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Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program that incorporates mindfulness to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. Developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.In recent years, meditation has been the subject of controlled clinical research.This suggests it may have beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to quality of life, but that it does not help prevent or cure disease. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.

This program challenges participants to practice present moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement. Through the use of these techniques, a person learns to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. With practice, one can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with one’s self, loved ones, and the life one is living.

MBSR can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.

Learning Objectives

Learn about the roles of stress and reactivity in health and healing
Cultivate mindful awareness through several different types of meditation practices
Establish a daily meditation practice
Recognize negative patterns of reactivity triggered by stressors, and utilize mindfulness to develop alternative responses to stress
Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection with your body, emotions, and relationships with others

What to Expect

The MBSR program consists of 10 sessions; nine weekly sessions, each 2 hours long, and one all-day intensive, the Day of Mindfulness.

Session 1: Orientation:  Meet your classmates, instructor, and review logistics and expectations for the course.
Session 2: Introduction to mindfulness, and the Awareness of Breathing & Body Scan meditation practices
Session 3: The stress response, bringing awareness to present-moment experience, and introduction to walking meditation practice.
Session 4: Connecting to pleasant moments, mindful movement (gentle yoga), and introduction to the council process (mindful speaking and listening).
Session 5: Expanding your field of awareness to “choiceless”, open awareness.
Session 6: Introduction to Loving Kindness Meditation.
Session 7: Mindfulness and awareness in your communication.
Session 8: Review of mindfulness practices through lens of experience
Session 9: Acknowledging progress, the ongoing process, and how to sustain a mindfulness practice going forward.
The Day of Mindfulness (typically occurring between Sessions 7 and 9) is an all-day silent retreat allowing experience of a longer-form and deeper meditation practice. This session is an opportunity to put into practice all the skills you have learned so far in a supportive community environment, together with the other students from concurrent MBSR courses, and alumni from previous MBSR courses.


The learning in your weekly class sessions is supported by written material and audio tracks with guided meditations.  Access to these materials are included in the course fee.


Attendance is important.  By registering for this course you are committing yourself to attend each of the nine (9) weekly sessions, the Day of Mindfulness session, and to practice at home 45-60 minutes every day for the duration of the course.

To facilitate the strong group learning environment that enriches each class experience, we do not permit participants to “make-up” missed sessions with a concurrent or later course.  If you know in advance that you will miss a session, let me know.  If you have to miss a session unexpectedly, see me about what you missed.

If you are interested in the next Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course please visit here for sign up.