Tag Archives: MBSR

Mindfulness based stress reduction

This is a time of great change and high emotion!

How Mindfulness practices help us manage the stress of change and change the way we respond to stress:

The divisiveness of political and economic unrest in our nation, the uncertainty manifested by social, political, military and economic conflicts around the world, and the inner struggles we face in seeking to determine our role in and responses to these circumstances can leave us feeling powerless, sad, frustrated and angry.

We experience these rapid changes and strong emotions closer to home and in our work places.  We hear about them from parents and teachers dealing with recent documented spike of fear and anxiety among school children, and they seem to be the constant tone presented by our 24 hour news cycle.

But is this all totally bad news?

Remember, we can’t change what we do not see and so, although changes can result in stress, the awareness of the stress can also result in healthy changes.

In classrooms across the country, programs like the one in the Baltimore schools https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/06/baltimore-school-students-meditation-patterson-high are offering new options to kids to better manage their emotions.  Law enforcement officers like the ones in Wisconsin are teaming up with mindfulness teachers to address trauma. https://centerhealthyminds.org/news/uw-madison-teams-up-with-madison-police-department-to-foster-officer-well-being

Even in our contentious Congress, Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio is leading a regular MBSR group http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/tim-ryan-meditation_n_1429854.html  for staffers and elected officials.

Our strong inclination is to quickly slip into dualistic thinking, labeling everything with superlatives such as “fantastic” or “disgusting”, “always” or “never”.  Dualism will surely drown us in the river of judgment.  Without awareness and before we know what is happening, we will find ourselves mindlessly projecting onto others the very dis-eased emotions we find so uncomfortable within ourselves.  Is it possible that these times of great change, increased fear and anxiety could serve as opportunities for increased healing and growth?

For the past 15 years, we here at the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic in Austin, have been teaching and supporting individuals in the development of mindfulness practices according to the model set out by Jon Kabat-Zinn in his classic book, Full Catastrophe Living, and through the curriculum and research of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Regularly practicing mindfulness (paying attention moment by moment, non-judgmentally to thoughts, sensations, emotions and actions, while making intentional choices) clearly can bring healing change.

Engaging in these simple practices, on the cushion and in the wider world will produce positive shifts our lives, improve our health and strengthen our relationships. It’s even possible that through regular practice we can become an agent of the “good news” in the midst of all this “bad news”!

  • What would it be like if you were able to reframe the stressful circumstances you face as the very purpose for which you have been called and prepared?
  • What would it be like if we could welcome the skills and exercises learned in the MBSR Clinic as specific tools available to shape us into agents of hope and healthy change in our homes, our work-places, our political system and even in the world?
  • You could spend an hour surfing the web for apps, podcasts, articles and webinars about mindfulness and you will find plenty of news about it’s growing healing presence in our culture.  That could be a good thing to do?

Still, another option might be to find a quiet place…in your parked car, in your office, on your bed or in the shower…and simply settle down and be still, taking a mindful breath and then another.  Give yourself permission to re-engage with your own being and your own body and slow down so you can intentionally notice what is going on in there.  From that more centered place, you will surely see other options and responses and be able to make choices for health, wellbeing and positive action.

A commitment to resting more regularly in your “observer” mind, so you can  constructively engage with conflict rather than being drawn into it, captured by it or driven into hiding from it, will surely result in less reactivity to both inner and outer experience.

  • Maybe you have “fallen off the wagon” of your regular practice and your choice will be to “begin again”.
  • Maybe you are practicing regularly but it’s time to be more mindful about intentionally expanding the formal practice into the rest of your ordinary day.
  • Maybe you want to consider joining with others to receive some additional support and accountability from a teacher and/or a group.

You can reach us here by calling 512-695-3387 or sending an e-mail to sr@stressreductionclinic.org.

Maybe there is someone you know who could benefit from our 8 week MBSR training, which begins on June 5th  and the Summer Silent day will be July 25th, for these events go to the events page on our website


Mamata Misra will be leading the Mindful Mondays

Every 2nd Monday of the month

from February to July, 2017

at Sol Healing & Wellness Center,

13805 Ann Place, Austin 78728


Geeta Cowlagi will be offering Mindful Mondays

Every 4th Monday of the month

To register for either of these group events go to http://www.joyfulliving.us

Exploring a deeper MBSR practice with a 7-day Silent Retreat

Graduates of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) programs often find that the day of silence that they explore with the class opens them up to deeper insights.  Longer silent retreats that are teacher led might be a way to deepen the MBSR experience for some.

The Mindfulness Meditation Retreat: A 7-day, Teacher-led, Silent Retreat cosponsored by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine and Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts might be an option to explore.  Nestled in the lovely mountains of Colorado, this Fall 2014 retreat may offer you the boost you need to renew or deepen your MBSR practice.

May your practice of Mindfulness continue to benefit you and all those around you.


Third Tuesday Check In on Tax Day, April 15

Join us for “Third Tuesday Check In” on Tuesday, April 15th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. @ Classroom #3 of Heart Hospital Austin

Most of us think of April 15th as Tax Day… when we release our data for income tax purposes.

This April 15th, we have an opportunity to join with others to release our stress through mindfulness meditation practice.
  Hopefully the outcome will be that we are “less taxed” and more at ease, regardless of our monetary situation.

With the support of others in the MBSR community you can firm up your intention to more consistently pay attention to thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations while exploring the barriers to mindfulness in order to deepen our commitment and our practice.

We hope you can join us. If you plan to come, we would appreciate it if you would take a moment to buy a free “ticket” to the event on our web site. This helps us to get an accurate headcount and plan for seating.