My experience with the MBSR course (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)

Last month, I completed my 8 wks -MBSR (Mindfulness bases stress reduction) course from UCSD Center for Mindfulness. (UCSD CFM)

I joined this course, to know more about mindfulness based living, and to my surprise, there are several other attendees in this course who joined it because their doctors, psychologists or therapists have advised them to attend this course to practice the mindfulness based practices. And I must mention, there has been a remarkable shift by the end of the 8 weeks for all the attendees.

The course schedule consists of eight weekly classes and one daylong class on a weekend. In each weekly class, there are 2-3 mediation practices with the duration of about 20 minutes.

After every practice, all attendees would discuss how was their experience for this practice, and if there is anything which they felt good or bothersome. Of course, the sharing was voluntarily so, for those you are not comfortable sharing their experience in the group, can choose to be silent. It was a place of non-judgement with every one’s choices respected equally. Everyone is discussing their vulnerable side but feeling only kindness and compassion from others, with no judgement at all.

We were given daily meditation practice(s) each week to practice at home.

The real credit goes to the teachers who provided this environment to us, where we all felt that we belong and are not being judged. My two wonderful teachers were Megan Leuchar and Livia Walsh. They are senior mindfulness teachers and are simply phenomenal.

Below are the few mindfulness practices which are a part of MBSR course:

Mindful Eating:

This is a practice where you eat your meal without any distraction (phone, TV) . Feel the food first in the hands, its texture, color etc., and then feel how just watching the food changes the brain movement, have saliva running through your mouth. Then, slowly eating the food while feeling the taste and texture of the food in your mouth.
This was a great practice for me as I have been eating my meals while either on phone or watching something on TV. I have totally stopped it and feel much more nourished after every meal.

Mindful Walking:

This is another wonderful mindfulness based practice. It teaches that anytime you are walking – just walk mindfully. Feel how your shoe, socks or floor feels on the feet. Feel how your other foot behave after the first foot touches the ground – it automatically starts the next step, even before you end the previous step. This practice can be practiced anytime, anywhere – while walking in the park, on the road, in your home or your workplace.

Mindful Sitting:

In mindful sitting, we practice sitting slowly and mindfully with full attention where we are going to sit. We are aware of the feel of the clothing , feel of the chair or the ground and how it feels when we sit. The same is practiced, when we stand from a sitting posture.

Mindful Yoga:

Mindful yoga, comprises of yoga postures which are being done with following your body and its messages to you.

If any posture feels difficult, do it until where your body allows it. Listen to your body while doing it.

Mindful Yoga postures and other guided mediation practices which are a part of MBSR can be found in the below link:
http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/mindfulness/programs/mbsr/Pages/audio.aspx

If anyone has been advised to do MBSR or have been thinking of doing MBSR, I highly recommend you to experience this joy which mindfulness gives you, and this course is just a step to open this vast ocean of compassion and kindness towards ourselves.

Enjoy mindful living.

Love.

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