I recently began the MBSR course created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. It’s an 8 week course plus a 1 day retreat to learn the mindfulness techniques that he created in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Since then, over 16,000 students have gone through his course at the university and now there are certified teachers around the world.
Over the coming weeks I will share with you some of my learnings and experiences through the course, so I kindly invite you to follow me on this journey.
You may know that Dr. Kabat-Zinn is the ‘gold standard’ for mindfulness. If you have ever learned anything about mindfulness, you’ve probably come across his name.
I learned his techniques through his books, and mindfulness has been a part of my life for awhile now which has taught me to enjoy life much more. ‘Negative’ things no longer bother me as much as they used to. I decided to go on the formal course to deepen my experience.
What is Mindfulness? Simply put, it means to be intentionally 100% present, right here, right now. It means paying attention in a particular way, without any judgment at all. It’s something you can do anything throughout the day – it’s much easier to fit into your busy life than a session of meditation.
Rather than resisting life’s challenges, participants practice bringing a compassionate and accepting stance to whatever they encounter. They learn to befriend their anxiety, pain or illness, while becoming less identified with it and therefore less limited in their response to it. As individuals come to see themselves as so much more than their stresses or struggles, they learn to live from a place of greater balance and freedom, where peace and happiness are increasingly available.
Research has shown that the majority of those who complete the course report:
an enhanced ability to cope with short and long term stressful situations
reduced levels of anxiety and depression
lower pain levels and increased ability to cope with pain
a greater ability to relax
increased self-esteem and sense of well-being
See a post I wrote on mindfulness
Some of Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s popular books:
- Full Catastrophe Living
- Wherever You Go, There You Are (my favourite)
- Coming to our Senses, Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness
Thank you, and welcome to my journey.