MBSR 8-Week Online Live

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Experience the original 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed at the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Since 1979 more than 25,000 people have completed this evidence-based training.

  • Approach your life with more composure, energy, understanding and enthusiasm
  • Develop the ability to cope more effectively with both short-term and long-term stressful situations, gaining insight into response rather than reaction
  • Enhance your ability to manage and reduce pain levels
  • Improve your focus, resilience, and capacity to recover more quickly from challenging events
  • Learn how to access and cultivate a natural capacity to actively engage in caring for yourself and find greater balance, ease, and peace of mind

What is Mindfulness?

One definition might be “The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”  How might you define mindfulness for yourself?

Offered as a complement to traditional medical and psychological treatments, not as a replacement, MBSR has proven to be effective in helping to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.

What is the MBSR 8-Week Live Online Program?

The online version of the MBSR program allows it to be offered beyond the normal limits of distance and time.  The entire course is delivered live through online video conferencing, and rather than meeting in-person, you will engage with the teacher and interact with other participants through your computer screen and web camera during weekly class sessions.  Home assignments and guided meditation audio files are all available online.  The online platform brings everyone together within the virtual classroom from different time zones, and with diverse life experiences and perspectives from around the world.

Throughout the program you will be consciously and systematically working with the challenges and demands of your everyday life. Our trained and certified instructors will create a safe and supportive environment for this work and learning through:

  • Live class sessions using simple online meeting technology that is rich in experience and connection
  • Systematic instruction in formal and informal MBSR meditation practices, including guided instruction and recordings to practice with at home
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
  • Group dialogue, with discussions offered to enhance awareness in everyday life
  • The opportunity for one-on-one check-ins with instructors throughout the course
  • Online resource materials, dedicated technical support, and opportunities for feedback

Class sizes are limited to facilitate group connection and conversation. A computer and high-speed internet connection are required.  Mobile devices such as phones and tablets are not recommended.

Interested in becoming an MBSR teacher? This course fulfills the pre-requisite requirement for beginning a teacher training and certification pathway.  To learn more, please click here.

What is the course structure and commitment?

The Live Online MBSR program consists of:

  • Orientation (2 to 2 ½ hrs, required for enrollment), scheduled for one or two weeks before your class
  • Eight weekly classes, 2 ½ hrs each (31 hours of direct instruction)
  • One All-Day class on a Saturday or Sunday
  • Daily home practice assignments for 45-60 minutes each day
  • You must be willing to make a strong commitment to attend all classes and to practice daily home assignments for eight weeks. If you are unable to attend your regularly scheduled class, we encourage you to make up the class by attending a different class that same week
  • In order to receive a completion letter for the course, you may not miss more than two classes, and you must attend the All Day session.  If you cannot attend the All Day session during your course, you may make it up at a later time and receive completion status.

To get started:

  • Review the class schedule to determine the best day and time for you
  • Review the tuition information for the 8-week course
  • Review the Technology Requirements to make sure you have (or can access) the required equipment for video conferencing on your computer, including webcam, microphone, and speakers
  • Complete the Application Form

Technology Requirements

To ensure the best possible experience for all participants, the program relies on online video conferencing, which has minimum requirements to work properly. You will need a desktop or laptop computer with speakers, microphone, and webcam, and a high-speed internet connection. Laptops work best because they come with all the necessary equipment and can easily be moved from room to room in your home or office to find a quiet place.

Orientation (Online)

The first meeting in the MBSR program is an Orientation session before the start of  the 8 weekly classes. These Orientation Sessions are required of all participants before beginning the program. During these sessions you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the program, ask questions, and determine whether it is right for you
  • Meet your program instructor
  • Experience, first-hand, mindfulness methods and approaches you will be learning during the program
  • Your tuition payment is refundable if you decide not to continue with the program after orientation

All-Day Class (Online)

Occurring between weeks six and seven (or weeks five and six), the All-Day class is an intensive 7.5 hour session of mindfulness practices intended to assist participants in firmly and effectively establishing the use of these practices to enhance and improve many challenges and situations in their lives far beyond the conclusion of the MBSR program. Having established a daily mindfulness practice during the previous 6 weeks, you will be better prepared to benefit from this class.

