Premium -Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Course with one-to-one coaching

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About Course

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:

  • Cope with stress, pain, and the challenges of everyday life
  • Deal with disturbing events with grace and composure
  • Be fully present and alive in each moment and then the next

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.

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Course Content

Module 1 – Introduction to Sensing Your Body
<p>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?</p> <ul><li>That you will gain a deeper understanding of mindfulness practices and understanding body/mind physiology.</li><li>That you will understand thought patterns in relation to food choices and eating habits</li><li>That you will bring a greater sense of awareness to your relationship with food and the world around you</li><li>That you will pay attention to the habits of the mind as we eat</li><li>That you will learn how to truly EXPERIENCE eating</li></ul> <p>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.</p> <div class="wp-block-file"><a href="">MBSR-Body Scan</a><a href="" class="wp-block-file__button" download>Download</a></div>

  • Lesson 1 – Introduction – The Commitment – Sensing your Body
  • Lesson 2 – Understanding the Body and Mind Connections
  • Lesson 3 – Looking at Food, Healing, Panic and Transformation
  • Lesson 4 -Savoring, Raisins, Books, Articles, Body & Breath
  • Mindfulness Quiz

Module 2 – Focusing Your Attention and the Brain
In this module, we look at sitting meditation and using the breath as the primary object (anchor) for meditation. In many cultures, the breath is seen as the spirit, or wind, that carries us forward in life. It is what feeds our bodies with energy. We come into the world with a breath and leave it with a breath. This module is about focusing our attention on the breathing process. When we can keep the focus on the breath and also scan the body while sitting, we open our awareness to our inner knowing and abilty to note what is happening with more accuracy. Alternating between the breath and the body, we practice the simple act of sitting in a state of awareness, noticing the body, breath, rise, and fall, the sensations of the chest and the belly, and the senses that signal the body and give rise to thoughts and feelings.

Module 3 – Mind-Body Connection, Thoughts
In this module, we look at the mind-body connection and how our busy mind, with its thoughts, chatter, replays of past events, forecasting expectations, fears about the future, or evaluations of present experience (I like this, don't like that, when will this be over, etc.) can drive us crazy. It can seem that the object of meditation is to get rid of all thoughts and distractions, and when that isn't happening, you may feel like you are failing at meditation and/or the meditation can turn into a struggle, wanting your experience to be different than it is. In fact, the kind of meditation you are learning is more about working skillfully with any internal or external experience and isn't really about "getting rid" of thoughts and distractions. In fact, it can be said that wandering thoughts are the weights that train the muscles of the mind. The muscles are made of awareness, of thoughts, breathing, sensations, etc... consistent awareness.

Module 4 -Stress: Responding vs. Reacting
In this module, we look at stress and the capability that it has to rob us of the present moment, by activating the brain's amygdala. The physiology of stress is that from an evolutionarily perspective it helps us, protecting us from danger, but it can actually put our lives in danger when it is activated continually and without resolution.

Module 5 – Turning Toward Difficulty
In this module, we introduce a new way to deal with difficult emotions or physical pain, called "Turning Toward" that involves intentionally exploring the difficulty rather than moving away from it. This is a powerful method, but it is deeply counter-intuitive because the last thing we think we want to do is to move closer to what's been troubling us. When some difficulty presents itself during meditation in the form of a thought, emotion, or physical sensation, we have been simply acknowledging it and then “firmly but gently” returning to the object of awareness (for instance, breath in the sitting meditation).

Module 6 – Stress is Everywhere
In this module, we ask you to consider all the truly stressful situations in your life. Are there many? Most stressful situations involve other people. In this lesson, we focus on communication and what it means to be mindful in our interactions with others, whether it be family members, co-workers, or neighbors. Our focus up until now has been on our internal world (thoughts, feelings, and sensations); now we move from the intra-personal to the inter-personal, taking into account another's world and the place where their world and ours meet. This means recognizing that "the other" (person or persons) have their own perceptions, feelings, and needs, which are almost certainly different than ours.

Module 7 – Loving-Kindness – Compassion
In this module, we look at the lack of compassion for ourselves and our society on the whole. It is at the heart of what I believe is the great dis-ease. It is in our discomfort, our sense that there is something wrong with ourselves or others, that we forget, or do not cultivate compassion. Up to this point in the course, compassion has played a subtle, but important role in our meditation practice. In fact, compassion, and especially self-compassion, maybe the most important component of MBSR - it’s the oil that makes the gears of mindfulness work. Without it, the practices are at best, dry, and at worst, harsh and counter-productive. At the heart of our lack of compassion for ourselves is the lie that many of us grew up with: in order to be successful, we must not only work hard, but we must be hard on ourselves. In this lesson, we look at the role of compassion and how to cultivate it for ourselves and the world around us.

Module 8 – Conclusion and Integration
During our final module, we look at the impact of the course has been, between watching the videos, reading the recommended material, and doing the practices, we explore all of the work and its impact. As a result of the learning and practices, it's likely that there have been some changes and we look at how the ongoing practice can further influence your life. What changes have you noticed since you began the course? The changes may be different than you expected and they might not be monumental. They could include subtle shifts, such as discovering that you are sometimes able to find space in the middle of a busy day, or that you are a little more resilient in encounters with others, or you're just a little kinder to yourself in difficult situations. It's often the subtle changes that are actually most profound, because they indicate learning that has been integrated, that they come from the inside-out rather than top-down.

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