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This course is for MSD postgraduate researchers and consists of six one-hour workshops that blend wellbeing ideas and practices with opportunities for self-reflection.

You are required to attend this course on 6 days:

2 June @ 16:00 - 17:00

4 June @ 16:00 - 17:00

7 June @ 16:00 - 17:00

9 June @ 16:00 - 17:00

14 June @ 16:00 - 17:00

16 June @ 16:00 - 17:00


More than half of all researchers in the UK have sought – or wish they had sought – professional help for their mental and emotional health. 

A lack of understanding of our being not only leaves us vulnerable – we also miss out on a critical application of scientific curiosity: the ability to observe our thoughts and feelings and their connection with the body.  It is an understanding that rewards us not only with better emotional health, but with greater creativity, resilience and better relationships. 

‘Being for Beginners’ has proved very popular among research staff, DPhils and students at Oxford, with excellent feedback and impact data. 


The series explores:

  • Human needs and nature
  • The dynamics of the body, thoughts and feelings
  • How we relate to others, nature and the present
  • Practices for developing greater awareness, understanding and well-being


The series is non-prescriptive and does not advocate any particular tradition – instead it takes a holistic approach drawing upon various disciplines and cultural perspectives.

Being for Beginners demystifies and provides a bridge into practices of self-awareness. Opportunities for guided self-reflection are provided regularly – and this is much appreciated by participants. Focus upon the breath and awareness of the body are used throughout the series to support awareness and reflection, but no previous familiarity or interest in these focal practices is presumed. 


Being for Beginners is a series of six non-prescriptive workshops, each of one hour. It blends wellbeing ideas and practices with opportunities for self-reflection.  Privacy is 100% guaranteed. It is for anyone – ­­no matter how familiar – or sceptical – you are about wellbeing practices.

The workshops build systematically ideas of awareness, reflection and change. There is a video and audio catchup available for all who register.  If you have to miss a session, just ‘catchup’, ideally before the next workshop.


You will need a good internet connection and some uninterrupted time. Participants are encouraged to be, if possible, private and fully focused on the sessions.  A pen and paper is useful for reflection exercises.


50 registered participants.


Roddy Bray is a highly experienced presenter/facilitator who blends storytelling with experiential learning, private reflection and insights from a range of disciplines and traditions.

Roddy has pursued a lifelong interest in the nature of human needs and trained as an Anthropologist in the UK (University of Durham) and as a postgraduate at the University of Cape Town. 

Roddy developed Being for Beginners in close consultation with research staff at Oxford and the series has proved very popular across the University.


“Brilliantly-led sessions. Most of all it respects privacy - no judgment.”


Thank you! I honestly thought it was going to be bullsh*t and I had planned to multitask during it. But you got me interested very early and I ended up not multitasking, and really enjoying it.

A great introduction to understanding yourself and your interactions with the outside world.”