We are born with an in-breath, we leave this world with an out-breath. That which happens in between is the preciousness of life. Be aware of it. Breathe it moment by moment. Enjoy it. Live it. It is yours to live.
Meditation Awareness Training (MAT)
Meditation has been practiced in the eastern world for more than 25 centuries but it is only relatively recently that meditation has become popular in the West. Within the research and health–service setting, a particular method known as ‘mindfulness training’ has tended to be most popular. Whilst methods such as this have proved to be very successful tools in the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression for example, they represent only a small element of the full meditative experience.
Meditation Awareness Training (MAT) is a non-religious program that takes place over a period of 8 – 12 weeks and places particular emphasis on the development of strong meditative foundations. On top of this meditative basis, practices such as mindfulness techniques are taught as part of a composite array of support trainings and practices. In the traditional setting, this composite array of training is assumed to lead towards the cultivation of a sustainable and well-grounded state of well-being.
Findings from research undertaken in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University have demonstrated that participants undertaking MAT showed significant benefits in psychological wellbeing.
Who is MAT for?
The guided meditations used in MAT follow a generic and completely non-sectarian format. In other words, MAT is open to absolutely everybody regardless of faith, religious belief, viewpoint or background. MAT usually takes place in groups of around 12-28 people and no previous experience of meditation is required. However, participants should be willing to make a commitment to the program which will require attendance at sessions for approximately 2-3 hours each week. Participants should also be willing to follow a personal schedule of meditation practice and to try and integrate the training into all aspects of their everyday life.
What is involved?
At the start of MAT, participants are usually asked to complete a short health questionnaire to ensure that there are no medical grounds that might complicate their participation in MAT. The program consists of the following 5 aspects:
3. Teaching Seminars
4. Self Practice: Participants are asked to introduce mindfulness and meditative exercises into their normal daily routine. A CD consisting of guided meditations along with various written materials are provided as a support resource.
5. Individual meditative & cognitive support session: These individual sessions invite participants to discuss their experience of using MAT and also provides support to facilitate strong meditative growth or to work through any problems or hindrances that may arise during the meditation training.
Taught by way of weekly group workshops (duration 2 hours) incorporating guided meditation, mindfulness exercises, guided discussion and seminars.
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