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Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Sunday, June 07, 2015

This past Monday I completed an 8 week course on MBSR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. "MSBR is an internationally acclaimed stress reduction program based on the process and practice of mindfulness - a mind/body meditative practice that quiets the mind, releases physical and emotional distress and increases personal insight and well-being." There were seven of us in the afternoon class while the evening class had eight participants. Together we had al all day silent retreat last Saturday where throughout the day we practiced sitting meditation and different styles of walking meditations. We contemplated questions and topics such as gratefulness and kindness, and listened to supportive readings. We also did mindfulness yoga and participated in small group discussions at the end of the retreat to process the day. The course requires an open mind, a willingness to commit to the program and the homework, and an ability to hear the instructor and participants in a group setting. The objectives of the course were 1. Identify stress as it arises and intervene/manage it. 2. Develop the capacity for "presence" using empathetic/compassionate listening skills. 3. Demonstrate thoughtful and responsive behaviors when communicating with others. 4. Identify practices to relax, renew and stabilize.

I am still very much a beginner in the practice of meditation, however I found the course very beneficial. I am learning to be awake and aware of the present moment as it occurs. I am becoming more aware of attitudinal qualities: patience, trust, acceptance, letting go/ letting be, non-judging, non-striving, and Beginner's Mind. How we see things or don't see them will determine how we respond to them. It is not the events but rather how we handle them that influences the effects on mind and body. Awareness transforms everything it touches.

I have some pages in my workbook to complete, and I will read completely from front to back the book, Full Catastrophe Living, Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's a big book and while I have skipped around reading the suggested chapters these past eight weeks I want to read it straight through from cover to cover to completely digest what it has to tell me to help me live the rest of my life in peace with myself and in my relationships with family, friends, and all of those I chance to interact with and meet along this journey of life.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This sounds like a course that everyone could use, myself in great need of.
    I want to be stress free but tit seems to follow me. Just as I make my plans and practice living stress free, some form of catastrophe happens.

    I would like to be able to respond better than I do, I tend to go on a tangent as opposed to being calm.
    Maybe I will look into a program like this to study for myself.

    Hugs Susan emoticon
    2028 days ago
    The course sounds great. I have been working on quieting my mind also, and have been watching some yoga meditation videos. It's very difficult for me as I seem to have a very bossy busy mind.
    2243 days ago
    I agree the course sounds great, something we could all benefit from. I do try and find alone time but am having a hard time doing that lately, sure makes my stress level go up.
    2243 days ago
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    I have tried mediation at different times, some worked other times, I couldn't. I try to do some sort of mediation, quiet time daily. Not always easy.

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    2243 days ago
    I need to work on those qualities too; I have a hard time just being still and letting my mind be calm.
    2243 days ago
    sounds interesting all the best
    2243 days ago
    Sounds wonderful. I do meditate while walking and it is so calming and centering.

    2243 days ago
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