Counselor Education 280

COED 280
Introduction to the Concepts, Process and Practice of Mindfulness

1. Catalog Entry

COED 280
Introduction to the Concepts, Process and Practice of Mindfulness

Credit hours (3)

The purpose of the course is to introduce and provide students with a fundamental understanding of mindfulness through the study of theory, practice, neuroscience and science of mindfulness, self-awareness, self-regulation and understanding. The course will offer opportunities to cultivate these skills in students’ daily lives with opportunities applicable to academic/professional interest areas.

Note(s): Course may be repeated for an additional 3 hours credit.
2. Detailed Description of Course

This course provides an overview of how human beings have practiced the refined techniques of mental focusing designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions, these mindfulness practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness and self-mastery.
Modern science has dramatically confirmed that mindfulness meditative practices, properly experienced, offer deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being.

The many practical benefits of meditation include:
    1) Marked and lasting reduction of stress;
    2) Increased ability to focus and concentrate, as well as clarity of thinking;
    3) Freedom from detrimental patterns of thought and emotion;
    4) Increased learning capacity and memory; and
    5) Greatly enhanced well-being and peacefulness.

This course is an interactive, collaborative learning experience that provides students with the ability to explore accessible techniques including mindful awareness in sitting, walking, eating, and resting that may enhance their ability to have greater concentration, focus, and well-being. The development of self-awareness is threaded throughout the course with reflective and personal growth opportunities.  The course provides an opportunity to develop and integrate a personal mindfulness practice. If practiced consistently, the results are real and very far-reaching. In the largest sense, mindfulness meditation allows you to live in harmony with the realities of the world—to embrace life's ever-changing impermanence, to live in equanimity with the inevitable ups and downs of being human, and to feel deeply connected to the whole of life.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will consist of readings, brief lectures, small group discussions, journal work, and self-observation practices in home and class settings.  Student learning will require mandatory attendance, active participation, critical thinking, and creativeness of each student.
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

In this course students will:
    1) Demonstrate the ability to pay attention in the present moment, in a particular way,
       on purpose and non-judgmentally;
    2) Demonstrate the use of mindfulness skills in simply “being with” oneself and others
       who are experiencing stress and difficult emotions;
    3) Develop a basic understanding of the biological, psychological and sociological
       components of stress; the somatic elements of the stress reaction and the
       relaxation response;
    4) Demonstrate a core understanding of the emerging science on the effects of
       mindfulness practice for emotional, mental and physical well-being;
    5) Develop competence in communicating about experiences in meditation as well as
       about one’s personal practice;
    6) Examine methods for deepening and integrating more mindful awareness into
       ordinary daily activities when not formally meditating;
    7) Recognize the practical skills of mindfulness meditation, including methods for
       (a) deepening concentration and (b) responding skillfully to physical pain, stress,
       and difficult emotions and thought patterns;
    8) Demonstrate greater awareness of one’s self as a human being, and how to utilize
       strengths and manage weaknesses inherent in living life;
    9) Discuss how to intentionally cultivate positive emotions such as gratitude, joy,
       kindness, compassion, equanimity, and forgiveness;
    10)Apply practical skills of relational mindfulness that enhance effective
       communication to better cope with conflict situations and to deepen friendships;
    11)Demonstrate the effective use of mindfulness skills for self-compassion and

5. Assessment Measures

Course assessment may consist of tests, journal reflections, presentations, and self-evaluation papers.

6. Other Course Information

A daylong retreat is a required component of this course.

Review and Approval