The Four Keys to Heart-based Living: An Online Course

Explore a holistic approach to wellbeing, joy and resilience through this self-paced 8-week online course, which introduces the foundational practices of heart-based mindfulness.

This course is now only available as part of our Community Facilitator Programme

  • A blend of three recognised and scientifically validated approaches to wellbeing; mindfulness, heart intelligence and listening spaces.
  • Learn how to integrate these wellbeing practices into your daily life and experience how they can bring about positive change
  • Discover ways to reconnect with our natural capacity for rest and happiness
  • Learn ways to deal effectively with the challenges that life brings
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Comprehensive resources including video teachings and a wide range of guided exercises
  • Offers a deep experiential understanding of what heart-based living is and its benefits for your life

What will I learn?

Using the foundations of mindfulness, heart intelligence and listening spaces, the course explores our 4 keys to heart-based living: stopping and resting, happiness, difficulty and connection.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is attention training, learning to rest our mind in the present moment and to bring our awareness to our bodies. Our courses teach mindfulness as a way of connecting mind and heart as a way to live more fully and allow us space to understand our emotional life.

We explore how to apply it to every aspect of life including sitting, walking, eating, speaking and relating.

Next: Heart Intelligence

Heart Intelligence

Science shows us that our heart is in a constant two-way neurological communication with our brain and is sending more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. 

When we experience sustained positive emotions such as appreciation we see a positive shift in our body and mind which is reflected in a measurable change in our heart rhythms. We teach techniques to create and sustain this beneficial psychophysical state including how we can utilise biofeedback from the heart.

Next: Listening Spaces

Listening Spaces

We will offer concrete ways to listen with our hearts rather than our heads and to open ourselves to more empathic and meaningful communication.

These experiential practices can be applied widely: in personal relationships, the workplace and in community dialogue to open up possibilities for more meaningful communication and understanding.

Next: Stopping and Resting

Stopping and Resting

How can we find ways to effectively replenish and resource our body and mind right in the midst of the stresses and strains of everyday life? We will learn how we can utilise mindfulness practices in daily life to restore wellbeing and sustain vitality even when we feel we do not have enough time to rest.

We will explore different ways of integrating rest into our life including the power of short periods of mindful breathing and developing and maintaining a regular sitting meditation practice.

Next: Happiness

Happiness

We will look at what causes and conditions lead to happiness and how we can develop habits which create more happiness for ourselves. We will explore how our mind can be hardwired to prioritise negative thoughts and emotions and how to counter that.

Far from being self-indulgent, learning how to focus on happiness will allow us to be of much more use to those around us in need.

Next: Difficulty

Difficulty

We all experience difficulty, it is not something we can get rid of. Rather than spending our energy resisting all the difficulties in our life, there are ways we can move towards them with kindness and curiosity.

Taking this approach to difficulty not only means that we can handle challenging situations much better but also use these situations for opportunities for growth and development.

 

Next: Connection

Connection

Are we fully experiencing a sense of connection in our lives? What causes disconnection? How can we build a bridge between disconnection and connection?

We will have space to understand more about how we relate to ourselves, to each other and to the wider world around us.

First: Mindfulness

What will you get out of this course?

  • Increased self-awareness: the capacity to observe thoughts and emotions without being ‘caught’ by them
  • An increase in relaxation and ease
  • The ability to regulate our nervous system and generate a state of wakeful calm
  • Tools for speaking authentically and listen with more depth- even in difficult relationships and to people you find challenging
  • A greater sense of joy and gratitude in your daily life
  • More resilience in the face of challenges and an increased capacity to deal with difficult situations
  • Ways to build connection to those around you and to your larger sense of purpose and meaning

What is included in the course?

Each week covers one of the foundational practices and the four keys to Heart-Based Living.  This is structured into 6 easy-to-follow steps.

1)  Overview – each lesson begins with a written overview. This covers the key points involved in the theme of the week.

2) Video Lessons on the topic of each week the videos further expand on the session’s topic, going deeper into an exploration of the week’s subject and offering concrete suggestions for home practices that ground and integrate these themes into daily life.

3) Audio Guided practice sessions to stabilise and deepen your experience of how Heart-Based Living practices are experienced in daily life, in practical terms and through direct experience.

