Mindfulness is always about being present for what’s here and now and our presence offers new beginnings with each new breath, each new moment, new day, new season. As our Summer draws to a close and we begin to feel the season turning, many of us are preparing for a new term, settling children back to school, getting a bit more organised, introducing more structure than in Summertime, perhaps planning to take up a class ourselves. It is a time of year that can feel like a new start, and for some of us can be an unsettled time, so we can take things nice and steady as we make our plans for the season. You might even decide that this is a time to slow down and nurture yourself.
This Autumn, for the third time, thanks to the continued support of the REACH fund administered by Cork ETB, I will be running two free three-week mindfulness programmes, called Reconnect and Re-engage at CECAS in Myross Wood, Leap. These programmes, developed to help deal with the Covid legacy of isolation and disconnect, remain as relevant as ever now. Reconnect and Re-engage offers participants an opportunity to slow down, reconnect with themselves and with nature while re-engaging with other people and with community. There are two programmes, one is specifically for family carers, beginning in late September, and a second, more general programme, beginning in November.
It can be quite hard to explain a mindfulness meditation class adequately until you try it for yourself. It is so experiential and may be unlike any class you’ve taken up before, but it can be life-changing. This time, to explain what the Reconnect and Re-engage programmes are about, I have included some quotes from previous participants which I believe speak for themselves. They describe the experience, benefits and value of mindfulness meditation and capture the essence of both Reconnect and Re-engage programmes beautifully.
“The setting for this programme was exceptional and lent to the success of the workshops for me. Each workshop embraced the outdoors and nature, all in a very gentle manner, and teaching us that a walk through frosty, sparkling grass, picking up leaves, listening to the birds, looking out across still waters, is extremely soothing for the body and mind…I truly loved this workshop. I learnt so much while also relearning knowledge I had but had pushed aside. A lot of times it’s easier to keep running, keep being busy, but the programme made me realise I must take better care of myself. It’s my own duty, no one else can do it for me”.
“The course gave me space and time to come into myself, bring my feelings and experiences, be open and real with others who I felt accepted and understood why I was there. Susan facilitated the sessions beautifully with gentleness, kindness and humour”.
“Over the years to help my survival in my challenging life, I have attended many events to help keep my wellness intact. This is the first time that I have come away with new true friends, the only thing we had to share were our names, because we already had a sense of the rawness of the journey people are living”.
“I cannot count the number of times I go back to the space, people, content, flow, sincerity and numerous other descriptions of the three weeks spent in Myross…What a tool you have given me to unlock the suppressed thoughts, emotions and so on and realise that I have within me – my breath to keep calm, cool, and less stressed”.
“In countless ways my life has been enriched by caring. Yesterday I noticed the gorse flowers in the ditch, again often not seen as beautiful, but I love them. I thought that it all depends on how you view a flower or a situation…I think your course has given me the space to realise I can change how I chose to look at something, anything.”
“The food was delicious, I felt so cared for when presented with the delicious meals. The coffee on arrival was particularly delicious and again made me feel cared for. Thank you”.
Reconnect and Re-engage three-week programme for family carers runs on September 27, October 4 and 11 from 10.30 – 1.30pm at CECAS, Myross Wood, Leap. Reconnect and Re-engage for those who feel the need to reconnect and re-engage with themselves, nature and community will run on November 22, 29 and December 6, from 10.30 – 1.30pm. Please get in touch if you think either of these programmes might be for you. They are run in conjunction with CECAS and supported by the REACH fund 2023.
And if you would like to give mindfulness meditation a go before then, regular drop-in compassion-based mindfulness practice sessions continue at CECAS, Myross Wood Leap on Tuesday mornings throughout September (5, 12 and 26) from 10am – 11am. €10. All are welcome to join this wonderful community of practice.
For more information, phone: 087 2700572 or email: