Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a blend of meditation, body awareness, and yoga: Developed by the University of Massachusetts, this program provides an in-depth learning program, that looks at the mind, body, and emotions, through practice and study how your body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically. As you go through this program you will be challenged to look at your body, mind, and emotional patterns.
This course consists of 8 modules. Each module has several lessons to guide you in developing both your inner connections to body, mind, spirit, food, and sleep, as well as various anchors, tools, and perspectives to connect with your outside-in views of the environment and relationships.
Through this MBSR course, you will learn skills that can increase your ability to:
While MBSR is not a “cure” for serious medical conditions and should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment, research indicates that mindfulness training can have a significant therapeutic effect for those experiencing stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, chronic pain, migraines, heart conditions, diabetes, and other ailments. In addition, participants typically report feeling more alive, more “in-tune” with themselves and others.
If you want to know even more…
You don’t really need to know more about mindfulness to get started with the MBSR course, but if you are interested, you can view the information-packed video of Jon Kabat-Zinn speaking at Google that goes into much more detail than the short videos below, including more about the research that validates the practice of mindfulness in terms of physical health and psychological well-being.
The importance of practice:
This course is highly experiential and the daily practice is perhaps the most important component. You wouldn’t expect to learn to surf by reading a book about surfboards and waves, and learning a mindfulness practice is no different than any other skill that involves both mind and body. You know from your own experience in learning to play an instrument, or a sport, or any complex skill whatsoever, that practice is important. Your body/mind is the most complex instrument in the universe. It takes time and practice to use it effectively and harmoniously.
For this reason, we recommend that you set aside about 30 minutes a day for practice. This may be the most difficult hurdle you face in getting started because one of the very issues you are facing maybe not having enough time for all that needs to get done in a day – how are you going to find an extra 30 minutes? Previous participants have said that after a few weeks of practice, although their time to “do things” is technically 30 minutes less, there can be a feeling of having more space and time, even in the middle of a very busy day.
In session number one, we look at how this state of being alive and whole in the present moment is always available, but it typically eludes us, especially in times of difficulty and external pressures. We don't sense our bodies, emotions, and may use food, substances, or behaviors to escape. What should you hope to accomplish in this session?
To embody these practices further we must first look at the body scan. The body scan has proven to be an extremely powerful and healing form of meditation. It forms the core of the lying down practices that people train in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. It involves systematically sweeping through the body with the mind, Read the overview of the body scan meditation by downloading the attached document.