4) Daily and weekly journaling page to support the application of the ideas presented in each week’s lesson to your own personal experience. This is an optional activity which you might choose to use after each formal practice session as well as at the end of the day or week to give an overview of progress, challenges and insights.

5) Daily life practice suggestion is provided to give you a framework for how to integrate the theme of the week into your daily life. These provide meaning and depth to each week’s theme.

6) Resources for exploring each topic further. Each week concludes with some resources the course leaders have found inspiring and helpful.

Meet the teachers

Michael Schwammberger

Michael is a highly sought-after teacher and has led retreats in the UK, Spain and South America.

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Michael Schwammberger

Michael is a highly sought-after teacher and has led retreats in the UK, Spain and South America. He has been practising mindfulness since 1992 and he lived as a Buddhist monk for 15 years in Plum Village France, where he was a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Lyndsay Lunan

Lyndsay has taught both at Glasgow University and in Further Education, where she created an acclaimed mindfulness programmes for staff and students.

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Lyndsay Lunan

Lyndsay has taught both at Glasgow University and in Further Education, where she created an acclaimed mindfulness programmes for staff and students. She was later director of programme development and lead trainer at Youth Mindfulness. Lyndsay believes that the world we create begins with a state of mind

Will Stephens

Will has completed over 50 weeks of intensive mindfulness training from 2003 to 2013.

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Will Stephens

He spent three years training in Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute before gaining experience working in NHS mental health services and in two UK prisons. He built and ran a Mindfulness Centre in the South of England, running residential retreats and specific programmes for young people and educators.

Kareem Ghandour

Kareem has been engaged as a facilitator with mindfulness communities for young people since 2011

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Kareem Ghandour

Kareem has been engaged as a facilitator with mindfulness communities for young people since 2011. He worked on the facilitator team of the Scottish charity Youth Mindfulness, where he supported retreats, training programmes and delivered courses in schools. He has recently completed a 2-year teacher training programme in the U.S with renowned teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.

Karim Manji

Karim has taught mindfulness in schools, workplaces and youth groups.

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Karim Manji

Karim has taught mindfulness in schools, workplaces and youth groups. He is a qualified Secondary School teacher and has spent 18 months training in mindfulness at Plum Village. He has been taught by Jon Kabat Zinn, Tara Brach, Vinny Ferano and Tenzin Palmo. He brings an accessible and relatable style to teaching and is passionate about finding ways that every person can benefit from heart-based practices.

When does the course start?

This course is now included within our Community Facilitator Training Programme which will be launched in Q4 2020. The course is self-paced and while it is recommended to be completed over 8 weeks, you can go faster or slower if you like. You will have full access to all the course materials for a year.

Is it the right time to engage in a course?

Emotional and Mental Heath considerations

This course is designed to be supportive for your own self-awareness, connection to self and others and build resources for happiness and taking care of difficulty.

However, this online course is not designed to be a therapy or treatment for emotional or mental health issues. It is important that any chronic or significant emotional or mental issues are treated by a professional healthcare practitioner or a counsellor, therapist or psychotherapist

If you are currently taking any form of medication in relation to a mental health issue, please follow the guidance of the professionals who are supporting you and do not make any changes without their advice. Often these practices can generate substantial wellbeing, but they are not a direct treatment for mental health and do not substitute medical treatment or even a holistic view of our wellbeing which includes our life circumstances, support network and our experience of trauma amongst other things.

Experiencing important challenges or distressing situations

There are many benefits from practising mindfulness, connecting more closely with our hearts potential and to engage in a deeper listening process.

It is also true that these practices often kick start a process of self-awareness, openness and receptivity of heart and mind, which can begin to reveal challenging mental and emotional realities that lie dormant within us. Things that we have buried or pushed down can come up to the surface can bring a non-anticipated level of intensity to our life.

If you find yourself in the midst of a very challenging or distressing situation this may not be the right time for you to start a process which can bring further intensify or challenge to your present situation.

The practice offered here can be complimentary but are not a substitute for appropriate support and guidance from a professional healthcare practitioner or a counsellor, therapist or psychotherapist, or even a holistic view of our wellbeing which includes our life circumstances, support network and our experience of trauma amongst other things.

When your personal life is more stable you will be in a better position to learn, practice and receive the benefits of these practices, which can then become a source of support in challenging times.

There is also want to emphasise there is no shame in needing to leave or pause the course at any point.