Free Mindfulness Resources as a Response to Covid-19

The outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent classification as a pandemic has led to significant changes for many of us across the world. We are having to adapt to challenging circumstances in terms of our work, home life or financial situation, while making sense of moving most of our interactions with others in to the online world. 

Many mindfulness organisations and teachers are exploring ways to provide free access to mindfulness and it is heart-warming to see what has been organised already. Our hope at The Free Mindfulness Project is to map these responsive, free, mindfulness-related resources and to list them here for easy access. If you are aware of a mindfulness resource that has been developed or some freely-available online practice sessions, please email: peter@freemindfulness.org*


Recurring Live Sessions

Please note: Session times are listed as UK time which is currently BST (British summer time) or GMT+1. With the move to live online sessions, there may be some technical issues that arise, particularly in the first few times that people host sessions. We would invite you to remember that we are all adjusting to new ways of delivery. If we can bring a gentleness and a patience to the way we attempt to connect to these sessions, I am sure they will become smoother in the coming weeks and we will all get used to the rhythm of how they work. 


Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction, will be live daily from Monday 6th April through to Friday 10th April. This will be at 7pm UK time. You can sign up here. Up to 1000 people can join via zoom, others should be able to watch here. These sessions are now in their second week of running. Please sign up with the event organisers to receive any updates.



UCSD Centre for Mindfulness, Sandford Institute for Empathy and Compassion and the Compassion Institute are collaborating to offer many daily live mindfulness and compassion sessions from Monday to Friday, as well as recordings of practices. Times range from 2.30pm UK time to 1.30am UK time (6.30am PT to 5.00pm PT).



The Mindfulness Association, a UK-based mindfulness teacher-training organisation, are offering daily live practice sessions through Zoom at 7.00-7.30pm UK time followed by some space for a chat. They also have recordings of previous practice sessions on Youtube.


The Oxford Mindfulness Centrea UK-based mindfulness teacher-training organisation, are offering weekly live talks through Zoom every Wednesday 7.00pm UK time. Participant numbers are limited to 1000 but recordings are made available within a day or two (see recorded talks below). This week's talk is led by Liz Lord on, 'Connection When “Self-Isolating” and “Social Distancing.” '


The Mindfulness Network, a UK-based mindfulness teacher-training organisation,  are offering free online practice sessions at a range of times, delivered by our network of trainers, supervisors and retreat leads, to support the community. They are offering weekly practice sessions on Mondays 7.30am UK time with Gwennie Fraser for anyone who has previously attended an 8-week mindfulness course. They also have sessions open to anyone on Thursday 2nd April 10.00am with Trish Bartley and Monday 6th April 4.00pm with Rebecca Crane.


Ed Halliwell, mindfulness teacher and author, is running weekly live online drop-in mindfulness sessions on Tuesdays from 6.00-7.00pm UK time (for anyone including beginners), and on Thursdays from 26th March, 6.00-7.00pm UK time (for people who've participated in an eight-week mindfulness course or equivalent).


Gaia House, a retreat centre in the UK, is opening an Online Dharma Hall: a new space for connection, reflection, and refuge, "a place where we can share the Dharma and practice together, supporting us to meet our lives and our world in these times." This may be more suitable for people who have an established mindfulness practice. Sessions will last around 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 30 minutes and are offered via Zoom at the following times (UK time):

Tuesdays, 7.30pm
Thursdays, 11.00am
Saturdays, 5pm
Sundays, 9.30am


The Mindfulness in Schools Project are offering 20-30 minute practice sessions via through Zoom, every week-day at 11.00am UK time. The sessions are for adults, but if you have children with you, you are also welcome.


Mindful, the online magazine, are beginning to schedule some live mindfulness sessions Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, at 7.00-8.00pm UK time scheduled through Facebook under the name Mindful@Home. They are hosted by a range of mindfulness teachers such as Bob Stahl and Sharon Salzberg.


Mindfulness in Action, based in Cardiff, Wales, are running daily live sessions at 10.00am UK time including a led practice and some time for connection.

