What to expect when you join an MBSR class? The training teaches students how to move out of their habitual stressful patterns of meeting life. This is accomplished through practicing mindful meditation skills that over time allow a student to identify self-defeating patterns and to intervene on their own behalf in healthier ways. The classes consist of the teachers providing instruction and guiding students in the various mindful meditation techniques that form the core of the training. The transformative power of the training lies in the student becoming aware of how much life is lived worrying about the future or regretting the past while missing the only moment in which to live which is the present moment. It is in this present moment where we can make new choices about the way we engage the inevitable stressors of living. The fruition of these practices when taken as an intentional discipline is a growing capacity for simplicity in living, patience, and compassion for self and others. These qualities can dramatically decrease the pain and suffering of stress-both physical and mental.
What is mindfulness?Mindfulness can be defined as paying attention in the present moment on purpose without reactivity or judgment. There is an inherent kindness to this present moment awareness. We all have this innate human capacity that can be strengthened through practice.
What are mindfulness practices?The practices utilized in the MBSR classes are awareness of breathing, mindful movement, body scan, choiceless awareness and lovingkindness.
What are the origins of MBSR?In 1979 in the hospital at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he worked Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn noticed that a group of patients with chronic pain and illness were falling through the cracks of medical care. Despite every attempt through modern medicine to heal these individuals many continued to suffer from chronic pain and its concomitant anxiety and depression. He decided to offer a complementary approach in concert with ongoing medical care. The outcome of his approach was a dramatic improvement in the lives of the patients who attended the classes. From that small beginning has grown a worldwide group of teachers providing the MBSR program.
- Google Tech Talks: Mindfulness Stress Reduction and Healing with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn
- The University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness
- Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Training
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits. A meta-analysis.
- Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School