Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Classes

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes taught by Paths to Mindfulness Northwest are based upon classes offered by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli in 1979, MBSR is an evidenced-based complementary medical approach that is deeply rooted in Vipassana meditation practices that are over 2,500 years old. The practices offered during MBSR classes have been helpful in the reduction of stress related to chronic illness, recovery from life-threatening illness, mood disorders (anxiety and depression), sleep disorders and general life dissatisfaction. While highly respected in the medical community, MBSR is not an alternative to medical and psychological treatments, but rather was designed to complement these treatments.

Classes are experiential and instruction and guidance is provided in formal and informal meditation practices including seated meditation, body scans, mindful yoga (hatha) and mindful communication.

Over the course of eight weeks, class participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Explore formal and informal meditation practices
  • Explore basic mindful movement practices that foster awareness of the mind-body connection, helpful in stress reduction
  • Learn how perception contributes to stress.
  • Learn healthy strategies for responding rather reacting to stress
  • Learn effective ways to respond rather than react to stress.
  • Cultivate awareness of the foundations of mindfulness – non-judgment, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go.
  • Explore the above in a safe learning community

Previous experience with meditation or mindful movement or yoga is not required. Over the course of eight weeks, homework is assigned to help class participants integrate mindfulness practices in their daily lives. In addition to the eight classes there is a ninth class, that is all day.

MBSR is an eight-week commitment of time, money and your internal resources. Therefore, you must attend an orientation prior to enrollment. The orientation provides an opportunity to meet the instructor and determine whether the class and schedule meets your needs. At the end of the orientation, if you determine that this program is for you there will be time to complete enrollment paperwork. There is also a brief phone interview to review your paperwork and to allow time for you to ask additional questions. Your space in the class is reserved upon completion of the enrollment paperwork, phone interview and receipt of full payment.

The class fee is $350.00 and covers instruction, course materials, and audio CDs for home practice.