Course Outline

ORIENTATION

This introductory session will acquaint you with the practice of mindfulness as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. You will learn how this secular, scientific, evidence-based practice has become an accepted part of mainstream medicine, and discover how it can positively affect the quality of your everyday life.

WEEK 1

Here you will receive an overview of the course and establish the learning context for the rest of your experience. You will learn the theory and evidence of mind-body medicine and how to apply it in your life. You'll be experientially introduced to mindful eating, mindful breathing, and the body-scan method, with a special emphasis on what it means to be fully engaged in the present moment.

WEEK 2

Perception is key in mindfulness—how you see things (or don't see them) will determine in a large part how you respond. This week's session and practices will ask you to examine your perceptions, assumptions, and the way you view the world. You will learn to use the body-scan practice to cultivate a greater degree of awareness of how you react to stressful situations. Changing the way you perceive and respond to difficulties and challenges will impact the short- and long-term effects of stress on your mind and body.

WEEK 3

In this session, you'll practice several distinct yet interrelated mindfulness practices—mindful hatha yoga, sitting meditation, and walking meditation. This is an ideal time to share your insights about your experiences with formal practice and integrating mindfulness into your daily life. You will discover that there is both pleasure and power in being present—you'll directly attend to and investigate how your experiences create such reactions as pleasure or discomfort in the mind and body.

WEEK 4

By practicing mindfulness, we cultivate curiosity and openness to the full range of our experience, and through this process our ability to pay attention becomes more flexible. This week, your practice will focus on the development of your ability to concentrate and systematically expand your field of awareness. You'll learn about the physiological and psychological bases of stress reactivity, and experience mindful strategies for responding in positive, proactive ways to stressful situations.

WEEK 5

At the halfway point in this course, you should now be familiar with the foundations of mindfulness and able to focus on applying it more rapidly and effectively to specific challenges and stressors in your life. This week you will begin to pay attention to the places where you might be stuck in repeating, unhealthy patterns that you can disarm through mindful awareness. You will also learn how to apply mindfulness at the critical moment when you experience a physical sensation, intense emotion, or condition, with special attention to exploring the effect of reactivity in health and illness.

ALL-DAY RETREAT

This day-long guided retreat will take place between weeks six and seven. The intensive nature of this six-hour-plus session is intended to assist you in firmly and effectively establishing the use of MBSR skills across multiple situations in your life, while simultaneously preparing you to utilize these methods far beyond the conclusion of the program.

WEEK 6

Resilience or “stress hardiness” is our ability to return to equilibrium after stressful situations. This week, you will focus on transformational coping strategies to broaden your inner resources and enhance your resilience through mindfulness practice. You'll also learn the fundamentals of interpersonal mindfulness—applying awareness and presence at times when communication becomes difficult or fraught with strong emotions. You'll gain direct experience of a variety of styles for more effective and creative interpersonal communication.

WEEK 7

Mindfulness is most effective when it is a lifetime commitment. This week, you will explore the many ways that you can integrate mindfulness more fully and personally into your life. While having a dedicated regular practice for mindfulness meditation is important and beneficial, it is just as important to bring a broader sense of awareness and presence to every moment in your life, and to use non-judgmental mindfulness in your self-reflection and decision-making processes. You'll learn how to maintain the discipline and flexibility of daily practice as circumstances change over the course of your life.

WEEK 8

In the final week of the program, you will have a complete review of everything you've learned over the course, with an emphasis on carrying the momentum you've built forward into the coming months and years. You'll learn about resources available to you to pursue mindfulness in new directions as your life and practice evolve, as well as the support systems that exist to help you continue to integrate, learn, and grow. The final lesson creates a satisfying closure by honoring both the end of this program and the beginning of the rest of your life.