What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being aware of your direct personal experience moment by moment. This includes paying attention to thoughts, emotions and physical sensations with kindness, curiosity and compassion. It is a way of participating in your life right now – instead of being drawn back into regrets of the past or worry about the future.
Mindfulness meditation is a deliberate way of training the mind. It is based on Buddhist meditation practice in which we become aware of how we create our own suffering by either clinging or pushing away. Through meditation practice we learn that everything changes and how to access true freedom.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was begun by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Since then, MBSR has been taught and practiced throughout the world to help reduce pain, stress and improve the lives of countless people.
MBSR is a structured 8-week course that includes a one-day silent retreat between weeks 6 and 7. Each class is approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours and includes experiential learning. Participants incorporate a variety of mindfulness practices such as body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation, eating meditation and more. The course also delves into the scientific basis of mindfulness meditation. The goal of the course is for participants to use the various mindfulness practices in daily life.