How to use Mindfulness to be Happy

This course is a four week introduction to mindfulness. We will cover basic mindfulness practices and how they apply being happy. This course appeals to parents with children of all ages up to and including college. Even high school and college students can benefit from this class if they choose to participate.

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Target Population and Context

This course is primarily for parents of children up through college age although anyone can attend. The class meets for one hour once a week for four weeks. Starting date is Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 7:00-8:00 PM PST on Zoom, links to be provided. The course is freely offered and donations for the teacher are gratefully accepted.

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Detailed Description / Learning Objectives

How to Use Mindfulness to be Happy is an introduction to mindfulness practices with an emphasis on fostering positive emotions and techniques for improving the quality of life. As a participant in this course, you will learn what mindfulness is all about and how mindfulness throughout the day will help you stay more present. This presence will enable you to be present with your children more effectively and allow them to experience happiness growing up.

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Session 1:

You will learn a simple mindfulness practice and understand how mindfulness can help you be more present. You will be encouraged to apply what you learn for at least 9 minutes a day to help develop the neural pathways for presence.

Session 2:

You will continue with the simple mindfulness practice and learn how to deal with emotions. This is important to what follows in the next session.

Session 3:

You will learn why certain things that you think will make you happy really don’t amount to much and why this is so. Then you will learn a few simple positive practices that can bring lasting happiness. For example, we will introduce you to gratitude practice that increases happiness on the spot. When my children were young, we would always tell them, “To desire what you don’t have is to waste what you do have!” This seemed to curb their appetite for new toys somewhat and help them to be grateful for what they have.

Session 4:

We will continue with simple positive practices for happiness and some of the teachings behind them. We will also try to cover the heart practices of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

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Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will have learned

  • How to start and maintain a 9 minute mindfulness practice
  • How to recognize stress and other emotions and how to soothe them
  • Misconceptions about happiness and how to deal with them
  • Positive happiness practices to nurture yourself and others

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About the course

This course was authorized by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach as part of the requirements for completion of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Training through Sounds True.

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About the instructor

Jerome Freedman, PhD, OI is a student in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and a survivor of muscle invasive bladder cancer since 1997. He is also an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing (OI) with Thich Nhat Hanh, who he considers to be his root teacher. He is the author of several books including Mindfulness Breaks: Your Path to Awakening, Healing Cancer with Your Mind: 7 Strategies to Help You Survive, and Cosmology and Buddhist Thought: A Conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson. His web sites include Meditation Practices, Mindfulness Breaks, Mindfulness In Healing and 9 Minute Meditation. He has been leading the Mindfulness In Healing support group since 2009.

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