Mindfulness—A Medically Sound Practice for Learning, Growing, and Healing
In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts to bring a form of meditation known as mindfulness into the medical mainstream. Mindfulness is a basic human quality, a way of learning to pay attention to whatever is happening in your life that allows you a greater sense of connection to your life inwardly and outwardly. Mindfulness is also a practice, a systematic method aimed at cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding. In the context of your health, mindfulness is a way for you to experientially learn to take better care of yourself by exploring and understanding the interplay of mind and body and mobilizing your own inner resources for coping, growing, and healing.
Nearly three decades of scientific research at medical centers all over the world suggest that training in mindfulness and MBSR can positively and often profoundly affect participants’ ability to reduce medical symptoms and psychological distress while learning to live life more fully.
We Call Our Approach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Since its inception, more than 20,000 people have completed the MBSR training program. They have been referred by more than 5,000 physicians, by hundreds of other health care professionals, and through self-referral. These participants have been strongly motivated to do something for themselves—something no one else can do for them—by learning to draw upon their inner resources and natural capacity for greater health and balance, ease and peace of mind.
The MBSR Online Course is the only complete online training in the widely respected method taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, using the same curriculum as the MBSR training program at the University of Massachusetts. This eight-week course offers the curriculum and methodology developed by Jon-Kabat Zinn and is taught by Center for Mindfulness Director Dr. Saki Santorelli, and senior instructor Florence Meleo-Meyer.
An Invitation to Move Toward Greater Balance, Control, and Participation in Your Life
Across the world, people from all walks of life, backgrounds, and beliefs have accepted this invitation. They are a lot like you, and they’ve learned to integrate the methods developed at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School into their everyday lives. More than two decades of published research indicates that the majority of people who complete the MBSR curriculum 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
Mindfulness 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 consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.
In contrast, you’ve probably encountered moments of “mindlessness”—a loss of awareness resulting in forgetfulness, separation from self, and a sense of living mechanically. 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.
Reawakening to What You Already Are
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. While the practices have been adapted from classical Buddhist meditation and yoga traditions, MBSR is a secular, scientifically informed approach that operates in harmony with any belief system or spiritual background.
MBSR has benefited people reporting a variety of conditions and concerns:
- Stress—including work, school, family, financial, illness, aging, grief, uncertainty about the future, and feeling “out of control”
- Medical conditions—including chronic illness or pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, asthma, GI distress, skin disorders, headaches, and many other conditions
- Psychological distress—including anxiety, panic, depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances
- Prevention and wellness—including health enhancement and wellness focused on prevention and learning the “how” of taking good care of yourself and feeling a greater sense of resilience and balance.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is highly respected within the medical community. It is not offered as an alternative to traditional medical and psychological treatments but as a complement to these approaches. Our experiences over nearly three decades suggest that doing what you can for yourself, coupled with what your physician can do for you, can be far more effective than either approach on its own.
A Life-Affirming Course in Conscious Living
The course schedule consists of eight weekly classes and one day-long class. This highly participatory, practical course presented by Dr. Saki Santorelli and senior instructor Florence Meleo-Meyer includes:
- More than 16 hours of video instruction on mindfulness meditation, stretching, mindful yoga, and guidance for enhancing awareness in everyday life
- Four hours of guided mindfulness practice on audio
- Elements from the in-person MBSR course workbook available in PDF format
- Online journal to record and reflect about your experiences
- Completion graph to track your progress through the course
- Two annual guided live Days of Mindfulness
- Continuing practice emails—once a week for four weeks after you complete the course
All participants will also receive two free gifts:
- Discount of $50 off a purchase of $95 of selected mindfulness-based learning resources from Sounds True
- Free audio practice on kindness, presented by Florence Meleo-Meyer
All materials in this course will be yours to keep—you can return to any previous session at any time to refresh your experience.
A Training with Benefits that Last a Lifetime
Since its inception, tens of thousands of people have completed the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program and learned how to use their innate resources and abilities to respond more effectively to stress, pain, and illness. The MBSR Online Course brings you the complete intensive training in mindfulness meditation and its integration into the challenges and adventures of everyday life.