Mindfulness workshops at the Center are taught by Dr. Michael Bresnan, and follow the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. MBSR is a holistic and scientifically validated method for reducing stress and restoring a sense of balance to one’s life. Integrating principles of Eastern meditative practice with a modern understanding of stress and anxiety, MBSR helps us live our lives more skillfully.
Mindfulness does this by strengthening our capacity to be aware of our reactions in the moment, increasing our ability to handle unpleasant thoughts, feelings and sensations, and enabling us to respond to our circumstances in a centered way. MBSR has been validated in several scientific studies and shown to benefit individuals confronting a range of challenges.
Traditional MBSR workshops
Our traditional MBSR workshops meet for two and a half hours, one day per week, for eight weeks. Between the sixth and seventh sessions, there’s a full-day (seven-hour) retreat.
This is the format developed by Dr. Zinn and taught at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness.
Modified MBSR workshops
In addition to the standard MBSR format, Dr. Bresnan also offers modified MBSR workshops that follow the core curriculum as developed by the Center for Mindfulness, but meet for nine weeks instead of eight.
The difference is that the meeting time for each class is reduced to one hour and 45 minutes, and there is an evening retreat rather than a full-day retreat. Some people find that this modified format is easier to integrate into their working life.
In all MBSR workshops, participants are asked to set aside about 30 minutes a day at home, five days per week, to practice the skills learned in class. A commitment to the full nine-week program is required since each class builds upon material learned in previous weeks. More information on these workshops can be found at NSMindfulness.com.