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Mindfulness – Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

8 Week Course

Course Overview :

The aim of this course is to develop a strong personal foundation of mindfulness practice in daily life, and to learn new ways of handling challenging physical sensations, thoughts, emotions and life situations by helping us move towards greater balance, resilience, self-care and kindness.

Mindfulness meditation practices, including gentle movement and stretching, will be taught in a supportive group learning environment. The course is completely secular and no previous meditation experience is required. The course fee includes a set of guided practices in the form of audio files or CDs, a course handbook, in between session support if required, and the opportunity to deepen and integrate learning from the course with an experiential day of practice after week 7 in the tranquil, rural setting of Newton and Bywell Community Hall, Newton, near Stocksfield (just 15 miles from Newcastle).

For full course information and a list of dates, please click on the link below.

To apply for the course, please click on the link below.

Course Details :

  • Course teacher: Gwennie Fraser
  • The 8 week course is still available as a distance learning option. Please email for further details if you are interested.
  • Normal venue used for group-based courses :The Strauss Suite, The County Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DF (immediately opposite Central Station)
  • Cost: £250 (£180 concessions)


Session Overview :

These monthly one and a half hour sessions are open to anyone who has completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course, however recently or long ago, and in all stages of continuing mindfulness practice. The sessions offer an opportunity to  support and refresh your practice, to help keep motivated, inspired and encouraged, and to meet  in a friendly group environment to share practice in the supportive company of others. There will be time for guided practice, and also to discuss the experience of developing and sustaining practice at home.

Please simply email me ( in advance of the session to let me know if you wish to attend and with a mobile contact number.

Meeting Details :

  • Course teacher: Gwennie Fraser
  • 6.30 pm to 8 pm
  • MEETINGS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE due to public health situation with coronavirus. I plan to run some online practice support sessions through this time. Please email me if you would like to receive further details (
  • Normal venue for sessions when running: The Strauss Suite, The County Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DF
  • Cost:  £11/ ( £6 concessions) per session

Spring Day of Mindfulness Practice

Event Overview :

A silent day of practice in the support of our growing mindfulness community. A day specifically designed for all those who have already completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course, however recently or long ago, and who are developing mindfulness in their lives and work with others.

The day will offer space to renew and deepen the process of ongoing personal practice, in a supportive group environment and in the tranquil, rural setting of Newton and Bywell Community Hall. A day to settle in to practice and reflect, and an opportunity to experience new beginnings and refresh perspectives.

Please email me if you are interested in attending this event and to receive a booking form.

Event Details :

  • With Gwennie Fraser
  • Date: SATURDAY 21st March 2020:  10  am  to 3.30pm
  • CANCELLED. A future date to be confirmed when possible.
  • Venue: Newton and Bywell Community Hall, Newton, near Stocksfield, NE43 7UL
  • Cost: £38 (£22 concessions)
  • Places available on this day.


Course Overview :

The seven attitudinal foundations of mindfulness are described by Jon Kabat-Zinn as the “major pillars of mindfulness practice” (Full Catastrophe Living, 2004). Non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go are qualities of mind and heart which bring an essential attitudinal approach to  practice, and which are  naturally developed through practice itself. They can also be cultivated consciously as a way of reinforcing and deepening mindfulness practice and integrating it in daily life.

This six week course is an opportunity to deepen and enliven our  practice through exploring and  developing these qualities, and  applying them in our  lives. The course sessions will involve guided practice and  reflection on our experience in a supportive group environment. Guidelines and suggestions will be given for home practice in between sessions, and course materials to assist with reflection.

The course is suitable for all those who have completed an 8 week MBSR/MBCT course.

