The Course for Cultivating Present Moment Awareness
This course has done so much more for me than I set out for it to ‘do’. My new found awareness has spread to more loving relationships with husband, kids, mother, friends and students.— Susi Brennan • Middle School Specialist
The MBSR Course – Getting to know your experience
The 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts. The MBSR course is now offered at more than 600 institutions worldwide.
In each MBSR course, a group of 10 – 30 participants meets weekly for 8 session and one daylong practice period. Together we cultivate mindful attention and awareness of the body, the mind and spirit.
The mindfulness meditation practices help us come to sense deeply into our physical presence. To feel our toes and our heart. To feel in the body the experience of different emotions, be they pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. We come to recognize thoughts in the mind as they appear, before we act on them.
Through training we come to know our emotional states, recognizing that we are happy or sad, tired, joyful, exuberant, depressed, anxious, stressed. Becoming aware of ourselves so that we can respond rather than react. These skills are developed through weekly group sessions and daily personal practice.
The Practice – Once you experience it, it’s always available to you.
Formal mindfulness is cultivated through direct experience of guided practices:
- the body scan
- mindful movements
- walking & sitting meditation
Daily informal practices are introduced for students to use everyday to develop mindfulness:
- eating with awareness
- stopping to check in
- experiencing the present
New perspectives for approaching life are offered as part of the curriculum including:
- “What’s Not Wrong?”
- “Don’t know mind”
- “Are you sure?”
The Impact – Gain access to calm
Three decades of studies show that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training results in:
- Greater energy and enthusiasm
- An increased ability to relax
- Improved self-esteem
- An ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations
My working definition of mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, from moment to moment, with non-judging awareness.— Jon Kabat-Zinn