ABC’s Catalyst recently conducted “The Mindfulness Experiment” by inviting 15 Australians from all walks of life into an eight-week intensive mindfulness meditation program: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The outcomes were researched by Assoc Professor Nicholas Van Dam, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne.
It provides a great overview of the MBSR course. It will inform you well in terms of what to expect and also let you hear some great insights from the participants. This facilitator is one of my teachers so our course follows this same curriculum and style.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
MBSR uses a range of mindfulness practices to teach participants to cultivate an observant, accepting and compassionate stance towards their own internal experiences including cognitions, emotional states, body sensations and impulses. MSBR differentiates itself from other mindfulness offerings in that it is:
- not a quick fix,
- quite demanding in terms of practice (up to an hour a day!) and
- the group process is quite important.
People in the group in the Catalyst program ‘The Mindfulness Experiment’ were dealing with the usual stress of life but difficult health challenges such as chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety and depression, injury, grief and loss and Multiple Sclerosis. The Catalyst program shows the roller coaster that can be the MBSR course. These are everyday people with a different level of interest, irritation, frustration, impatience, pain, excitement, and humour as they learn how to approach their own stress and distress using mindfulness meditation as their guide. Some of the transformations and insights are amazing to hear and as an MBSR practitioner so beautifully articulated. Another element of the program is the scientific evaluations, and these are both insightful but also demonstrate what there is still to know in terms of researching mindfulness.