwork) can be viewed from her website. Lauri lives in Yorkshire and practises with the York Sangha.
We recommend that everyone signing up for this course becomes a member of the Community of Interbeing (see our website at Join Us ).
How to attend
Please book via Eventbrite