Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
8 Week Course
This course is modeled on the MBSR program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The course is a blend of meditation, body awareness and yoga: learning through practice and discussion how our body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically. Through participation in this course, participants learn to increase their ability to:
Cope with stress, pain, and the challenges of everyday life
Deal with disturbing events with grace and composure
Be fully present and alive in this moment
There is over 30 years of research which indicates mindfulness training can have a significant therapeutic effect for those experiencing stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, chronic pain, migraines, heart conditions, diabetes and other ailments. In addition, participants typically report feeling more alive, more "in-tune" with themselves and others.
The course consist of eight weekly sessions, each lasting approximately 2 1/2 hours. There is often an free orientation sessions, open to anyone who wishes to learn about mindfulness, and also serves as an orientation for those who choose to continue with the eight week course. In addition to the classes, there is a day-long silent retreat near the end of the course to help deepen participants' experience.
Mindfulness is best understood through its practice. To get the most benefit from the course, participants are asked to commit themselves to practice mindfulness meditation and/or mindful movement for 30 minutes per day with guided meditation audio recordings. In the context of the class, participants learn to work with this commitment with gentleness and patience.
Who is MBSR for?
Mindfulness training is useful for a broad range of people with diverse backgrounds, ages, interests and levels of well-being. People self-refer or sometimes are referred by their doctors or psychologists because of physical and emotional stressors in their lives. Many enroll because, although they are feeling well physically, they say the pace of their lives is "out of control" or they're "just not feeling quite right" and want more ease and peace. Mindfulness training can enhance learning, concentration, creativity, personal resilience and professional effectiveness.
For people with job, relationship and family pressures, it can help with all kinds of day-to- day stress symptoms including headaches, irritability, high-blood pressure, fatigue and sleep disturbances.
It can reduce suffering even for those with serious conditions including mild depression, anxiety and panic disorders, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and chronic pain.
"During the 8 weeks Pete’s compassionate, intuitive and respectful embrace of each participant’s presentation of ourselves nourished a sense of safety and trust. This ,the meditation and other homework assignments , in my case, put a gentle stop to the running away . Gradually I experienced that there was so much release in turning towards myself, rather than towards distraction. Even facing the pain of the harsh criticism, perhaps precisely that, was the ultimate relief because it restored to me a lesson learnt long ago, but forgotten : that I can face and handle the pain, and when I do, it loses its sting and its power. I feel restored to trusting myself, and my fears and questions consequently seem manageable. I am newly in touch with a richness of emotion, a quiet dignity, equanimity and gentleness, as well as sadness and access to tears. They sit right next to a bubbling sense of impish vitality, in short, I feel vibrantly alive.
I thank Pete and my “class-mates” who shared their struggles and steps forward, creating a warm sense of shared humanity and connection, which continues to comfort and inspire me to keep up my practice at home and with others."
-IHM, San Diego.
"Following a couple emails, I was immediately comfortable with Pete and decide to sign up for his MBSR course. I was
familiar with MBSR and its teachings through my previous research on the subject, but I had no idea I was about to embark on a journey that I expect to last the remainder of my life. It does not take long to realize that Pete is not just a passionate "teacher", but he fully acknowledges that he too is still a student with limitless opportunities to continue learning and developing his own practice, which is ultimately the benefit of those who choose to work with him. Throughout the course Pete was supportive, inspiring, and extremely understanding to each persons individual needs. He is well aware everyone's journey through the program will be drastically different and he was able to work with each of us in an individual and personal manner. I look forward to working with Pete in the years to come and would highly encourage anyone else who is "searching" to reach out to him....it may be the best thing you have ever done for yourself." - Brad Tunis
“I have participated in numerous personal growth and spiritual workshops and classes. This 8 week MBSR class was extraordinary! Pete does a fantastic job of creating a safe space for participants to explore mindfulness meditation and practices in their own unique way, while still adhering to the basic Mindfulness principles as outlined by Jon Kabbat- Zin the founder of MBSR. We all felt safe sharing our experiences during class and in our personal life during the week. Pete’s feedback and guidance was always kind, compassionate and non- judgmental. He has an uplifting and humorous way of sharing his own personal experiences with mindfulness practice. It was refreshing to experience a teacher including himself on this journey. I am so grateful that I took his class and I feel that I have been launched into a new beginning in my life!” --Shivam Kohls, Consultant/Carlsbad
Get more info on upcoming MBSR Courses
MBSR Course Resources
Participants of the MBSR course have easy, online access to weekly handouts, articles, videos, worksheets and guided audio meditations. Find everything you'll need in the "Getting Started With MBSR" Portal.