MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Of course, many of us having been doing this for years, but did you know it had a name? First developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (video) in 1979, MBSR is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up and being present in the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.

Duke University has been leading the field in MBSR since 1998. On their website,www.dukeintegrativemedicine.comthey write: “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs similar to ours have been offered in the United States and around the world for over 20 years, and thousands of people have participated. This approach can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations. However, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a complement, not a substitute, for whatever medical treatments a person may be receiving and should not be used in place of medical care.”

Patients report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to cope better with chronic pain. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.

MBSR has been used to treat the following conditions:

ADD/ADHD Anger/stress management Anxiety, panic, or depression Chronic Pain Daily life stress Fatigue Headaches High blood pressure Job or family stress Personal growth and development Serious illness Sleep disturbances Type A behavior


The Science Is In: Meditation Affects Aging and Telomere Length

Science is all about precision, controlled studies, and measurable, repeatable results. So for years researchers resisted working on alternative practices such as meditation, dismissing the few studies done as “fuzzy science,” “subjective,” or “impossible to duplicate.” But as research methods have advanced, so has the accuracy of the latest research. There is ample evidence now that stress leads to increased risk of health problems and that meditation reduces stress. What’s new are the studies showing how stress is related to aging and telomere length.

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Up the Hill – Down the Hill by Stephen Thomson

| by Stephen Thomson

When I was in my thirties I began to meditate. Most of my friends were doing it, so I thought I would try. I became addicted to my practice and progressed to a point that I was meditating daily for periods as long as three hours during one sitting. I was also becoming pretty full of myself and had a kind of spiritual arrogance at the same time. Now as I look back, I think I approached meditation in the same way I did any competitive sport. My efforts were about being the best I could be, the one with the most endurance and greatest success.

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Teaching Transcendental Meditation to the Neediest

Teaching Meditation to the Neediest: John Samuel Hagelin is an American particle physicist, three-time candidate of the Natural Law Party for President of the United States, and the director of the Transcendental Meditation movement for the US. He is also an educator, public policy expert, and leading proponent of peace…. But it is his work teaching meditation to the homeless, prisioners, and at risk children that has really made headlines.

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Meditation: What IS the Real You? by Dada Jyotirupananda

| by Dada Jyotirupananda

Dada Jyotirupananda (video) writes, “The book, “Meditation: Searching for the Real You” came out of my experience as a meditation teacher. Why do I meditate? I first heard about meditation in my university days and gradually understood that it could help me in various ways…

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The Power of Meditation by Tim Walter

The power of meditation can no longer be in any doubt by even the most sceptical of sceptics. Details of a scientific experiment conducted at the Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig Germany were published recently…. The experiment looked at how three meditation techniques affected the brains and bodies of more than 300 volunteers over nine months.

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Meditation Saved My Life by Phakyab Rinpoche with Sofia Stril-Rever

In 2003, Tibetan lama Phakyab Rinpoche was admitted to the emergency clinic of the Program for Survivors of Torture at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. After a dramatic escape from imprisonment in China, at the hands of authorities bent on uprooting Tibet’s traditional religion and culture, his ordeal had left him with life-threatening injuries, including gangrene of the right ankle. American doctors gave Rinpoche a shocking choice: accept leg amputation or risk a slow, painful death. An inner voice, however, prompted him to try an unconventional cure: meditation.

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Peace and Where to Find It

| review by Cheryl Shainmark

Peace and Where to Find It is a slim gem, packed with insight and wisdom. For fans of Eckhart Tolle, Peace takes up where Tolle’s The Power of Now leaves off, (and, in fact, Eckhart Tolle wrote the introduction for this book), but it’s not necessary to have read one to enjoy the other. The author, Christopher Papadopoulos, has clearly walked the walk, done the work, and come back to share his transformative experience with us.

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Mindfulness In Schools Project

The Mindfulness in Schools Project began in the United Kingdom, but has spread to the US with its partner, Anima Learning. They’ve been featured on BBC, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and more. Started in 2009 as a non-profit by educators and long-time mindfulness practitioners Richard Burnett and Chris Cullen, MiSP seeks to help every child develop the skills needed to flourish fully and handle difficulty throughout life.

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What is Mindfulness, by Linda Lehrhaupt, PhD

Mindfulness meditation has been described in many ways in recent years, but I still find that one of the definitions by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is very helpful. He says that mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally. He added in an interview on YouTube…“as if your life depended on it.”

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