When we survey the landscape of our lives and reflect on the best and most difficult times, we are usually thinking about emotion. Even if we don’t consider ourselves particularly ‘emotional,’ the drama of joy and sorrow, love and anger, security and fear – is poignant for all of us.
The skill of emotional balance is vital not only for our own well-being, but for our efforts to share mindfulness practices with youth. How can we empathize with a child experiencing intense emotion if we do not have a vivid and mindful picture of our emotional life?
As you will see in this course, there are tools and approaches that can be cultivated through our deliberate efforts that have tangible results, enhancing our capacity to regulate emotion and creating greater emotional freedom.
“The course brought so much insight and guidance into difficult areas of my experience – anger, shame, views of the self. It helped me step back from these emotions and view my own experience with much more kindness and tenderness.”
Through videos, readings, and exercises, this six-week online course offers an opportunity to deepen your mindfulness practice* and enrich your emotional life, based on the latest scientific research on emotion. Each week covers a new topic as we guide you through different approaches to managing difficult emotion:
- Week 1: Understanding Emotion & Practices to Soothe the Intensity of Feeling
- Week 2: Emotion Regulation & Intimacy with Our Emotional Experience
- Week 3: Worry, Anxiety & Mindfulness
- Week 4: Skillfully Meeting Anger
- Week 5: Self-criticism, Shame, & The Wisdom of Kindness
- Week 6: How Views of Self Influence Our Emotional Life
* Before taking this course, we require participants to have a background in personal mindfulness practice, either through our intro course, Mindfulness Fundamentals, or through one of these approved trainings.
“Matthew is extraordinarily gifted in his ability to clearly and compassionately explain how to understand and navigate difficult emotions; I also learned more about my own emotional life than I could have ever imagined. I will be returning to the course material for years to come!”
Matthew Brensilver, PhD, holds a master’s degree in clinical social work and has done psychotherapy with adolescents, adults and groups. He received a PhD from USC, where his research investigated explanations of psychiatric comorbidity. Currently, Matthew conducts research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine. He also teaches at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center on the intersection of mindfulness and psychotherapy.
Matthew Brensilver has practiced mindfulness since 2000 and continues to be a dedicated student of the practice. He holds a master’s and PhD from USC, where his dissertation focused on developmental psychopathology – the study of resilience and psychiatric disorder across the lifespan. Following completion of his graduate studies, Matthew spent several years doing clinical research at UCLA’s School of Medicine. There, he worked with the Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine where his research focused on clinical trials for addiction treatments. He teaches at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center where he focuses on the intersection of mindfulness and psychotherapy and teaches meditation retreats nationally. Matthew joined the Mindful Schools staff in 2014 and is delighted to share this course on emotion with you.
Meet the Guiding Teachers:
Gene Lushtak began meditation practice in 1997 and completed numerous long retreats before moving to Thailand in 2004 to practice intensively. Upon returning to the United States, Gene sought to bring the mindfulness teachings into everyday life. He taught mindfulness in grade schools as part of InnerKids in Los Angeles and has been leading a sitting group in San Francisco for more than ten years. Gene also sees clients as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma.
Sara Schedler was introduced to mindfulness as an undergraduate at Brown University and has been a dedicated practitioner for almost 20 years. She completed numerous periods of intensive silent meditation retreat, ranging from one to three months. Sara taught mindfulness at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center for two years and has taught teen mindfulness retreats since 2003. She spent years sharing the Mindful Schools curriculum in public schools with children in grades K-6. She holds a Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation from UCLA and continues to work at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Prior to dedicating herself full-time to mindfulness, Sara worked in the environmental field on issues of climate change and clean energy.
Cheryl Slean has practiced mindfulness for more than 20 years and is a graduate of UCLA’s Certificate Program in Mindfulness Facilitation. She has taught extensively since 2007, leading numerous sitting groups, class series and retreats at venues nationwide including Against the Stream, Seattle Insight, Santa Monica Hospital, Swedish Hospital, the Hammer Museum, Google, Michael’s House Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center, Refuge Recovery and Insight Community of the Desert, among others. She has collaborated with the healthcare community, participating in research and education on mindfulness and chronic pain, stress relief and substance addiction. Cheryl is also a filmmaker and theater artist and is interested in the intersection of the arts, mindfulness and sustainability.