Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, from moment to moment, with non-judging awareness.”— Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
A practical approach to stress reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.
Worldwide, tens of thousands of people have participated in MBSR courses. They are a lot like you, and they’ve learned to integrate the methods developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts into their everyday lives. Three decades of published research indicates that the majority of people who complete the course report:
- Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
- An increased ability to relax
- Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
- Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
- Improved self-esteem
- An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.
Curious about MBSR? Try one of Augusta’s recorded meditations. Whether sitting, eating or walking, you can quickly gain access to calm™.
Restoring within yourself a balanced sense of health and well being requires increased awareness of all aspects of self, including body and mind, heart and soul. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is intended to ignite this inner capacity and infuse your life with awareness.
The quality of our practice depends on its energy of mindfulness and concentration. I define mindfulness as the practice of being fully present and alive, body and mind united. Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment. I drink water and I know that I am drinking the water. Drinking the water is what is happening.”— Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Master
What it’s not…
You’ve probably encountered moments of “mindlessness” — a loss of awareness resulting in forgetfulness, separation from self, and a sense of living mechanically. Have you ever arrived home and had no recollection of your commute?
Accordingly, the aim of MBSR is not to ‘stop thinking’, shut down your mind, zone out. Nor is it to become intently focused on an outcome. Rather, MBSR can be integrated with and influence your everyday life, resulting in more calm, ease and a feeling of groundedness.
Fortunately, mindfulness is not something that you have to “get” or acquire. It is already within you — a deep internal resource available and patiently waiting to be released and used in the service of learning, growing, and healing.
a practice done with the specific intention of facing reality, to fully experience life just as it is and to cope with exactly what you find. It allows you to blow aside the illusions and free yourself from all the polite little lies you tell yourself all the time.”— Bhante Gunaratana