What is Mindfulness
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
— Viktor Frankl
Mindfulness is a non-judgmental way of paying attention in the present moment, with kindness and curiosity. It is a practice that cultivates our ability to notice our own habitual perceptions and reactions. This helps us relate differently to life experiences and impacts how we show up for the challenges and joys of life.
Mindfulness practice is a shift from autopilot into intentional, present awareness. It is not so much about making stress go away; it’s about changing our relationship to stress. It opens us to the possibility for change, breaking habitual patterns and living from a place of response rather than reaction.
Mindfulness actually re-wires the brain and strengthens the neural pathways for resilience. It dampens activity in the amygdala and increases its connection to the prefrontal cortex. This helps us to be less reactive to stressors and to recover more effectively and sustainably from stress.
Mindfulness is beneficial only when experienced through practice. Simply knowing about mindfulness does not count as practice, just as reading about weightlifting doesn’t build muscle; we need to actually lift weights to enjoy the benefits. Just like with exercise, mindfulness needs to be practiced, and the more we do it, the greater the benefit.
What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an intensive 8-week, once weekly, group program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and associates at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979.
It is now an internationally acclaimed program with a growing body of research supporting its psycho-physiological benefits.
Our MBSR programs consist of:
- an orientation
- eight weekly (2½ hour) classes
- a 6-hour Day of Mindfulness Retreat between weeks five and six
Our highly participatory and supportive programs offer:
- Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
- Gentle stretching and mindful movement
- Teaching and discussion
- Home practices to enhance awareness in everyday life
For optimal benefit, the programs require participants to follow daily home practice assignments, designed to assist in the development of an effective, nourishing, and sustainable meditation practice.
Join us to explore how mindfulness can support you in living life more fully and cultivate a deeper awareness, presence, openness, and connection in your life.