22 May 2024

By Lauri Bower

Our Mindfulness Courses

It has been already 8 years since we have run our first pilot mindfulness courses – since then over 1,200 participants have benefitted from learning a mindfulness practice helping them transform life’s stresses and increase personal sense of wellbeing.

The Be Calm Be Happy course was an inspired initiative from Dharma Teacher Vari
McLuskie, who recognised over 10 years ago that although many mindfulness courses were
available, there was a noticeable lack of courses based in Thich Nhat Hanh’s wonderful
teachings. She immediately set about putting this right, with help and support of
experienced practitioners in this tradition, including valuable input from ex-monk Michael

After some pilot runs the first cohort of Course Leaders trained to offer the course in 2016.
At this time Lauri also took on the role of Co-ordinating the courses and Course Leaders and
has personally offered the BCBH course over 30 times to date, including in-person, online
and weekend retreats:

One of the main benefits I notice both for myself and the course participants is the group energy we create, even on zoom, which means we are supported by one another’s learning and understanding. This is often commented on in the feedback we receive, and it’s certainly something I notice myself, that we benefit so much from hearing how each other are finding creative ways to bring mindfulness into their daily life. 

Last weekend I attended a Day of Mindfulness locally in York and was introduced to a simple diagram to reflect on how I feel in any situation, moving from comfortable to uncomfortable and safe to unsafe.

I realised in offering these courses I always feel safe, even if at times I feel uncomfortable – especially at the beginning of a course with new people and we don’t know how it’s going to unfold. Because I trust these beautiful teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh I am safe when I’m offering a course and when I’m practising at home. That was quite an insight for me, and a great place to be. I hope we allow every participant on our courses to experience that same feeling of safety and being ‘at home’. 

Looking Deeply, Living Mindfully, Mindfulness for Neurodiversity

It was always to aim to offer more courses, since Michael had presented enough course content to incorporate over a longer journey. In 2021 we started offering the Looking Deeply course, and in 2022 we also added the Living Mindfully course, completing the pathway.  

Along the way, we added a Mindfulness for Neurodiversity course, offered by experienced Course Leader Sylvia Clare. Whilst mindfulness may help many people to live calmer, happier lives, this course shares some of the sensitive guidance needed to practice with mental health conditions and support neurodiversity issues such as ADHD and PTSD. 

We are very fortunate to have not only a wonderful array of courses on offer, but experienced and enthusiastic Course Leaders available to offer the courses in a caring way through modelling mindfulness. We hope you will take the opportunity to book onto the right course for you.

Find out more and book on the courses here