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For more than three decades, Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki F. Santorelli and their colleagues at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass), have pioneered Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and the integration of meditation and mindfulness into mainstream medicine, health care, and society through patient care, rigorous research, academic medical and professional education, and leadership and educational initiatives in corporations, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and educational institutions.
In continuous operation since 1979, more than 19,000 people with a range of medical and psychological conditions have completed MBSR training at the Center’s Stress Reduction Clinic. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in MBSR programs. More than 12,000 health-care professionals have participated in Center for Mindfulness professional training programs. Globally, there are more than 700 sites offering programs in clinics, hospitals, and academic medical centers based on the MBSR model developed at UMass.
Since the inception of the Stress Reduction Clinic, MBSR research at UMass and other academic medical centers has shown consistent, reliable, and reproducible demonstrations of major and clinically relevant reductions in medical and psychological symptoms across a wide range of medical diagnoses, including chronic pain conditions, over the eight weeks of the MBSR program. Maintenance of these changes continues, in some cases, for up to four years of follow up. Most clinic participants experience long-lasting improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms, as well as major positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors and in perception of self. Studies have also shown changes in the brain and the immune system consistent with greater mental and physical health.
Taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki F. Santorelli, this 7-day program is an opportunity for health-care professionals to train intensively in mindfulness meditation as it is taught at the Stress Reduction Program. Specific themes and areas of focus include:
- Seamless cultivation of mindfulness throughout the retreat, through both formal and informal practices, in silence, conversation, and dialogue • Mindful approaches to the experience and expression of stress, pain, grief, and anxiety within ourselves and when working with others
- Examination of the language and methods used for instructing and guiding others in the formal and informal methods of mindfulness meditation in various settings
- Review of research supporting the clinical value of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
- Exploration of the essential components of the MBSR curriculum, including specific program structure and content and their rationales, assessment and screening of program participants, as well as teacher readiness and competency
- Exploration of the ethical and moral principles and the domains of nonharming, compassion, and wisdom that underlie mindfulness meditation practice and MBSR
After attending this workshop taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki F. Santorelli, participants will be better able to:
- Demonstrate the ongoing practice of the principles of mindfulness in silence, conversation, and dialogue
- Describe mindful approaches to stress, pain, grief, and anxiety within ourselves and when working with others
- Demonstrate the language and methods used for instructing and guiding others in the formal and informal methods of mindfulness meditation in various settings
- Discuss research supporting the clinical value of MBSR • Describe the essential components of a viable mindfulness training program, including MBSR teacher readiness and competency criteria
- Explore the ethical and moral principles and the domains of nonharming, compassion, and wisdom that underlie mindfulness practice and MBSR
This program is open to health-care professionals and educators who come prepared for the intensive nature of the workshop and who understand the primary necessity of embodying mindfulness meditation practice in their own life before attempting to teach it to others.
The schedule and the work are rigorous and include both intensive training in mindfulness meditation, including extended periods of silence, and an ongoing exploration of mindfulness meditation’s practical applications in health care and other settings.
Since the cardinal principle in doing this work is that it must come out of one’s own extensive personal experience with mindfulness meditation practice, participants who do not already have a strong daily personal mindfulness meditation practice should not attend this retreat with the expectation of immediately returning home to open a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
Ultimately, it is the depth of one’s personal commitment to learning and growing using the MBSR approach that is most important. Integrating mindfulness into one’s professional life comes out of that commitment and the imagination and effort it inspires.
Please note that there may be periods of time outside of normal workshop hours when silence will be expected of class participants. CE/CME are available and included in the tuition. This program fulfills one of the requirements for entry into MBSR Teacher Certification Programs conducted by the Center for Mindfulness. Attendance at this retreat does not constitute authorization by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki F. Santorelli to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. A letter containing the retreat schedule will be sent upon registration. Required reading before the program: Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness; and Santorelli, Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine.