I’m thrilled to be bringing my interpretation of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course to you in an online format.
Winter is the perfect time to tuck into your own cozy space and go deep within.
I studied with Jon and colleagues at UMass Center for Mindfulness in 2002/2003 and have been teaching and learning ever since. I’ve modified the curriculum just a bit to be more authentic to my experience and I have been teaching full-time since 2004.
How will mindfulness benefit you?
The word mindfulness is tossed around a lot these days, but what does it REALLY mean?
To me, it is about paying attention, on purpose to what is already happening and withholding judgment….not so easy for most of us and needs a lot of practice. Once we see clearly, we can act more skillfully and that enables us to spend more time BEING rather than always DOING…and then as Jon Kabat-Zinn says: “ To let the doing come from the being”.
One important thing to know is that you are NOT broken and do NOT need to be fixed! This is NOT a self help class or a life hack, but a genuine opportunity to get to know yourself and embrace the life you have lived, are living and by virtue of that, create the life you long for by seeing clearly what brings you to life.
Many of us have lost our hearts along the way; we’ve forgotten who we are.
The Sanskrit translation of the word mindfulness is actually closer to “heartfulness”, and means “remembering”.
So this is truly about remembering and embracing who you already are, finding your own heart, rather than trying to be another way.
This 8-week program will enable you to:
Create a framework to navigate life with more ease and less stress
Learn to SEE and BE in a completely new way as a result of daily practices
Harness the power of the pause - to see what is true, then respond rather than react to the events life brings
Become more tolerant of, and compassionate for, yourself… which translates into to a deeper tolerance & compassion for the world. It is essential to love and accept yourself completely in order to love and accept others
Gain in-depth but practical knowledge of stress physiology: learning & understanding the effects of stress on the body and mind AND how to use this awareness to rewire your nervous system for more ease
Learn practices that help you to become more embodied so you will have more control over your emotions and reactions to the world
Learn to calm your body & mind so you can sit in a state of connection with your true self, accessing your own inner wisdom
Practice simple energy medicine techniques to enhance your capacity to sit with ease-not to make your mind blank….just being able to sit with what is true with less judgment and fear
And to me, living with more ease, self awareness and compassion is key.
For many of us though, ease is elusive. I believe it is often due to unrecognized trauma, unhealed grief, unexpressed emotions. Things so far under our radar we aren’t aware of them….until we sit and they start to arise. And then we run away.
This may be one of the biggest reasons people say they cannot sit. But, you have to “name to to tame it” (Dan Siegel)
What I’m going to teach in this class is how to befriend yourself wherever you are, working with your nervous system, using breath and simple energy medicine techniques, BEFORE you sit.
This will allow you to be more still, present and curious about all the background noise …
To let the water settle so you can see to the root of any mental / emotional / spiritual / physical dis-ease or discomfort that may be present
To really get to know yourself
To honor the life challenges you’ve had … and ultimately to cultivate self love and acceptance.
That’s not something we are taught to do anywhere else!
But this is exactly what this 8-week program is designed to help you experience.
About the Program:
The course is 8 weeks long and gradually and organically introduces the practices and theories of mindfulness, including sitting meditation, walking and loving kindness meditation, body scan, some energy medicine, a little gentle yoga, yoga Nidra and stress physiology. (While I don’t think it is necessary to overwhelm you with the physiology of stress, sometimes understanding a bit about how the brain works can be very helpful!)
We’ll practice together and have time for a topic and discussion, and there will be weekly homework and daily practices so you can make the work fit into the life you already live.
Some homework practices will be formal, as in sitting meditation, and some will be informal - things that you can do or notice as you go about the daily routines. Because if you can’t do it in your own space, your own life, how can it possibly help in a meaningful, lasting way?
This work is meant to walk off the cushion with you into every aspect of your life,to help you live with more ease wherever you are.
Though I invite you to try all the practices during our time together, ultimately the goal is for you to create a practice or series of practices that speaks to you wherever you are in your life.
And even if those practices that call you are not ultimately meditation, I still believe that the skills you will develop here will enhance everything else you choose to do and you will feel richer experiences in all of your life because of this work.
Each class will be about 2 hours in length including a practice time of up to 1 hour. Then we'll have time for the topic of the week and time for questions and clarifications
This class will be offered live using Zoom, so will be as interactive as you wish
All recorded classes will be available for later viewing if you are unable to attend live.
(Depending on enrollment I may add additional Q&A Zoom calls)
Classes will be on Tuesdays at 11 am EST
Here's the outline:
February 5-Week 1- An Introduction to mindfulness, body scan meditation and eating meditation
February 12-Week 2-Perception-how we see creates our worldview
February 19-Week 3-Gentle yoga with energy medicine and yoga Nidra (this class will be pre-recorded)
February 26-Week 4-introduction to stress physiology; sitting and walking meditation
March 5-Week 5-Stress physiology continued
March 12-Week 6-More stress Physiology and how to use this to benefit you
No class March 19
March 26-Week 7- Introduction to Non-Violent communication and loving kindness meditation
April 2-Week 8- Wrap up practices and final discussion
This class is offered live for $600 but for a limited time I am pleased to offer this online work for only $333, a savings of nearly 50%
*PayPal offers a 6 month payment plan if that is helpful for you ( you’ll find details on PayPal site when you register)
After January 24, the cost goes up to $399
Practicing Mindfulness meditation has a whole host of positive mental, physical, emotional and spiritual benefits including:
Relief of stress, depression and anxiety
Enhanced mental clarity and patience
Relief from chronic pain/shift in relationship to chronic conditions
A sense of self compassion which translates to compassion for others
Capacity to live with more ease even in challenging circumstances…and loads more
I make no guarantees except to say that I deeply believe if you take this on and practice with intention, your life will change in a wonderful way. Paying attention, learning to respond rather than react, expanding awareness to what is SO rather than what you THINK should be so…changes everything. When we choose to trust in the possibility of change and ease…and leave the “how” and “when” alone, the healing will unravel in its own time, in its own way. There really is no way to force it or predict where it will lead…so we learn to trust. That self empowerment is, in itself, is a priceless thing.
Read more about mindfulness here
**If you are under the care of a mental health practitioner, please be sure that they agree that this class is right for you at this time**