What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is not something you have to work to produce or acquire; it is built right into you. You possess a deep internal resource of awareness that is available and ready to be reawakened, in support of your learning, growing, and healing.
Take a moment or two now to consider what brought you to this page. Like most people, you probably identified some problem or difficulty you are experiencing, some aspect of your life that you’d like to change. And the idea that you can change, you do have the capacity to free yourself of what’s holding you back or challenging you or causing you pain — this is the voice of that natural awareness, also known as inner wisdom.
That inner wisdom knows the foundational principle of all mindfulness programs: there is more right with you than wrong with you.
The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course is unlike any program you may have encountered before. It involves cultivating a different relationship between you and the things that challenge you in your life, and relies completely upon the tools you already have. Specifically, mindfulness helps you access the ability to be non-judgmental, compassionate, patient, present, and aware. You wouldn’t have come this far if these qualities did not exist in you somewhere.
What Are the Benefits?
This program has a 40-year, proven track record of benefiting people with a variety of conditions and concerns, such as:
- Stress. This catch-all term describes the pressures we feel at work, school, and in our families, from financial woes to fears about an uncertain future, complications from illness, aging, grief, and major life losses. In short, the feeling of being “out of control” within our life circumstances.
- Physical Health Challenges. Chronic pain, auto-immune disorders, cancer, heart disease, respiratory conditions, high blood pressure, and more.
- Mental and Emotional Distress. Anxiety, panic disorders, depression, chronic fatigue, PTSD, and sleep disorders, to name just a few.
- Prevention and Wellness. Even when there is no “disorder” or “disease” present, learning how to care well for yourself will enhance your experience of being a human alive in the world. Restoring balance (the root meaning of “healing”), gaining confidence and clarity, and learning to relax are supremely beneficial.
What to Expect from the Program
The course schedule consists of eight weekly two-and-a-half-hour classes and one daylong retreat (usually on a Saturday). This highly participatory, practical course includes:
- Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
- Gentle stretching (yoga) and mindful movement (qigong)
- Inquiry exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life
- Individually tailored instruction
- Group dialogue
- Daily home assignments
- Guided audio files for home practice and a workbook
The course is challenging and life-affirming. Amy is a qualified instructor, skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging learning environment that allows participants to seek, explore, and inquire.
In this program, you will learn to:
- Understand, through direct experience, the key aspects of mindfulness as it relates to stress reduction, coping with pain and illness, and enhancing well-being.
- Differentiate MBSR from relaxation and other distraction techniques that may seem similar but are fundamentally quite different, as a means to meet life as it unfolds moment by moment.
- Practice and apply mindfulness techniques in both personal and professional settings, as a way to deal more effectively with the demands of both settings.
- Integrate mindfulness into social interaction with family, friends, coworkers, and others, to become more effective and mindful in communication.
What the Program Expects from You
Participating in the MBSR course requires an ongoing commitment to yourself. You will be asked to attend all classes, including the one-day retreat, and to practice daily home assignments for 30-45 minutes.
This isn’t a quick-fix proposition, but tens of thousands of participants over many decades have consistently reported that being fully engaged in the MBSR process has produced lasting results, some of which they could not have predicted when they began.
To register for an upcoming MBSR course, go to the Events page.