MBSR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
MBSR is a training that employs traditional mindfulness techniques that have developed for over 2,500 years, with its most profound elaboration found in the teachings of the Buddha. Beyond religion, philosophy and dogma, mindfulness is the way to be fully present in whatever is happening in one’s experience. Mindfulness is a natural capacity that we all have from birth. Without out it we would forget and drop our cup of tea. By cultivating it through discipline, we can allow its full expression as the very nature of our awareness as human beings. By bringing it to it’s full measure, together with awareness, we can achieve the elimination of frustration, depression, anxiety, and misery of all kinds, both for ourselves and others.
MBSR training was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of “Full Catastrophe Living, Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness”. This excellent training can be found in hundreds of hospital, clinics, governments, and stand-alone programs worldwide. What makes this mindfulness training so appealing to the mainstream is it’s backing by vast clinical research on the positive effects of mindfulness. They include it’s effects on the brain, on gene expression, on the immune system and ageing, as well as the habitual patterning of mind. Indeed, as Kabat-Zinn says, “Mindfulness has the capacity to address some of the larger challenges and opportunities to be found in the domains of health, education, the workplace, and the criminal justice system, by tapping into interior resources we all possess but that are mostly underdeveloped.” -The Guardian
Mindfulness students and teachers everywhere need to rely on a refined and subtle understanding of the practice of mindfulness for it to be most effective. A lifetime of experience of someone involved in the culture of meditation can go a long way to helping people unravel a lifetime of stress, repression and pent-up anxieties. This is not McMindfulness, a quick panacea. Nor does a certified MBSR teacher with a psychology degree guarantee a subtle understanding. While ongoing scientific research is important in convincing legislators and policy-makers to establish appropriate mindfulness training, the best research of all is undertaken by individuals who are dedicated to a life of living with mindfulness-based awareness. It is the human heart and mind that is at the root of all our societal problems, and the human heart and mind that is the cure. The best clinical results are the living examples of mindfulness and awareness, those dedicated to embodying it in their very being and who help others through their presence, teaching and sense of humour.
MBSR teachers and students, legislators and policy makers, beginners and advanced practitioners of mindfulness, can cultivate and deepen their practice through retreat practice. Find more about our life changing retreats.
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