Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program in existence for over 25 years, based on the pioneering work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living, Wherever You Go There You Are and Coming to Our Senses, and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
Mindfulness can be described as a practice, or a way of life. It means being fully present in this moment, moment by moment, acknowledging each moment just as it is, without judgment, anticipation or expectation that this moment should be different from the way it actually is. To be fully grounded in the present moment is to promote a sense of wholeness of our being and to promote healing from a wide variety of conditions that can cause us suffering. Reasons for enrolling in MBSR courses are many:
- chronic pain
- high blood pressure
- sleep disturbances
- gastrointestinal distress
- heart conditions
In addition, the tools of mindful living--
- can enhance our interpersonal relationships -- family, friends, coworkers and business associates and others with whom we come in contact in one way or another
- allow for greater clarity in decision-making and planning
- give us resources we need to cope effectively with stresses -- major or minor -- that inevitably will arise in our lives.
There is nothing mysterious, occult or supernatural about mindfulness practice. Although it is rooted largely in Eastern religion, customs and traditions dating back over 2500 years, it also appears in Western philosophy. Mindfulness practice requires no religious belief system but is complementary to a wide variety of religious faiths. Mindfulness is deceptively simple. It is a state of mind already universally present in each of us and from time to time universally experienced, whether absorbed viewing a beautiful sunset without need of language, or having our attention riveted to a sudden, potentially threatening situation. Mindfulness is already here, waiting simply to be more fully revealed and cultivated.