De-Mystifying Mindfulness 1

Over December I made a list of courses from Coursera that might be good for my future.

You can find the link to this one here.

Here are my notes on the course so far:

Based partially in experiential learning, this course aims to give you the theoretical and practical skills to understand and to critically assess Mindfulness in its various forms for yourself. Encompassing its ancient traditions and cutting edge science, this course seeks to de-mystify Mindfulness as a technology for life in the 21st century.
the equivalent of a complete eight week Mindfulness training course based on the famous MBSR on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. This special combination of theoretical and practical learning reflects the nature of Mindfulness as a field. One of its great challenges to us today is the way that it emphasizes the critical importance of our own personal experience of it, as a resource for our understanding of it. So you need to be prepared to do some honest introspection during this course as part of the process of study.

Put together in conjunction with CFI Online Learning Lab of Leiden University

Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)

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A video on how to be successful on a mooc. I think I’ll need to make a video or two for my Spanish teaching project. This one seems simple and effective!

Theory I: Introduction to Mindfulness – This Thing Called Mindfulness (video)

In general, the results suggests that the vast majority of people who take up mindfulness do so because they feel that it will help them to reduce negative experiences. In fact, about 95% of people recognize this as their motivation for participation. This category also includes the aspiration to be calmer to regulate their emotion more effectively and so on. About 30% of people hope that mindfulness will allow them to enhance their sense of well-being which also includes aspects such as feeling happier, being more fulfilled, being more self-aware. And perhaps, even having better concentration and focus.



Why do men sexually assault women? Don Greif

Original full article here.

All sexual offenders suffer from a severely compromised capacity to empathize with their victims.

In order to develop empathy and substantially mitigate their risk of reoffending, sexual offenders must know how and why they became sexually violent. But first they must acknowledge and take responsibility for their assaultive behavior.

Men who commit sexual assaults need to know what happened in their lives and minds that impaired their ability to empathize with the people they abused. Many perpetrators must understand how they were psychologically damaged, stunted and/or traumatized in their early lives – and how they learned to degrade and dehumanize women, men or children.

The wish to feel powerful is a prime motive for many sexually abusive men. Some very successful men believe they are entitled to have what they want. When they face limits or rejection they may feel impotent and become indignant in response – and then coerce sex to restore a feeling of power.

Trauma and its aftermath is frequently a critical influence in the early lives of men who perpetrate sexual offenses. In the men I evaluate, I almost always discover a devastating childhood history – rampant with sexual abuse, physical violence and emotional neglect – that laid the groundwork for their sexual aggression.

As boys, their displays of emotional vulnerability were ridiculed and sometimes met with physical abuse. Moreover, the betrayal, shame, despair, dread and fury they felt in response to maltreatment were rarely recognized by anyone, including their parents or caretakers. They suffered alone and had to rely on scant resources to manage overwhelming feelings. When their parents or caretakers were the perpetrators, it compounded their anguish.

Childhood experience, however – no matter how awful – never excuses a man’s sexually aggressive behavior nor does it sufficiently explain it. Most men with childhood trauma do not abuse others. Some remain relatively unscathed by their dark pasts. Many become depressed, addicted to substances or scared of intimacy; others sabotage themselves in work or relationships.

Pieles – Film

Watch online here.

The film is about people who are disfigured in some way, and their search for romantic love.

I can’t say watching this film was a comfortable experience. I loved the colours and the dialogue, as well as the cinematography. Without giving too much away, I can see why it is incredibly controversial. I found the opening scene incredibly shocking, seeing as it is about a paedophile who goes to sleep with a child prostitute. “There are some people in this world who are made to suffer”, the madame consoles him, while he cries.





Getting Started Podcasting

I’ve loved podcasts for a long time. In my master’s in Feminism and Gender, they mentioned how radio was a medium for women, seeing as it’s something that people can listen to while they’re doing a million and one other things (like raising kids etc).

Although I’ve loved podcasts for years, I told myself that I had nothing interesting to say. I did an interview for a radio course while my mother was still alive, and they told me that my application and blog etc. was all great, but that my accent had gotten a weird twang through teaching English and only speaking Spanish in my spare time, and “no one liked a Joss Stone, not us, and not the yanks”.

I didn’t end up doing the course, as it was more news related, and I’d prefer to work in more documentary based/narrative media.

My favourite part of my dissertation was interviewing other women about their experiences in the dance community. From there, I started interviewing foreigners about their experiences in Bilbao. Luckily, I met my friend’s partner, who offered me the use of a studio at the radio station where he worked. I was made up. What an opportunity!

I put an ad on a Facebook group called Digital Soundgirls, which is a space where women share their experiences and support each other. I help an assistant professor with her Spanish, she helps me with editing.

The first hurdle was downloading pirate versions of the programs she suggested. As ever, a few worked, a few didn’t.

My tutor told me that it’s common practice in podcasting to generate a transcription of the whole audio, then start to edit. I knew from my master’s that this could take a looooong time, so I’m currently searching for solutions to this.

Uploading to Youtube:

For some reason it won’t work (even though I’ve changed the mp2s to a youtube friendly format).

Voice, Drive:

Won’t recognise my audio well, but does work great for voice typing, so a good discovery anyway.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking:

Too expensive for me at the moment.


Now I’m waiting to see if Temi can offer the service I’m looking for.

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Fingers crossed this is the solution to this tech problem!

Skilling up by yourself can be a little frustrating when you are trying different solutions, so I’m glad that I’m doing a skills exchange with a sound engineer to support me when I hit a wall.