Mindfulness, Memory and Neuroplasticity

Nellie Clark

Tutor: Nellie Clark 

Wednesday 1.30 pm – 3 pm      

This class will be delving more deeply into the relationship between mindfulness, memory, and the neuroplasticity processes.

Over a period of seven years I worked as a volunteer helping to deliver courses in, and demonstrating the benefits, of practicing ‘mindfulness’ with the MAHS program of Queensland Health; and then leading a group for Ipswich Women’s Health, that was made up of women who had completed a course and wished to continue to have the support of the group while practising the exercises.

The M.M.M. course delivered by the MAHS program was designed by Jon Kabat Zinn who defines mindfulness as ‘moment to moment awareness’                  

The A.C.T. course used by Ipswich Women’s Health was designed by Russ Harris who defines mindfulness as ‘consciously bringing awareness to you’re here-and-now experience with openness, receptiveness and interest.’    

In the words of a tutor of openground.com …..Mindfulness training can enable us to develop our capacity to consciously act and respond with awareness and clarity rather than re-act out of a habitual pattern:   [by recognising and wakening out of ‘automatic mode’] bring greater concentration and focus to all our activities ;-   [this helps with learning] to monitor levels of stress and distress , and take effective steps to address it. [problem solving]

And from ogmenu 2005This kind of practice means giving ourselves time and space to really know ourselves, to calm down and reflect, so that our actions can be more in line with what is beneficial and helpful to ourselves and those around us’.  

There are many and varied ways of approaching the subject of ‘mindfulness’ but there is no magic bullet; as with any activity or therapy, we experience the benefit in direct ratio to the time and attention we are willing to give.        

Since our brains naturally respond best in a relaxed atmosphere; we will be keeping it light. Each session will include a simple enjoyable non- taxing physical exercise which will need little or no equipment, and a short mindful meditation During the first lesson we will discuss ‘the attitudinal foundation of mindfulness practice’ as set out in the book ‘Full catastrophe living’ by Jon Kabat Zinn, At subsequent sessions we will have time to spend in discussion of any progress or otherwise that we are able to make in practicing the practice of mindfulness.