So, what is MBSR?
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR for short, is an 8-week program that meets weekly for 2.5 hours at a time, in addition to an 8-hour day of silence that will typically take place on a Saturday. Did that answer your question? No? Ok, lets take a much closer look.
The MBSR program utilizes the practices of mindfulness and mindful meditation in an effort to help participants become more present and aware in their daily lives. Research has suggested that we are spending nearly 50% of our daily lives thinking about the future and the past, while the tangible abundance of the present moment goes unnoticed and under appreciated. Essentially, we have mastered the dangerous art of creating our own stress, problems, depression and anxiety, as well as the ability to carry it with us at all times like a backpack full of rocks.
The benefits of being more present, while clearly positive, have far-reaching and potentially life-saving implications. The practice and effects of mindfulness are being researched and examined all over the world, for very good reason. This 2600 year-old practice has exploded in popularity, largely thanks to modern medicine and our new-found ability to measure and observe the effects is has on our brains and bodies. So many of our health problems are the end result and physical manifestation of a long chain of internal events. Very often, we aim to treat the symptom, but not the actual cause. The rise of integrated medicine and a willingness to take a deeper look is helping to shed light on the true importance of a healthier lifestyle and how improving our ability to perceive, manage and recover from stress can have unbelievable impacts on our complete health and happiness.
So, I keep mentioning mindfulness; let me give you a little more detail about this practice. While there are numerous definitions, they generally look something like my definition:
Mindfulness is the the unbiased, non-judgmental observation of the here and now.
It is the truest observation of the present moment; seeing what is right here, right now, exactly as it is. It isn't just about seeing what is here, but being able to let go of our own bias, judgements and preferences... all of which cloud or block our ability to make new observations, discoveries and open doors to a new way of being. There is an incredible Zen story about a man who is riding a horse. The horse is moving a a brisk pace down a path and a man on the side of the road shout to the man on the horse, "Where are you going?" To which the rider replies, "I don't know, ask the horse!" The horse in this story represents our habit-energy and how so many of us are just pushing forward at full speed, without ever pulling at the reigns and taking a minute to stop, breathe, observe and really take a look at where our momentum is taking us. I often bring up the term "take control" when I speak about the benefits of mindfulness and mindful meditation. In so many ways, it is about turning down the auto-pilot and participating in this beautiful life of ours.
Participants come to an MBSR class for a wide-variety of reasons, ranging from physical pain, stress, anxiety, addiction, recovery, focus, productivity, sleep, parenting, relationships, work balance, happiness, self-discovery and more. And while the specific reason one may come through the door may differ, many participants will discover just how vast the practice is and begin to see how it can touch every aspect our of lives. It is ultimately about improving the quality of our lives; whatever that may mean to you.
The program was founded in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn and has since seen more than 25,000 participants. Grounded in science and research, MBSR draws upon 2600 years of wisdom and practice and is open to everyone; no experience required. Due to the unwavering integrity of the program and the high training and certification standards, MBSR is widely-utilized by hospitals, clinics and medical facilities across the world.
REBEL Mindfulness and Lucas G. Irwin (MBSR Qualified Instructor) offer a number of different MBSR classes throughout South Florida. There are a number of other amazing institutions and organizations that also offer the program, look for one that fits your location, schedule and allows for full commitment throughout the 8-weeks.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions at all: Contact