Course Details :

  • Course teacher: Gwennie Fraser
  • 6 week course
  • next course : dates to be confirmed
  • The Grainger Suite, Mercure Newcastle County Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DF (immediately opposite Central Station).
  • 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
  • Course fee: £180 (concessions available)
  • Please email me if you wish to register interest in this course


Course Overview :

MBCL is a mindfulness-based programme in the form of an 8 week course that supports the development and training of compassion to enhance mental and physical health. MBCL supports individuals to cultivate a friendly and compassionate attitude toward themselves and others. MBCL exercises also help individuals to experience key aspects of emotional well-being including warmth, security, acceptance and connectedness with oneself and others.

During the course, individuals are also introduced to some of the background information underlying compassion training, as well as the ways in which it can be anchored in everyday life. A further theme is nurturing compassion with oneself and others in the face of difficult emotions and challenging living situations.

The MBCL course is suitable as a follow up course for all those who have completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT programme. It consists of 8 weekly sessions of 2 hours  and a silent, all-day practice session. Course materials and guided recordings of the exercises are included in the course fee.

Course Details :

  • Course teacher: Gwennie Fraser
  • 8 week course
  •  6.30pm to 8 45pm
  • Next course: SPRING 2020
  •  Please register interest for course to receive application form.
  • The Grainger Suite, Mercure Newcastle County Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DF (immediately opposite Central Station
  • Cost: £250 (concessions available).


Retreat Overview :

This non-residential rural retreat offers an ideal opportunity to step back from your regular daily routine and deepen and refresh your personal mindfulness practice. It is held in the beautiful and tranquil rural setting of Newton and Bywell Community Hall, near Stocksfield, just 15 miles from Newcastle.

A two day non-residential retreat is particularly suitable as an introduction for those who have never been on a retreat before and also for more experienced practitioners, whose home commitments make it difficult to go on residential retreat. The retreat is suitable for anyone who has attended an eight-week mindfulness-based course, or for those with equivalent experience of meditation.

Over the two days, we will practise together in silence, stillness and movement using the transitions of arriving and leaving, eating, and resting as part of the retreat, helping to bring practice right into the experience of everyday life. The retreat will include guided and silent practice, with periods of walking out in the beautiful rural surroundings of Newton and Bywell Community Hall. There will be sustained periods of silence to enable increased connection with inner experience. There will also be opportunities for group exchanges and the teachers will be available to talk to people individually.

Please note it is a requirement to attend both days of the retreat.

Retreat Details :

  • Retreat Venue: Newton and Bywell Community Hall, near Stocksfield, Northumberland
  • Cost £110 (vegetarian lunch included)


Retreat Overview :

A 5 day silent, residential mindfulness retreat for experienced mindfulness practitioners. This Mindfulness meditation retreat provides an opportunity to deepen and develop personal meditation practice over a sustained period of time. We will move gradually into silence enabling a deepening awareness through familiar mindfulness practice. Shepherds Dene Retreat Centre offers a spacious, comfortable, tranquil and supportive environment for retreat (

This retreat is suitable for those who have taken a mindfulness-based eight-week course and are interested in developing and deepening their practice and have already had experience of a silent residential mindfulness retreat of at least two days.

If you are a mindfulness-based course teacher, this retreat provides an opportunity for you to fulfil the UK Network’s Good Practice Guidelines for commitment to attendance on residential, teacher-led, meditation retreats.

All participants can be accommodated in single occupancy rooms. There is a fully accessible bedroom for wheelchair users.

For further information and to apply, please click on the link below.

Retreat Details :

  • Retreat leaders: Gwennie Fraser and Chantek McNeilage
  • Retreat date: Sunday 19th January to Friday 24th January  2020
  • Retreat venue: Shepherds Dene Retreat Centre, Riding Mill, Northumberland , NE44 6AF
  • Retreat fee:
  • Standard rate : £270 (plus separate accommodation fee £345)
  • Concessionary rate : £145 (plus accommodation fee of £345)
  • All accommodation in individual rooms.
  •  Please register interest by email if you would like to receive information about future retreats.

Register Interest

Please let me know which course / retreat you are interested in and I’ll get back to you with the application details.

We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night.

~Jack Kornfield