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Many (most?) folks don't know what Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is, so it's hard to know why, other than the fact that you really really like me, you should make a donation or otherwise support my training. So here's some basic facts and a few reasons I adore this program and have received great benefit from it.
- This is an 8-week program that has been helping people defuse their stressful suffering for nearly 40 years.
- It was created and developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Jon wanted to test whether the mindfulness meditation he was practicing could be applied directly to healing and an increase in overall wellness.
MBSR Founder Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Program participants are often referred by their doctors or psychotherapists, but the course has become so successful and is offered in so many places that word of mouth brings in people with all sorts of needs and interests.
- Participants practice meditation or mindful movement (yoga, qigong) for 45 minutes each day, guided by the teacher via MP3 recordings. MBSR is a wonderful way to establish a regular meditation practice.
- Mindful communication, education about the physiology of stress, and an exploration of sensory perception are also included.
- Other mindful methods have branched off of MBSR, such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindful Birthing, Mindful Eating, and so on.
- I have done most of my MBSR training right here in Philadelphia, at the Mindfulness Institute at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine. The Jeff program doesn't certify teachers, which is why I'm continuing on at UMass.
- MBSR is not the latest fad, it has been around for a generation now, and tens of thousands of people have completed the course and been helped by it.
- MBSR works. It has been studied clinically multiple times, with consistent, repeatable results.
- MBSR is adaptable. It offers multiple strategies for addressing stressful conditioning. The program doesn't say there is only one way to wellness. We learn a variety of strategies and learn what works and when.
- MBSR empowers people. This is maybe my favorite thing in life: to witness a person's "aha moment." Because MBSR is effective, people who practice in between classes discover that they have agency, and don't have to be stuck.
- MBSR keeps me honest. I learned this right away when I trained as an Alexander teacher -- if you want to learn something thoroughly, and maintain a disciplined practice, teach it to others. Like the AT, teaching MBSR requires that I continue to cultivate mindful living, so that I can model what I ask my students to practice.
- MBSR teachers make boatloads of money. False. Just Kidding.
These are just a few of the reasons I love MBSR. I hope that once I begin offering the course, you or someone you care about will take it. I also hope you will consider supporting my training fund with a gift of any size. You can do that here.
If you don't live near me but are curious about an MBSR course near you, just Google it. Seriously, this thing has legs! You are likely to find one at a local hospital, college, or movement studio.
Namaste. Wishing you wellness.