Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a mindfulness training program that helps us access and strengthen our own inner resources, to more actively engage in the moment, and find greater balance, ease, and peace of mind. MBSR is the original mindfulness course, has been exhaustively researched, and is considered to be the gold standard in mindfulness training.

The MBSR program was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD, drawing on years of personal and professional experience with meditation, yoga, neuroscience, medicine and positive psychology. The benefits of MBSR have since been the subject of well over 6,000 mainstream scientific studies, and it has proven to provide significant help to people struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and chronic illness.

In 1993, Bill Moyers interviewed Jon Kabat-Zinn throughout the course and created, “Healing from Within”. Although the program is a bit dated, the video describes some of the methods magic of MBSR. Here is an excerpt:  https://youtu.be/D09HI_WFl5U

With MBSR you can:

    • Learn mindful approaches to manage physical, emotional, and psychological pain, stress, and difficulty in an effective way.
    • Improve your stress resilience and avoid burnout.
    • Improve the quality of your life and relationships at work and at home.
    • Overcome old and unhelpful habits of thought and reaction, and forge new pathways of responding with wisdom and compassion.

Course details

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a structured 8-week training that includes:

    • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
    • Guided instruction in gentle stretching and mindful movement, based on yoga and qi gong
    • Group discussions and dialogue aimed at enhancing mindfulness in everyday life
    • Daily home assignments to build a foundation of regular mindfulness practice
    • And you’ll take away:
      • Access to meditation audio files for home practice
      • A 50-page workbook as your guide to the course, with short readings and resources to support your ongoing practice of mindfulness

The course structure:

    • Eight classes, each two-and-a-half hours long.
    • One day-long retreat (six hours).
    • Daily practice at home of 30-45 minutes during the entire course- which will become the foundation of your ongoing, and hopefully lifelong practice.

Make a Commitment (to yourself!)

MBSR, like exercise, is truly experiential proposition: learning about it is great, but the majority of the benefits come from doing it. A robust set of studies show that the benefits one receives – whether it’s stress reduction, avoiding depression, managing pain – is directly related to the time spent practicing. In fact, a significant amount of time in class will be spent actually doing the practices and sharing our experiences with each other.

Most of us have busy lives and it may feel like adding the weekly class and daily home practice is  going to add to your stress level.  And it may – but you’ll quickly realize that the stress relief- as time goes on, more than makes up for the challenge of adding to your already busy life. Remember, what you practice grows stronger- whether they are positive OR negative thoughts and emotions.

So please – make a commitment to your own wellbeing and make your best effort to attend all class sessions and do the home practice. There will be plenty of support from the instructors, the recorded and written materials, and from your fellow participants – but the decision to commit to MBSR can come from you alone.