Comments by MBSR participants:
“You gave me the gift of a lifetime.”
“This class truly is the perfect complement to therapy.”
“I learned a lot about myself and how my conditioning and need for control contribute to my stress, and some tools to be more aware.”
“This class has taught me how to be a better parent.”
“I feel a sense of freedom now….like I don’t have to be afraid anymore.”
“I usually just plow life through without pausing and noticing what’s going on with me – thank you for providing the wake-up call.”
“The class was so helpful to me, especially with all the changes happening in my life.”
“I have gained tools for a mindfulness practice and am the better for it.”
“I am putting this class into practice, particularly given my health issues.”
“This life-long practice is empowering…the course is well worth the time and effort.”
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Since its inception, MBSR has evolved into a common form of complementary medicine addressing a variety of health problems. The National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has provided a number of grants to research the efficacy of the MBSR program in promoting healing (see "Studies" below for information on this research). Completed studies have found that pain-related drug utilization was decreased, and activity levels and feelings of self esteem increased, for a majority of participants. More information on these studies can be found on the University of Massachusetts Medical School website: Center for Mindfulness
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction brings together mindfulness meditation and yoga. Although MBSR is a training with potential benefits for all types of participants, historically, students have suffered from a wide range of chronic disorders and diseases. MBSR is an 8-week intensive training in mindfulness meditation, based on ancient healing practices, which meets on a weekly basis. Mindfulness practice is ideal for cultivating greater awareness of the unity of mind and body, as well as of the ways the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can undermine emotional, physical, and spiritual health. The mind is known to be a factor in stress and stress-related disorders, and meditation has been shown to positively effect a range of autonomic physiological processes, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing overall arousal and emotional reactivity. In addition to mindfulness practices, MBSR uses yoga to help reverse the prevalence of disuse atrophy from our culture's largely sedentary lifestyle, especially for those with pain and chronic illnesses. The program brings meditation and yoga together so that the virtues of both can be experienced simultaneously .
The MBSR program started in the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 and is now offered in over 200 medical centers, hospitals, and clinics around the world, including some of the leading integrative medical centers such as the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine, and the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine. Many of the MBSR classes are taught by physicians, nurses, social workers, and psychologists, as well as other health professionals who are seeking to reclaim and deepen some of the sacred reciprocity inherent in the doctor-caregiver/patient-client relationship. Their work is based on a need for an active partnership in a participatory medicine, one in which patient/clients take on significant responsibility for doing a certain kind of interior work in order to tap into their own deepest inner resources for learning, growing, healing, and transformation.
Mindfulness is a lifetime engagement--not to get somewhere else, but to be where and as we actually are in this very moment, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.
MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION PROGRAM
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program that incorporates mindfulness to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. Developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.In recent years, meditation has been the subject of controlled clinical research.This suggests it may have beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to quality of life, but that it does not help prevent or cure disease. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.
This program challenges participants to practice present moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement. Through the use of these techniques, a person learns to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. With practice, one can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with one’s self, loved ones, and the life one is living.
MBSR can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.
Learn about the roles of stress and reactivity in health and healing
Cultivate mindful awareness through several different types of meditation practices
Establish a daily meditation practice
Recognize negative patterns of reactivity triggered by stressors, and utilize mindfulness to develop alternative responses to stress
Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection with your body, emotions, and relationships with others
What to Expect
The MBSR program consists of 10 sessions; nine weekly sessions, each 2 hours long, and one all-day intensive, the Day of Mindfulness.
Session 1: Orientation: Meet your classmates, instructor, and review logistics and expectations for the course.
Session 2: Introduction to mindfulness, and the Awareness of Breathing & Body Scan meditation practices
Session 3: The stress response, bringing awareness to present-moment experience, and introduction to walking meditation practice.
Session 4: Connecting to pleasant moments, mindful movement (gentle yoga), and introduction to the council process (mindful speaking and listening).
Session 5: Expanding your field of awareness to “choiceless”, open awareness.
Session 6: Introduction to Loving Kindness Meditation.
Session 7: Mindfulness and awareness in your communication.
Session 8: Review of mindfulness practices through lens of experience
Session 9: Acknowledging progress, the ongoing process, and how to sustain a mindfulness practice going forward.
The Day of Mindfulness (typically occurring between Sessions 7 and 9) is an all-day silent retreat allowing experience of a longer-form and deeper meditation practice. This session is an opportunity to put into practice all the skills you have learned so far in a supportive community environment, together with the other students from concurrent MBSR courses, and alumni from previous MBSR courses.
The learning in your weekly class sessions is supported by written material and audio tracks with guided meditations. Access to these materials are included in the course fee.
Attendance is important. By registering for this course you are committing yourself to attend each of the nine (9) weekly sessions, the Day of Mindfulness session, and to practice at home 45-60 minutes every day for the duration of the course.
To facilitate the strong group learning environment that enriches each class experience, we do not permit participants to “make-up” missed sessions with a concurrent or later course. If you know in advance that you will miss a session, let me know. If you have to miss a session unexpectedly, see me about what you missed.
If you are interested in the next Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course please visit here for sign up.