This 8-week class on learning and practicing mindfulness is the curriculum developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the U. Mass. Center for Mindfulness in the 1970’s. It is the “grandparent” of most of the secular mindfulness courses now available, including Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy of depression (MBCT), Mindful Self-Compassion, and many others. It is the oldest and most researched mindfulness-based intervention. Most of the research on mindfulness is based on studies of MBSR participants. It is associated with reductions in stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression, and improvements in health and feelings of well-being. In addition, neurophysiological research has found changes in brain structures and function, indicating improved attention and cognitive ability and reduced emotional reactivity.
MBSR is an 8-week class that meets for 2 1/2 hours per week and includes a 4-8 hr. silent retreat. Basic concepts of mindfulness and a wide variety of mindfulness practices are taught, including mindfulness meditation and more informal everyday mindfulness practices, that can be practiced anywhere and anytime. The course includes audio recordings of guided meditations and handouts.