A brief history

Mindfulness Based Life Enhancement (MBLE) is an approach to mindfulness which forms the basis for a course that has been running now for more than three years in Sheffield and surrounding areas. It began modestly with two lectures given at Sheffield Hallam University, one on mindfulness in organisations, the other on mindfulness and higher education. The interest level far exceeded expectations, and several people asked if an eight-week course could be run. An email to people attending the two lectures, inviting expressions of interest in an eight-week course, brought more than 15 applicants.

The course to be developed would:

      • not be offered as therapy, but rather as a course suitable for all
      • be based on mindfulness, incorporating this explicitly, but extended in various ways
      • include a positive focus
      • explicitly introduce the Four Immeasurables
      • incorporate purpose

As this first eight–week course was oversubscribed there was clearly greater demand. Further, the time involved in preparing the format, content, Guidebooks and CDs made it worthwhile to offer further courses. This led also to the decision to evaluate the courses using a variety of instruments evaluation, both to improve the programme, and also to find out whether it actually made a difference to participants. This became the basis of an action research programme stretching over two years and eight courses. Since then, the course has developed into a six week format which involves the same level of teaching, but recognises the time constraints many find in committing to regular sessions. The course has now been run more than 20 times, mostly as open courses, but we have also run a number for community groups and organisations.