Chevron Left
Back to De-Mystifying Mindfulness

Learner Reviews & Feedback for De-Mystifying Mindfulness by Universiteit Leiden

4.8
stars
1,417 ratings
551 reviews

About the Course

Interest in meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation has grown exponentially in recent years. Rather than being seen as mystical practices from ancient Buddhism or esoteric philosophy, they are increasingly seen as technologies rooted in evidence from psychology and neuroscience. Mindfulness has become the basis for numerous therapeutic interventions, both as a treatment in healthcare and as a means of enhancing well-being and happiness. For millions around the world, mindfulness has become a life-style choice, enhancing and enriching everyday experience. Mindfulness is big business. But, what actually is mindfulness? Is it really good for you? Can anyone learn it? How can you recognize charlatans? Would you want to live in a mindful society, and would it smell like sandalwood? What does it feel like to be mindful? Are you mindful already, and how would you know? Evolving from the popular Honours Academy course at Leiden University, this innovative course combines conventional scholarly inquiry from multiple disciplines (ranging from psychology, through philosophy, to politics) with experiential learning (including specially designed ‘meditation labs,’ in which you’ll get chance to practice and analyze mindfulness on yourself). In the end, the course aims to provide a responsible, comprehensive, and inclusive education about (and in) mindfulness as a contemporary phenomenon. During the production of this course, we have been supported by Willem Kuyken, Director of the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and Stephen Batchelor, co-founder of Bodhi College. And we gratefully acknowledge the contributions made by Mark Williams, co-developer of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Rebecca Crane, Director of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at the University of Bangor. We have recently added expert advice from Dawn Scott (Spirit Rock & Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies), Sydney Spears (University of Kansa), Elisabeth Stanley (Georgetown University), Susan Woods (Centre for Mindfulness Studies), Patricia Rockman (University of Toronto) and Jeff Corntassel (University of Victoria). "A deep and profound dive into the ethical, social, psychological, and philosophical implications of modern-day mindfulness practice. The course is not for the faint of heart, perhaps, but it is also full of practical, guided exercises for the uninitiated! Thank you for redefining my relationship to Mindfulness in a completely new and thought-provoking way" 28 april 2021 "The course enabled me to explore the mindfulness construct at its deeper lever from philosophical, psychological and political lenses. The mindfulness labs were very useful in practicing the skills of being mindful." 23 nov 2018 "i took this course after a period of time when I was trying to practice mindfulness and meditation, but with doubtful success. The course answered many questions to me, and I needed that to keep me motivated. It really helped me understand the origins and, more importantly, benefits of mindfulness practice and made me persist in my attempts. I'm really glad I took the course, I find it interesting, well taught and very useful for all those seeking deeper explanation in why trying mindfulness." 9 Oct 2018 "I have taken other courses in other online platforms. However, this has been one of the best courses I have found online." 3 Oct 2018 "I really like the invitation to us, the learners, to rethink our preconceptions and beliefs, and then make our own judgement about mindfulness. The overall tone was very friendly and open, resources very useful." 12 Dec 2017...

Top reviews

SM
Jul 20, 2020

A course that will open your mind and heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt so much about Mindfulness and how I want to incorporate it into my daily life, relationships and personality. Thank you!

AL
Nov 1, 2017

Awesome!\n\nLots of valuable theory, which includes uncovering fears and doubts. And the most important: practice. You can learn meditation here, and truly understand why the hell it's so important.

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 549 Reviews for De-Mystifying Mindfulness

By Cynthia A

Mar 11, 2018

I found myself fast forwarding throughout the videos, I found lots of the information redundant and repetitive. I felt as if we never reached the actual point of the subject or the meat of it so to speak. I kept waiting for more depth, more information, more "aha" moments in which I felt I have learned something, but that did not happen. Perhaps I am already mindful as I do try to be every moment of every day.

By Sally P

Jul 10, 2020

A colon is made of two dots. Is it the top dot that implies the bottom dot, or rather the bottom dot that implies the top dot, and what if the dots are not in exact lineage above each other but a little bit apart, can that still be called a colon: well yes and no at the same time.... If you like that kind of reasoning you'll love this course. Without the written transcripts I find it extremely hard to follow the course speaker, and the reasoning all circular avoiding a clear statement. The practical exercises of meditation are much more useful.

