Mindfulness starts with the body: a view from the brain

MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)

This world-renowned 8-week program, consisting of 2.5 hours weekly tuition, one full day intensive, and commitment to 30 mins daily homework, is based around a set of mindfulness meditation practices and mindful movement practices.  MBSR is an evidence-based program backed up by a significant body of peer-reviewed scientific research, spanning  three decades.

MBSR: Who is it for?

This mindfulness training course, created by Jon Kabat-Zinn over 3 decades ago, is a tried and tested program, taught in health services, at work, in education, in the prison service, and in the community worldwide - it is relevant and helpful for all. It's a proven method of learning to manage our lives with greater ease, fulfilment and wellbeing. It is a powerful means of improving physical, mental and emotional health, reducing stress, increasing resilience, and improving work performance.

MBSR is for anyone wanting to reduce work, family or relationship stress, and has been clinically proven to alleviate a wide range of conditions including stress and anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep disturbance, psoriasis, hypertension ... and more. More recently MBSR  has been shown to boost the immune system, change brain structure, alter the human genome, and change our chromosomes in just 8 -weeks.

MBSR is also an ideal approach for personal development. It helps to cultivate deep inner resources that enable us to respond effectively - with greater balance and choice - to the ever-increasing challenges of our relentlessly fast-paced life.

" The point is, that diligently practised, it very quietly and slowly revolutionises lives in multiple ways - sometimes small, sometimes big. And when you start noticing that process of change - both in yourself and in others - it is quite simply astonishing."  

Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian, May 6, 2014

Mindfulness: managing ourselves/caring for ourselves

Compelling neuroscience is confirming ancient wisdom: mindfulness training enhances mental performance and cognitive flexibility, reduces stress and promotes resilience , and it also produces favourable business outcomes, making the ability to develop mindfulness one of the most important skills of the 21st century. 

Mindfulness training cultivates and hones our ability to live more meaningful lives of deep satisfaction. Mindfulness is essentially a way of seeing, and a way of being. It is a way of moving out of the perpetual 'doing' mode where we live much of our lives, into the more expansive, 'being' mode. It's a way of caring for ourselves, of getting to know ourselves  better.

Forging a healthy relationship with oneself is vitally important in this high-speed 21st century world that comes at us inexorably, causing significant stresses that are part and parcel of our way of life. Do you sometimes long for relief from the continual distractions and interruptions, difficulties in focusing, and the 24/7 connectivity,our frantic world? 

This is where mindfulness can step in, as "a universal pathway to sanity and wellbeing."

"Be happy for this moment.
This moment is your life."
Omar Khayyam

MBSR: What form does the course take?

The MBSR course schedule consists of 8 weekly classes of 2.5 hours each, plus one full-day Intensive at a weekend. It includes essential daily meditation homework practice for the duration of the 8 weeks.

Participants receive a  set of recorded MP3 audios, and a detailed MBSR course manual.

This highly participatory, practical course includes: 

  • guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • yoga, mindful movement and body awareness training
  • group dialogue aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
  • individual support and feedback
  • exploration of patterns of thinking, feeling and action
  • brief lectures with group discussion
  • a commitment to daily home meditation practice using CDs and MBSR course book

Proven Benefits

  • self-awareness      
  • self-regulation of emotions and behaviour
  • reduction of stress
  • greater cognitive flexibility     
  • improved mental, physical and emotional health     
  • calmness and clear seeing      
  • inner spaciousness      
  • self-compassion    
  • 'being' while 'doing'      
  • responsive not reactive      
  • connectedness with others     
  • emotional intelligence          
  • empathy and compassion      
  • resilience
  • greater wellbeing