Recorded Talks


Dr. Jud Brewer, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who specializes in mindfulness, anxiety and habit change is producing new daily short videos (each around 5 minutes long) on his YouTube channel on how to work with fear, anxiety, uncertainty and other relevant topics, and also gives tips on how to develop healthy mindful habits. Click here to watch. Jud also led a talk in collaboration with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre 
on 1st April about 'Fear + Uncertainty = Anxiety. Working with Uncertainty.'


On Wednesday 25th March 2020, Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction, was live with, 'Mindfulness, healing and wisdom in a time of Covid-19'. A recording of this session is here on Youtube.


The Oxford Mindfulness Centrea UK-based mindfulness teacher-training organisation, are offering weekly live talks through Zoom. The first one was on Wednesday 25th March with Chris Cullen on 'Finding Steadiness in Uncertain Times' and a recording is available at the bottom of the page here


Tara Brach has given a talk, 'Facing Pandemic Fears With an Awake Heart'Tara Brach is a clinical psychologist, an internationally known teacher of mindfulness meditation, and author.



Jack Kornfield
 is an American Buddhist teacher. He is a founder of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County, California, US. He has recorded a short 15-minute practice of 'A Steady Heart' in response to the coronavirus situation. The practice invites an awareness of and opening to and making space for any challenging body sensations, feelings, and mind activity, in the midst of what is currently happening.

Online Courses


Breathworks is a mindfulness organisation founded in the UK. Vidyamala Burch is well known in the mindfulness community for her work around mindfulness and health. She has written a blog post, and Breathworks have developed an online course 'Mindful self-care for troubling times' specifically around coping with the impact of coronavirus. A new course for health professionals is also available called 'The Quiet Space.'



Mindful, the online magazine, is offering free access to its 'Find Calm and Nourish Resilence' course.


Catherine McGee is offering a four day home-practice retreat through Gaia House starting on Sunday 29th March. This is only for people who have an established Insight Meditation practice, and can commit to the four days of practice. You can find out more about and listen to talks from Catherine and other Gaia House teachers here.


Palouse Mindfulness is based in the US. The site offers f
ree online resources for an eight week mindfulness-based stress reduction course. The site is an excellent resource if you wish to learn more about mindfulness.


Articles

Tara Brach is a well-respected psychologist, author and mindfulness teacher in the US. Tara been interviewed in Vox in relation to Coronavirus and how we might cope.

The Mindfulness in Schools Project has written a brief piece about how we can practice mindful handwashing.

Peter Morgan, of The Free Mindfulness Project, has written a blog about reflecting on both our desire and capacity to help others.

Some thoughts on creating a home meditation spot.

Apps

Headspace is a well-known App for learning mindfulness. There is a subscription to access the full range of resources within the App, but a specific free section called 'Weathering the Storm' has been put together in response to Coronavirus.

Insight Timer (Apple, Android) began as a simple timer, but now has thousands of meditations accessible for free. It does include lots of mindfulness as we might find it in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or stress reduction, but there are also many other approaches to meditation. Insight timer have also launched a website for easy access to the same set of resources.


Practice Downloads


Mark Williams, one of the developers of Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, has released some new grounding meditations of varying lengths (10,20,30 minutes).



Chris Molnar, Clinical Psychologist & President, META & Psychological Wellness Center, has a collection of free mindfulness meditations and articles with an emphasis on relating to anxiety and fear.

Our Free Resources section offers plenty of guided mindfulness practices from a variety of mindfulness teachers. See also the links section for more variety.


Christine Longaker is an author, palliative care and self-compassion trainer and is offering 'Spiritual care resources for illness, dying or grief' as well as a self compassion practice, 'Feeling worthy of love.'

Poetry

Lynn Ungar has written a new poem entitled, 'Pandemic'. The poem begins, 'What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath—the most sacred of times?'

Words to Sit With is our sister site, with a collection of contemporary mindfulness poetry. New poems in response to our current circumstances include 'Together', 'This Long Night' and 'Feeling Frantic in a Peaceful World'.You may wish to peruse the collection, or you might feel inspired to write something and share your words.


*We will be keeping the resources listed here focused around offerings from experienced mindfulness teachers and established organisations. We will do our best to keep the listings accurate and of high quality. As you might expect, we can't take responsibility for the content of external sites, but if you do have any issue after following any of the above links or any no longer work then please let us know so we can correct any inaccuracies. Many thanks!