By J-Man

Oct 15, 2019

Though it is rich with informaton, I personally found this course far less fascinating than I had initially hoped. It felt to be a stream of information that I couldn't really apply, I didn't feel like I was progressing in my scientific or meditative journey here just rehearsing lots of terminology and icons. The teacher was well spoken and easy to understand but I think the actual content of the course lost me along the way.

By Olena B

Nov 15, 2016

Buddhism conversion course.

By Alex T

Aug 31, 2021

T​his is a holistic coverage of all things about what meditation is all about, its genesis, the offshoots and current practices. There could not be a more in-depth coverage of this mystical subject normally associated with the requirements of a Himalayan retreat or for being ordained under a monk; nor could there be a serenity that comes from experientially undergoing the course, thanks to a teacher who himself is a practitioner and the depths that he helps students of the course plumb for themselves to understand the how and why. I found resonance in the contents with Christ's teachings and could draw a number of parallels to give me a suspicion that maybe, there is some truth in the allegations that Jesus went to India - to learn under Buddhist Monks based in the Himalayas - before starting his short ministry in Israel. Whatever the truth, I have enournmously benifited from the course and my only complaint would be dear Prof. Chris Go-To Jones' tendency to use very long sentences when he writes those empathetic emails to graduates of his class, helping address each one's problems from lived experience. However, there could not be a more personal and genuine connect that evolves into a relationship from a course taken anywhere on any subject - a continuous hand-holding, as one faces the reality of one's own baggage that can only be dealt with by practicing mindfulness. The ample course content, the mindfulness exercises and the genuiness of the Professor all add to - Nirvana?!

By Mulessh B

Mar 24, 2017

I enjoyed studying this course. The video lectures of Dr Gotto-Johns very interesting but at times he was too soft spoken; needing extraordinary attention to grasp its content. Also, found the course a bit dry and somewhat difficult. While some notes were provided, there is a need to do a proper study of the subject. A book was promised by the Profesdor which I look forward to receiving. Actually, for all courses, I feel it will be a great help to all students, particularly those who can not afford costly books, COURSERA offers free or substantially discounted books on the subject taught.

I completed Memory related course UNDERSTANDING MEMORY: Explaining the Psychology of Memory through Movies 🎥. The professor who presented this course offered his book Memory and Movies at 30% discount and even provided link with Discount code. As I liked the course, I tried to purchase this book but I got a reply from MIT Press that either to discount scheme is over or has not started so they CAN NOT offer it.!!

I was very disappointed 😔 that despite COURSERA being such a big and professional body, such gaffes takes place. You may please address this and then let me know if I can buy at a low price.

By Elizabeth A F

Nov 6, 2019

A subject that is, to me, still extremely complicated. It is spoken of and explored and looked at and studied from numerous points of view, narrated and cared for by a man who truly appears to believe what he is saying and who truly care that the student enjoys the learning and gets something secure out of the course. I have really felt that this topic is over my head, yet my teacher, who guides me through the course, asures me, the student, that I am doing exactly as I should be doing and that I am where I should be.

I am grateful to have this course as a task for me to complete.

It is important to be sure and to do the exercises that are present in the course and to keep a journal of your experiences. The couse really wants the student to experience his or her own mindfulness, whatever it may be for him or for her.

I have a difficult time with some of the more academic Learning and the mindfulness exercises can be challenging, only because my level of mindfulness is not where I would like it to be. I do hope to complete this couse on time and to turn the rest of my assignments in on time and to complete the rest of the course in as fully and in as much a way as possible.

By Pramod A

Oct 27, 2016

This course is outstanding. It not only de-mystefied mindfulness, but increased my own mindfulness, even though I have benefited immensely from a Vipassana course several months ago. Dr. Goto-Jones has navigated the controversial subject of mindfulness brilliantly by his own articulate manner of objectivity, while tackling topics such as religion, philosophy, and commercialization head on, without superimposing his own views, leaving the ultimate choice of what concepts and beliefs one wants to retain, modify, or discard entirely to the student. To that end, his highly qualified, I even say, wise guests contributed significantly through their own views and/or exercise guidance. I hope many more will benefit from this course in future. My best wishes to Dr. Goto-Jones and a heartfelt thank you to hi and all his guests!

