Introduction to Mindfulness - Short Course

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Introduction to Mindfulness – Short Course

Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi is excited to bring a new group course to the wider Abu Dhabi community, offering a brief taste of mindfulness practice and theory for anyone interested in mindfulness.

What is mindfulness? It is a natural capacity we all have to pay attention without judgment to the present moment. Regular meditation practices help us learn skills to consistently bring attention to our moment-by-moment experience, while holding attitudes of interest and curiosity, openness, acceptance and kindness. In doing so, we strengthen our ability to recognize mind wandering and automatic patterns of reactivity, and increase our capacity to choose more skillful responses to the stresses of daily life.

General research on mindfulness provides strong evidence that it can improve mental clarity and focus, boost mood, increase self-confidence, reduce insomnia, improve functioning of the immune system, reduce blood pressure, decrease severity of chronic pain and increase the ability to cope with the presence of pain. Regular mindfulness practice increases psychological wellbeing in general and reduces stress, increases self-compassion and empathy, and can make us kinder. There is also strong evidence to show the positive effect of mindfulness on memory, attention, processing and executive functioning, possibly even lessening cognitive decline due to mental and emotional stress.

Dr. Arlene Cooke, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi, will lead this short, 3-week taster program. Each one-hour session explores a core theme:

  • Understanding the mind’s natural tendency to be scattered and to wander; how we can train attention to create choices about where and how we place attention, and how this can fundamentally shape our experience.
  • Exploring different ways of being and knowing; recognizing how much of our experience is shaped by thought; that other more experiential and observing modes are also available to us, and how we can learn to use them to help us flourish over time.
  • Recognizing the difference between reacting and responding; developing ways to create the space to make choices between them, and exploring how this understanding can shape our experience and the quality of our lives.

What Happens During Sessions?

Sessions are group-based, and involve a combination of teaching, experiential mindfulness practices, discussion, and trying out what is learned in everyday life. Each session builds on learning and experience from the previous session.

You will also be invited to continue to practice the sessions’ themes through some home practice in between sessions.

How The Course Works:

3 Consecutive Weeks: 5th, 12th and 19th March 2023.

1 hour per class

Class Timings: Sundays from 11 AM to 12 PM. Class will start promptly on time.
Maximum Class Size: 25 participants.
Venue: The Third Place Café (upstairs function room)
Location and Facilities: In-person at The Third Place Café (upstairs function room), Corniche Rd and Al Bateen Rd, Villa T3, Abu Dhabi.


  • Participants can register their interest by contacting the group leader at
  • All applicants will be asked to complete a short questionnaire to help you and Dr. Cooke
    evaluate whether this course is the right fit for you at this time.