The internationally-acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course was created at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMass) in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. In the past 41 years, over 24,000 people have graduated from the MBSR course at UMass, many of whom have been referred by over 7,000 physicians. Tens of thousands more individuals have participated in the over 450 MBSR programs now offered in hospitals, clinics and by independent providers on five continents.
A growing body of scientific research completed at UMass, and more recently at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and other academic medical centers have shown that mindfulness and completion of the MBSR course can be significantly and often profoundly beneficial in terms of reducing medical symptoms and emotional/psychological distress.
People who take the course may be a lot like you. They may be feeling uncertain about the future. Others say they have a general feeling that their lives are out of balance, or that they feel “disconnected” or overwhelmed. The current pandemic has impacted us all in so many ways, some of which we may not yet understand.
The course consists of 8 weekly classes (2 ½ hours in length) and a one day retreat called the Day of Silence. A free orientation/information session is held one week prior to the start date and is a prerequisite for participation. In all, the class offers nearly 30 hours of direct contact and instruction. The class format is experiential and deeply engaging, consisting of direct instruction in mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching and mindful movement, and group dialogue, discussion, and inquiry. Great care is taken to create a safe, supportive, and encouraging learning environment.
The core focus of the program is intensive training in mindfulness meditation and its applications to the challenges, demands and delights of daily life. Participating in the course does require an on-going commitment to yourself. You will be asked to attend all of the classes, including the one day retreat, and practise daily home assignments for 30-45 minutes per day. Participants will be provided with links to recordings of guided meditations and mindful movement practices.
Completing the MBSR course is a gift you give yourself. It’s something no one can do for you. Join the hundreds of people who have already done so through the Prairie Centre for Mindfulness. It may be the most important thing you do in 2021.