What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?

Mindfulness Meditation – Concentration, Awareness, with Compassion

Mindfulness is awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally (that is, suspending judgment). Mindfulness involves training in attention, awareness, concentration, and compassion; coming to know and understand yourself in a deeper, experiential way.

Key aspects of mindfulness: Concentration – the ability to stay focused on one object, one-pointedness. Awareness – another way of knowing that is non-cognitive, experiential, in the present moment – now (“Be Here Now”), not being caught-up in the future or in the past. The heart of mindfulness is a gentle, curious attention to whatever arises in mind and body (resting in awareness). Just observing, directly the sensations themselves, as the moment unfolds, with nothing added. Keep in mind, as with developing any art or skill, mindfulness requires practice and patience.

Mindfulness practice allows you to respond rather to react to stressful situations. Reactions are often automatic, unconscious, and habitual. Responses are conscious choices arising from mindfulness – perception, appraisal, awareness of what’s actually happening in the moment, resulting in not identifying as closely with our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This loosens your attachment to them, allowing space for creative conscious choices to be made.

Benefits of Mindfulness Practicepaying attention, both through formal and informal mindfulness allows you to:

  • See more clearly – with fewer perceptual filers
  • Be less reactive and more responsive – allowing space/time for conscious and creative choices
  • Change your relationship to stress, anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, grief, etc.
  • Gain insights- identifying skillful and unskillful patterns of behavior, speech, etc.,
  • Know yourself more deeply, fully
  • Open the door to inner wisdom
  • Develop a calm peacefulness/ a reservoir of peace and energy
  • Be more compassionate with self and others
  • Realize greater health and happiness

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop provides guidelines and practices for bringing mindfulness to stress/suffering that we all experience in life. This workshop was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts in 1979. It is one of the most effective and researched stress reduction workshops available today. MBSR is taught and researched at US medical centers, universities, and elsewhere throughout the world, and is available through the Loran Smith Center at Athens Regional Health System, 240 Talmadge Drive, Athens, GA 30606

Mindfulness Practice Evening is a Free Offering for the Community – that meets the second Friday of each month from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. These mindfulness meditation instruction sessions are free. Anyone who may be just interested in mindfulness and/or stress reduction to those who are experienced meditators are welcome.

The Mindfulness Practice Evening is facilitated by Mike Healy, Ed.D., certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is a certified Integral Hatha Yoga instructor, RYT 200. For more information, please contact: www.mindfuliving.org, mfhealy@bellsouth.net or call 706-543-0162

For information or to register for a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop please visit or contact: LoranSmithCenter@athenshealth.org www.athenshealth.org/loransmithcenter 706-475-4900 or www.mindfuliving.org or mfhealy@bellsouth.net. Next class starts Monday, February 20, 2017, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., for eight weeks, plus a day of mindfulness, Saturday, March 25th.