Some Frequently Asked Questions about:
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Is MBSR simply a relaxation program?
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction provides skills for working with the energy of the mind and body to face whatever is unfolding moment by moment. This is not always relaxing. It operates from the premise that we all have tremendous inner resources for healing and growing and mindfulness is a key to access those resources.
Is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction meditation or yoga program?
A variety of mindful meditation and yoga techniques are taught in the MBSR Program. These are powerful mind body practices that are potentially restorative and therapeutic. Some will be more useful or interesting to you than others. The essential practice we are emphasizing is mindfulness itself- how to be present and aware more often as you live your life.
Is the Program spiritual or religious?
The foundations of mindfulness meditation come from Buddhism but mindfulness, and MBSR itself is better understood as a universal commonwealth. Every culture and tradition honors the capacity for deeper connection with self, other, and world. A variety of thinkers, writers, and philosophers that speak to this universal quality of mindfulness may be utilized in the course as an affirmation of our collective experience.
MBSR is not a support group
The group process is highly participatory and you will be encouraged to share your direct experience of the practices and the homework at your comfort level. Guidelines for class participation will be explained at the onset and are designed to encourage a safe and dynamic learning environment. If the class does not meet your need for emotional support during the process, outside support may be encouraged.
Will Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction be problematic for me?
MBSR is not recommended for people with a severe mental illness diagnosis, those with suicide ideation, those with chemical addictions, or those in the early stages of recovery from addiction. The program intensifies awareness and sensitivity and invites participants to explore their patterns of behavior. The emphasis is on harnessing awareness to help make new choices rather than on fixing, changing, or correcting behavior.