Posted July 12th 2017

University Mindfulness Centre returning to St Hugh’s for its Summer School

The University of Oxford’s Mindfulness Centre is again holding its annual week-long Summer School at St Hugh’s College, from 28 August to 1 September 2017. The Summer School welcomes over 150 people interested in mindfulness and mindfulness-based-cognitive therapy for a week long programme of discussions, lectures, practice and group work.

The theme this year is ‘Investigating Mind without Losing Heart: Mindfulness, Fragility and Compassion’. The curriculum takes all participants on a journey of learning, allowing discussion over the week to focus on several key themes. Exploration deepens day by day, supported by mindfulness practice including a day of mindfulness practice in the middle of the week.

OMC Founding Director and Emeritus Oxford University Professor Mark Williams, and Chris Cullen, MBCT teacher and trainer, will lead the week. They will be joined by Professor Willem Kuyken, Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and clinical psychologist Dr Melanie Fennell.

Mark Williams studied at the University of Oxford and later taught at the University of Wales, Bangor. His research has focused on the treatment and prevention of depression and suicide, in particular the study of suicidal behaviour in people with depression. He now teaches for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in Hong Kong and Mainland China, and participates in the Summer School each year.

Professor Kuyken’s work also focuses on depression and evidence-based approaches to depression, including investigating MBCT as an alternative to maintenance antidepressants and as a universal approach to preventing depression in adolescence. Willem is also interested in the interface of ancient wisdom traditions and contemporary science, in particular the role of compassion.

Having moved to the Oxford Town Hall last year, the 2017 Summer School returns to its inaugural venue at St Hugh’s, where Mark and Chris delivered a programme focused on ‘Mindfulness in the 21st Century’ in 2015. Holding the School in an Oxford college offers participants the opportunity to learn, practice and rest in one venue, with access to inspiring and peaceful grounds during breaks and in the evenings.

One participant described the 2015 Summer School as “a retreat-like experience with practice integrated throughout the day both inside and outdoors in St Hugh’s stunning grounds”, and another commented “the context of an Oxford College can generate a sense of connectedness and community – especially sharing meals together”.

Get involved

See the Summer School programme http://oxfordmindfulness.org/about-us/courses/summer-schools/programme-2017/

Listen to mindfulness podcasts by Mark Williams https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/people/mark-williams

OMC mindfulness courses for members of the general public http://oxfordmindfulness.org/about-us/courses/mbct-courses/

The OMC also offers termly mindfulness courses for Oxford University students at significantly subsidised rates – contact your College for details.

Find out more about holding conferences at St Hugh’s.