By Hellen P

Feb 9, 2017

The course was well organized. I like the structure of the course: watching the theory videos, practicing various meditations and reflecting on the experience, and summarizing or deepening the knowledge. I was not interested in the written assignments at first because I complete the first one haphazardly just to complete the assignment. However, I spent more time reflecting on the rest of the assignments, and it was important to give oneself time to actually reflect and write a meaningful written task. The workload was manageable. I fell behind on an assignment, but I submitted it late. I was happy to have had the chance to submit and receive peer feedback. I really liked receiving the peer feedback. Thank you for the course. I really enjoyed it, and it has deepened my practice and my knowledge of mindfulness.

By Maria M

Sep 11, 2017

This has been my first attempt at guided meditation and I am very thankful for the creators of this class to have shared this with us. Thank you. Your work is truly incredible and highly appreciated. You really are helping expand the mindful movement and change our lives one exercise at a time.

I had no idea what this course would be like when I signed up for it. I signed up because I like the illustration on the icon above. This was an incredible experience where I was able to learn a little about social stereotypes, have some exposure to practices and religions around the world, and connect with people taking this class from thousands of miles away. It was nice to read through some of their posts and know what some of them share the same thoughts as I do.

By P K

Jul 4, 2017

Excellent course on mindfulness that explains all the concepts behind the various practices. Given that there is no universal definition of mindfulness, it goes into detail what makes up mindfulness by tracing its history and where it might go in the future. The assignments force you to think and reflect on what you learn at each step in the course. It is also a great mix of the theoretical and practical. There are course materials that you can download to continue your reading and research into this fascinating field. It helps to have some kind of daily practice when you enroll in the course, but it is not essential. I really enjoyed the course. Maybe there will be follow-up for deepening the practice. Thanks!

By Rona J

Dec 6, 2020

Chirs Goto-Jones, thank you for the insightful, fulfilling, mind-changing journey you have taken me on during the 4 months it took me to complete this 6 week mindfulness course. Being able to extend it beyond the 6 weeks was such a bliss. I could do it on my own pace without feeling rushed, guilty or that I am not good enough to complete it within the 6 weeks. Loved every moment of it. It challenged me to deeper thoughts and insight. It tremendously broadened my exposure to the bigger picture and the various view point in terms of religion, philosophy, commercialization and so much more.

I highly recommend this course to all humans because it broadens your horizon.

By Virat M

Nov 3, 2017

What a fantastic course for anyone trying understand mindfulness in its various interpretations. It was both intellectually stimulating as well as practically enriching. Not only have I grown by leaps and bounds in my own current meditation practice, but it has left me hungry for more. Has it managed to demystify mindfulness for me? No!! but that is the fantastic thing about this subject..it never seems to end...and hence I wish this course could have gone on and on!

I will miss Chris Goto-Jones and his wise lectures and I therefore finish this course, with a twinge of sadness as well as joy for having been part of this magnificent experience.

By Greg S

Dec 31, 2016

Lots of great material. A good place to start for those new to mindfulness and an opportunity to broaden and deepen one's practice for more long-term practitioners. A variety of religious and secular perspective are covered, both current and historical, with a view toward ethics and practical application. The perspective presented is unbiased and encourages independent thinking, self-analysis and reflection. It was well worth the time I invested and I intend to continue referring back to the notes I have made as well as the resources that have been provided throughout the course. I look forward to more from Prof. Goto-Jones in this area!

By Jay S

Dec 14, 2018

Thank you very much for the opportunity. The course has a lot of learning material and it was just awesome to learn some of the things that I would have not ever known otherwise. I would have to say "Excellent" I appreciate Chris Goto-Jones for the amount of work that was given in putting De-Mystifying Mindfulness. I'm presently using my new learning to pave my way for teaching it. I will also contribute to the mission of Leiden University to continue these efforts to keeping this course alive for all who are willing to take advantage of becoming aware of their every day activities (Being Mindful)

By Ligeia V

Nov 7, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and the team involved with it. I found it thought provoking, challenging and delightful. A well constructed, well thought out course with clear objectives. After 40 years on the path of Mindful living, this course came at just the right time for me. My deepest appreciation and respect to all involved in the creation, presentation and smooth running of this course. As a teacher and trainer I congratulate you on the creation of something that will change many lives. Keep up the good work and let's see some more of the same so we all keep growing in our knowing.

