The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
The MBSR Intensive offers a systematic training in formal mindfulness practices in a supportive, group environment.
This course is appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. After attending
the course participants will:
Know meditation and gentle mindful movement practices, and have integrated them into their daily life
Increase quality of life, relationships, sense of personal life control and well-being
Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program
in ways beneficial to clients or patients
For more about the MBSR program watch the 10-minute video below (excerpted from the Center for Mindfulness DVD)
Content & Format
The MBSR 8-Week Intensive is in a group format with between 10-25 participants.
Course includes free introductory session (mandatory), eight 2.5 hour classes, and one full 7 hour daylong session; totaling 30 hours of instruction and guidance.
Program Fee (must be paid in full by the end of the Orientation Class)
Sliding Scale Course Fee, based on Annual Income:
Above $54,000 Annual Household Income: $600 ($20/hr) - Supporting Rate
$35,000 - $54,000 Annual Household Income: $450 ($15/hr) - Sustaining Rate
Less than $35,000 Annual Household Income: $350 ($12/hr) - Base Rate
Limited number of flexible scholarship rates available for those who would be unable to attend at the published rates.
No proof of Income required: please pay at the highest rate you can afford to support continuing flexible pricing options
Sliding Scale applies to individuals, when organizations are paying for their employees to attend the full $600 fee will be charged
(Flexible scholarship rates: contact the instructor to request a scholarship. Please note that scholarship opportunities are not provided as a 'discount', but as an offering of the practice of Mindfulness to individuals with limited financial resources who would otherwise be unable to attend. Those seeking continuing education for professional certifications are not eligible for scholarship assistance.)
Program costs include: book (Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn), MP3 guided meditations, course workbook.
Continuing Education (CE): 26 CE credits available for an additional $50. (+ $2 for Credit Card payments) This program is co-sponsored by The Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) to provide Continuing Education for Mental Health professionals and Nurses. Please click the link to find out more about CE hours/credit.
Cancellation policy: Refund minus 5% credit processing fee until 24 hours after Orientation Class. No refunds 24 hours after the Orientation session date. In special circumstances (family emergencies, illness, etc) if unable to complete the full program the opportunity to retake at another time within a year of the original program may be offered on a space-available basis.
Please note that the MBSR course does not qualify anyone to teach and does not provide a certification. It is, however, the first step required in becoming an MBSR teacher; to teach the practice one should have a fully developed and integrated practice of their own, and the MBSR program is one of the most effective programs for developing an embodied practice.
This is NOT a 'drop-in' program:
All participants make a commitment to participate fully and attend each week
Formal practices, including mindfulness meditation focusing on the breath and 'choiceless awareness' meditation which incorporates physical sensations, feelings, sounds and thoughts through expanded attention; body scan and mindful movement practices including gentle yoga, qi gong and walking meditation are utilized to develop embodied awareness.
Group dialogue and questions about experiences and challenges
information about stress, behavior, psychology and neuroscience, and mindful communication as it relates to our experience and patterns of interaction; incorporating mindfulness in daily life; components of awareness such as acceptance, compassion and gratitude; formal and informal practice.
Everyone is welcome to attend the free Orientation class which provides an introduction to Mindfulness practices and to the course. The course itself is eight weekly 2.5 hour sessions, and one 7 hour full day meditation retreat; usually a Saturday or Sunday of the sixth week of the program. Please see specific dates/times on our current and upcoming offerings page.
The 2.5 hour weekly course incorporates formal practice periods, brief lecture, discussion, and small group interaction. The class format provides a safe and supportive container for learning and self-exploration. Participants are asked to commit to practice daily using the CD's provided and complete short assigned readings from the book, "Full Catastrophe Living" (by Jon Kabat-Zinn). All materials are provided and included in the course costs.
In each weekly class, we'll spend approximately an hour and a half doing formal practices. The rest of the time will combine short informational lectures and discussion, as well as group support and sharing.
Bring a yoga mat or beach towel, a meditation cushion if you wish to use one (chairs are provided), snacks or beverage for breaks if you wish. Wear loose fitting and layered clothing for comfort. Please abstain from wearing scented products of any kind (inlcuding essential oils) in consideration of those with environmental sensitivities.
