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Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a widely researched protocol for the teaching of meditation that introduces mindfulness awareness practices to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues. It was developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn and uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more self-aware. Research suggests that it has many beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to quality of life.  


Mindfulness practices have become popular among a broad spectrum of the culture.  From TV personalities like ABC news anchor Dan Harris, congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio, and geeks like Chad Meng Tan at Google, everyone seems interested in mindfulness. Here is your chance to learn how to do it yourself.


Mindfulness training, a basically simple practice that is fundamental in many spiritual traditions has become a commercial commodity.  An MBSR course can cost you up to $500 depending on how prestigious your teacher is.  MBSR credentialed teachers are being produced all over the country as the demand for programs grows. Thankfully, this course is now being offered free on-line by Dave Potter through palousemindfulness.com. I have explored the content of this course as a participant and in consultation with a colleague who is dually certified to teach MBSR through both the University of Massachusetts and Duke University and I am very excited to be able to offer it almost free to the Greater Wilmington Community. 

  

Although you can take this course on your own, many people find that it is difficult to stick with and that it really helps to have the community support. The success of programs that involve the development of a community like Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous is often attributed not to any of the core teachings but to the ways in which participation in a community supports group values. The Bhavana Community supports the practice of mindfulness as a component of building a life worth living by cultivating wholesome character traits and crafting skillful actions out of honor and respect for the lives of all beings.  


We will be following the palouse mindfulness protocol with supplemental materials as appropriate for individual units.  In the first meeting on September 26th, we will review the Introduction videos, fill out the getting started worksheet and we will discuss how to access the printed manual unless you intend to do the entire course online.  I will have a few copies of the printed manual for the first meeting at $15 each.  September 26th.


In order to receive a certificate of completion from Dr. Potter, you will be expected to submit your homework sheets and write a final description of what you got out of the course.  If you obtain a certificate from Dr. Potter and have attended the group classes and the day-long practice which is scheduled for mid-November, you will be awarded an additional certificate of completion from the Bhavana Community. 

Here is what Dave says on the opening page of the website

“I am fully certified as an MBSR instructor by the University of Massachusetts Medical School and I taught live, in-person MBSR classes in my community for 12 years. I'm also a retired professional psychotherapist who has had a daily meditation practice for 25 years, and when I discovered MBSR, I wanted to offer it to my clients and my community. I started teaching my twice-yearly in-person classes in 2004 and, as a service to my students, began to put some parts of the class online. I soon realized that with a little work, the material could be useful to people who would not ever be able to attend a live MBSR class, either because of financial limitations or because no classes are offered nearby.”