By Eleonora m

Dec 5, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this course as it provided me with directions on how to practice mindfulness; the guided meditations are so valuable. I am grateful to Chris (the teacher) for his understanding, compassion and empathy. I did struggle to juggle videos, assignments, practice, my full time job, kid, dog, various accidents but I was encouraged by the understanding and support of the teacher. I have tried many times to finish a courser but always failed, this is the first time i have managed completion and I am so grateful for what the course has given to me: real support, understanding,

By Jeff R

Jan 12, 2021

Thank you for the opportunity to deepen my knowledge and understanding of mindfulness and meditation. I have done courses on this topic before, but this was an excellent opportunity to look at it in different contexts and to become aware of many considerations and implications that mindfulness has or may have in society and the world. I loved the mindfulness practices and online discussions too. I will continue using its materials as I continue studying meditation towards "accreditation" to teach in non-clinical settings. Your course has given me a lot of food for thought.

By Monika N

Aug 27, 2017

THis course was really interesting and well structured and gave a good overview about mindfulness, its background, the way it is taught and its connection to different parts of our life. I especially liked the interview sessions with Stephen Batchelor and the introduction into mindfulness meditation. MAybe the lecture presentation could have been a little more lively with interview sessions in between or perhaps pictures or charts. It was sometimes hard to follow the long sentences which sounded like they were written in a book, A little less perfect would have been nice.

By Savieng S

Dec 22, 2020

If you have note taking this course, I recommend it to you. I am glad I took this course. It covered a lot of great information. Well, written and thoughts, Thorough information on tradition and non tradition mindfulness practices. Great knowledge on mindfulness industry-commercial. Excellent inform on psychological and philosophical framework of mindfulness. There are many more to list. Why don't you take it yourself. You will get to meet new friends, learning some new ideas and sharing yours. You will be so glad after you had done it.

By Nicole K

Jul 22, 2020

I think this course is one of the best ones I have ever taken on course (i have been taking courses over the past two years). The lectures are clearly defined, the goals and objectives stated openly as well and the practices are made concise and accessible. Chris is a charismatic teacher and summarises difficult concept easily and understandable. I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in Mindfulness, to those who already know some basic from an experiential knowledge perspective, but especially to all the sceptics. Give it a shot!

By Salamullah

Jul 27, 2020

This course is a life-changer. Systematically designed and professionally crafted to suite learners from a diversified cultural, ethnic, geographical and academic backgrounds. Its highly effective and practical. I loved the Practical Meditation Lab sessions a lot as it was a value added segment to this amazing MOOC. I appreciate and congratulate the instructor and his entire team for designing such a useful course. I highly recommend this MOOC to everyone who wants to change and don't want to regret about any of his actions done in life.

By Maria J G G

Jun 29, 2020

This has been a wonderful course, I learned a lot but unlike other acquired learning it has greatly enriched my personal and professional life, the interaction between colleagues seems to me a nice way to connect and train empathy, it makes it more human and in a certain way more real despite the fact that it is a virtual course. I have recommended this course to my colleagues for being so sensitive and fuel to science at the same time. thank you very much for this course that more than learning lines represented a pleasant experience

By Niranjan V

Mar 4, 2018

A great introduction to mindfulness practises. I like how the course covers various aspects of mindfulness, why people are drawn to it, different traditions and commercialization of it. The creators have done a good job at making this course as interactive as possible by use of various discussion prompts and peer graded assignments. I had to do my own reasearch at various times to fill in on various aspects in the evaluation. This is a good starter course for various mindfulness techniques, their efficacy and their relevance.

By Usha V

Sep 10, 2017

Excellent Course, designed to drive self awareness and inculcating the attitude of experiencing the present nature rather than worrying about past and future. The course is well designed to engage with the virtual learners throughout the five weeks; In fact this is my first MOOC training and that too on a philosophical topic, but I really enjoyed the course and have recommended to my colleagues. Hats off to Chris Goto-jones and the entire team for coming up with this Great Course that is sure to uplifts the humanity.