My Journey With Online Learning: Mindfulness And More

Great news!

I have just started an online learning course or MOOC (massive open online course) and I am so excited to tell you all about it. This course is being studied through Futurelearn which is a fantastic site that allows you to browse and join various courses with different Universities all over the world, why is it so fantastic? Well mainly because it’s free! Thats right no student loan required just an open mind and some spare time each week. I am a full-time student with a love for learning.

This week I started Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance that is run by Dr Craig Hassed and Dr Richard Chambers from Monash University in Australia. I am only in my first week so I cannot assure a definite positive experience until i’ve at least completed my first course, however I will say that so far it has been an eye opener and a delight. For those of you who are unsure as to how it works, you join a course and whilst waiting for the start date you can introduce yourself to other participants on the comments board where you can find people with similar motivations or career paths as you. Once the course has started you then follow the steps through out each week, for example in this mindfulness course you will watch a video of the two gentlemen as they discuss what mindfulness means, what it involves, what you can expect but also what you shouldn’t be expecting. One thing you shouldn’t be expecting is to understand everything immediately and think that it will have a profound effect from day 1, the aim of the course is to take your time. There will be the occasional meditation audio as well. You will also be asked to discuss  what you have learnt with fellow course mates and how it has impacted you. It is here that the love and humanity between strangers has touched me, perhaps giving me more lessons on mindfulness.

Just when you think the world has gone completely mad, you have a conversation with someone you have never met to tell them of your sympathy and provide advice. I spoke to a man from Pakistan with PTSD, nearly died, lost an eye, lost his wife, was abandoned by his children and was left broke and alone. Despite this he has the amazing ability to note that he is remaining positive. Every time I read what he wrote I well up and I’d be surprised if you read this and didn’t feel your heart drop. I did. So I wrote back with this as a reply:

“I am sorry to hear of your trouble’s, I believe we are all sorry to hear it. I hope that you can get through this experience and still see the good in the world. When I have a bad day I like to walk around and pick out one thing surrounding me and just think about it. For example, I love trees and just watching them blow daintily in the wind feels reassuring that there is good and beauty in the world. I know our experiences aren’t the same, but I hope it helps in some way”

He replied that he was thankful. My response was inspired by one of my favourite movie quotes taken from American Beauty.

“It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world”

I hope some of you will read this and decide to at least look at the Futurelearn website, because it is a great opportunity to learn something completely different. To see the world in a different way. I’ve still got 5 more weeks of this course to go so I will update you on that in future posts. I have also signed up to 3 more courses to start before christmas: Why We Post, The Power of Social Media and Stereoscopy  with a possible 4th being Behind the Scenes At The 21st Museum.


Links:    -For anyone who has an interest in starting meditation, I recommend this website/app


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