Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a comprehensive introduction to the art of mindfulness.

Modeled on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the UMass Medical Center, MBSR gives you more than just relaxation techniques. It’s a structured program to learn a different way of being.

Mindfulness helps to calm and steady our minds. That in turn allows us to see ourselves and our ways of thinking more clearly. So, for example, it means we see where we fall into distraction or auto-pilot, and instead try taking a more focused approach. Or we begin to question our self-critical, limited thinking — like “I’m not good enough” — and go forward despite it. Or we stop struggling against what life dishes up, and find a way to hold steady though it all.

upcoming MBSR class scheduleThe MBSR program shows you ways to

There is a growing body of research showing that mindfulness brings us many benefits. It’s good for our physical and mental health, and our overall well-being, too.

Course details

  • 8 weekly in-person classes (2-1/4 hours each) and 1 all-day session on a weekend day
  • instruction in mindfulness meditation, yoga, and body awareness
  • group discussions to support making mindfulness a part of daily living
  • homework exercises to build awareness throughout your day

The program is intensive and challenging. Homework assignments include meditating at home for 30-45 minutes every day, plus doing simple awareness exercises for at least an additional 5-10 minutes per day.

MBSR may not be for you if…

Meditation is considered safe for healthy people. However, this program may not be the best course of action for the following kinds of people:

  • being so stressed or busy that it feels difficult to commit to the daily homework
  • having physical or medical conditions that limit your ability to do the meditation or yoga practices
  • living with active substance dependence, or in recovery less than one year
  • dealing with psychological issues such as PTSD, clinical depression, or other major psychiatric diagnoses
  • young adults age 21 and younger — The age range of participants is typically between 25-75 with a significant cluster at 40-55. Discussions tend to focus on issues like work, family/parenting, relationships, etc. that may not feel applicable to younger adults. For 12-18 year-olds, I recommend the Resilient Kids program at the Benson Henry Institute at Mass General Hospital.

Some exceptions are possible, so please contact me if you have any questions.

Additional resources

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