The aim of personal practice mentoring is to support ongoing personal mindfulness practice within a secular framework and context, through one-to-one sessions, with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher/supervisor.
Practice mentoring is separate to the key role of supervision in professional mindfulness-based teacher training and development and does not replicate this role in any way. It is not a requirement for teacher training. It serves as an independent process, providing an optional and enhanced focus on practice for all who wish to deepen their exploration of mindfulness practice in everyday life and work. It is ideal for mindfulness-based teachers as a way to rekindle inquiry and inspiration within the practice as this will naturally inform the teaching process.
One of our Personal Practice Mentors, Gwennie Fraser, has written a very informative blog about her experience of being a mentor and how having personal practice mentoring has benefitted her own practice and work.
Personal practice mentoring is suitable for:
- anyone who has completed a group-based, eight-week course such as Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT);
- anyone who has completed an eight-week distance learning MBSR/MBCT course;
- trainee mindfulness-based teachers who are currently on or waiting to join a mindfulness-based teacher training programme; and
- anyone who has trained mindfulness-based teachers seeking focused reflection to support the deepening of personal practice.
We suggest that mentoring follows an interval of six months following an eight-week course to support the development of independent practice. However, should it be beneficial to begin sooner, we would be willing to discuss what works best according to individual needs and requirements.
What does personal mindfulness practice mentoring involve?
Practice mentoring supports the process of reflection through a deepening inquiry into one’s ongoing formal and informal practice. It encourages exploration and discovery, and provides support and guidance where needed. It helps to keep practice engaged and alive, and supports skilful engagement with obstacles that may arise.
Phone or electronic platform-based sessions are arranged on a contracted basis with flexible intervals between the sessions (e.g. monthly, to allow time for practice and reflection). The content and framework for the sessions, including frequency of contact, and other practicalities (e.g. how often/ long/when) are arranged during an initial contracting session. It is fine to link with a mentor now and again or on a more regular basis.
The mentoring sessions we offer provide a specific focus on inquiring into personal mindfulness practice within a secular context. Through developing practice and increasing our awareness, we cultivate our potential as human beings and our capacity to open to life more fully, and to support ourselves and others in creative and beneficial ways. Mentoring involves being open to the process of exploring and investigating the universality of human experience that emerges through meditation, reflection and inquiry.
Mindfulness practice does though have its origins in the meditative traditions and the process of mentoring may naturally draw on the frameworks which underpin mindfulness, and those from the mentor’s own background and experience. The process is led though by reflective inquiry into the mentees experiential engagement with the practice.
Who are our mentors and what do they offer?
Our mentors have many years of mindfulness practice experience, in both their professional lives and individual journeys of practice, and it is from this ground of experience that they are able to offer mentoring in the path of practice.
Personal practice mentoring can be beneficial for: those who wish to enrich and deepen their practice; those who are encountering obstacles; or for those who would benefit from a supportive space in which to reflect and renew their inspiration and focus. Our mentors are available to offer support and guidance with various aspects of practice, including:
- Formal and informal mindfulness practices
- Loving kindness and other befriending practices
- Integration of mindfulness in everyday life
- Learning to embody the attitudinal foundations of mindfulness in our lives
Please see our personal biographies for more details of our backgrounds, experience and specific interests.
Practice mentoring is non-therapeutic
Through our developing practice, we learn to respond more skilfully and compassionately to the fullness of what we experience, including our difficulties. The initial contracting session offers an opportunity to explore with the mentor if it is a suitable time to embark on practice mentoring. It is important for the mentor to be aware of any recent changes in the mentee’s health or life circumstances or current challenges to help assess clearly if it is an appropriate time to begin further exploration of practice. Through deeper exploration of practice it may become evident in some circumstances that therapy or contact with a health professional would be a wise and supportive way of taking care. In this case, the mentor would discuss this fully with the mentee and explore what appropriate support may be needed as a way forward.
Practical aspects of personal practice mentoring
Our listed mentors will offer mentoring sessions via telephone or skype.
Following receipt of your application, your mentor will contact you directly to arrange an initial half-hour contracting call. During this call, you will discuss the intention, content, and framework for the sessions, including frequency of contact, and other practicalities, and to be confirm that you are happy to work together. There is a fee for this contracting call payable to the mentor.
Personal practice mentoring sessions generally last 30 minutes or one hour, and can be arranged at flexible intervals (e.g. monthly, bi-monthly, etc.) that suit your current practice requirements and to allow for practice and reflection in between.
Cost of mentoring
You will be asked to pay a one-off registration fee to the Mindfulness Network when you apply for mentoring. If we are unable to provide a mentor for you, then we will return your registration fee in full. This occasionally happens when we can’t find a mentor who can meet your scheduling or mentoring requirements.
Your mentor will arrange session fees with you directly, which may be dependent on your individual needs. As a guide, the below fees are an average:
|Registration fee (one-off fee paid to the Mindfulness Network). Payment of this fee is required before we can progress your application. This fee will be refunded in full if we cannot match you with a mentor.||£25.00 +VAT|
|Initial contracting fee (paid to mentor)
One-hour individual session
|30-minute individual session||£25.00|
How to apply for personal practice mentoring
Before applying, you will need to select a preferred mentor. Please click HERE to see our full list of available mentors.
Please read each mentor’s profile with an eye to your personal practice background and requirements, but please be aware that you will not be able to choose a mentor who doesn’t have current availability. You can apply for practice mentoring directly from our website by clicking HERE.