Readiness to make meaningful change.
Willingness to honor a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment in the classroom.
Commitment to (and willingness to prioritize) a daily at-home practice and homework assignments of reading and reflection, averaging about 45 minutes to an hour per day during the course of the program.
Commitment to attending class each week; this creates a sense of stability and community with fellow participants and continuity of practice for the individual participant. If you must miss a class, it is important to communicate with the instructor as soon as you are able. It's not advisable to take the course if you will miss more than two classes.
Please visit the the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section below for additional information.
I've tried to meditate and I can't get my mind to stop thinking, will I be able to do the mindfulness meditation?
The point of mindfulness meditation is NOT to stop thinking; it is to begin to notice how our thinking affects us and learn not to engage the thinking mind, we learn that we are not our thoughts. Sometimes with practice the mind will quiet down on its own, however trying to stop thinking would be a frustrating experience for most people!
Will I need to sit on the floor to meditate?
No, for MBSR most people use chairs, and some of the practices include lying down. If you'd like to use a cushion and sit on the floor, you are welcome to do so.
I have limited movement and can't do yoga, can I still participate in the class?
The yoga and Qi Gong movement practices that are introduced in the MBSR course are meant to be done as gentle movements and should always be done at 60-70% of your own capacity. These practices are used to help introduce us to the the sensations in our body, and to become mindful of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise as we engage in movement. They are not strenuous exercises. If you have particular concerns, please speak to the instructor prior to the course and individually tailored instruction can be given in the event you are unable to participate in the movement practices as they are taught. You will never be asked to do any movements that are uncomfortable with or contraindicated.
Are there any religious aspects to the course?
No. MBSR is designed as a secular/neutral program. People from many different spiritual, religious and non-religious backgrounds have participated in the program.
Is MBSR a relaxation course?
No. While many of the practices may create an ability to relax more readily, the purpose of the course is not to learn how to relax per se, but rather to learn how to be with whatever is happening in the moment with equanimity.
Is MBSR a form of group therapy?
No. While the program utilizes a group support format, MBSR is an educational and experiential program. The element of community is an important one, and there is often sharing of a personal nature, however it is not therapeutic counseling or a psychological intervention program. Although MBSR can be an extremely effective adjunct to standard therapy for many conditions.
What kinds of people take the MBSR course?
People attend MBSR programs for a wide variety of reasons; dealing with daily life and job stress, illnesses and chronic pain, family and professional caregivers, those wishing to become more effective in their relationships, or those wishing to engage their lives in a more fulfilling and balanced way.
How do I register for a course?
Please see the current and upcoming programs section of the website for registration information.
How much does the course cost?
Please see the section of the website for packages and class information.
What is the cancellation policy?
Please see the section of the website for packages and class information
Does insurance cover the cost of this program?
The program is often covered under FSA and HSA plans, however, MBSR is considered an educational program and is not usually covered by insurance directly.
What should I bring with me to class?
Please bring a yoga mat or beach towel. Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing. You may wish to bring beverages and snacks for breaks.
Is it required to attend the orientation session?
Yes, the orientation session is considered mandatory. This is an opportunity to determine if MBSR is the right program for you and introduces you to the program and to the practice of mindfulness. You will receive course materials and have a brief individual meeting with the instructor at this time as well.
Will I be required to attend the daylong retreat in week six?
The daylong retreat is considered an integral and significant part of the MBSR program. Having a day of extended, unbroken mindfulness practice is a deepening experience which is an important and meaningful aspect of learning mindfulness practice.
Is there any scientific validity to the effectiveness of the MBSR program?
Yes. Over 2000 peer-reviewed studies have been conducted to date on the effectiveness of MBSR for numerous health concerns including stress, anxiety, cancer, psoriasis, immune function, chronic illness and chronic pain. Please see the section on 'Research' in order to see some of these studies. More research is being conducted every year into the benefits of mindfulness practices. In particular, recent studies of mindfulness and neuroplasticity have shown that neuroscience is just beginning to understand what this 2500 year old practice has known all along, that we can change our habitual responses to experience.