Online Mindfulness Course

There is a free monthly re-occurring course available on Coursera called "De-mystifying Mindfulness".

It covers a number of perspectives including Theravada and Ch'an Buddhist meditation, Taoism, Stoicism and secular therapeutic practices like MBSR and MBCT.

Stephen Batchelor.

The material does a good job providing an introduction to those with little more than a cursory understanding of mindfulness.

From my perspective, there was valuable information presented on why individual come to mindfulness classes in the first place.
- 95% come to help reduce negative experiences, including learning to be calmer and regulating emotions better.
- 30% come to enhance sense of well-being, including feeling happier, being more fulfilled and more self-aware, as well as having better concentration and focus.

Also interestingly, interest in Buddhist practices was only reported as ~6%, with the suggestion that there are other avenues (Temples, Dharma centers, etc.) for this pursuit than MBSR-type mindfulness classes.

Perhaps most importantly for those of us who may find ourselves leading mindfulness practices in a more secular or non-denominational environment, some people come to mindfulness because they’ve been convinced that it has nothing to do with spirituality, but they fear that it still does and may conflict with their own religion (or the lack therof).

I'd be interested in getting the perspectives of others, should anyone else have the time and interest to take this course.
Should you enroll, I should note that at least I found the discussion forums fascinating as you get to see real comments from beginning or more advanced meditators reporting successes and failures with the material along with their reactions and opinions.

(Some) materials for the course above are there. It may prove useful to have a look before enrolment.I haven't taken the course so I can't comment either way.


Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Course Files

I've added the notes from the first four modules to my drop box here for review