Zen Stones

Course Materials

Home Practices


Orientation Session

Home Practice

1. Please bring 3 to 4 raisins (or small fruit like grapes or berries) to session one.

2. Take time to consider your participation in the program.

3. Find a quiet place where you can do the in-class practices.

4. Let others know about program times to insure privacy.

5. Reduce interruptions from  pets, phones, and others by planning in advance

6. Print Practice Manual.

7. Read guidelines below.

Optional: Read preface, forward, and introduction in Full Catastrophe Living (FCL).



General Guidelines

  • All course discussions are confidential.

  • Don't give advice to other participants. If you wish to talk with another participant about something that they've shared, please ask their permission.

  • If you are experiencing any difficulties physically or mentally, please contact your healthcare professional (Physician, therapist, etc.) immediately. MBSR is not therapy or a treatment but can be supportive of your healthcare decisions.

Preparation for all sessions

  • Please dress comfortably (sweats, workout cloths, etc.). Meditation in Motion is part of our course.

  •  Have water/tea/snacks available.

  •  Make sure your computer is powered up and plugged in. Each session is about 2-1/2 hours.

  • For comfort, yoga mats, pillows, blankets, bolsters, cushions, and cover-ups can be helpful.

  • All recorded meditations can be found under Resources.

  • Please keep all cell phones and electronic devices silenced and 3 to 4 feet away from the device that you're using for the Zoom session to prevent interruptions.

Session One

Home Practice

  • 30 - 45 minute Body Scan six (6) times this week (recordings are on this portal under Meditations). Please try the 45 minute Body scan from each instructor. Use the Home Practice Notes (in the Practice Manual) for each Body Scan this week if it will help you remember the experience.

  • Print the 9 Dots pdf (in the Heartnotes area) and take no more than 10 minutes trying to complete it.

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Notice your expectations this week in everyday activities.

If time is limited on any given day, please consider a shorter body scan (15 or 20 minutes). It's better to do less time than to skip a day.

Optional: Read "Full Catastrophe Living" (FCL) Chapters 1-3 & 10  Chapter 1 - You Have Only Moments to Live, Chapter 2 - The Foundations of Mindfulness Practice, Chapter 3 - The Power of Breathing, Chapter 10 - Getting Started in the Practice 


Session Two

Home Practice

  • Body Scan 6 times this week. Fill out Home Practice Notes if helpful.

  • Sitting Awareness of Breath (AOB) 10 - 15 minutes 6 times this week

  • Fill out the Pleasant Events Calendar for each day this week (for session 3 sharing).

  • Do one activity mindfully this week. Bring awareness to an everyday task like brushing teeth, tying shoes, making tea, or washing dishes. Prepare to share the experience and how it felt.

  • The home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.

Optional: FCL Chapters 4-6 & 9  Chapter 4 - Sitting Meditation, Chapter 5 - Being in Your Body Chapter 6 - Cultivating Strength, Balance, and Flexibility, Chapter 9 - Really Doing What You're Doing


Session Three

Home Practice

  • Alternate Body Scan and Floor Meditation in Motion 6 times this week (3 body scans, 3 MiM).

  • Sitting Meditation with Awareness of Breath (AOB) 6 times this week (10 to 15 mins.). 

  • Fill out Unpleasant Events Calendar for each day to share in class.

  • Optional: Food Meditation Challenge: For one full day, try eating only when you’re hungry and only what you need to satisfy the hunger (not trying to”fill up”). Have snacks available if needed. If you have blood sugar or other health issues please consider skipping this practice.

  • The home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.

Optional: FCL Chapters 11-16  Chapter 11 - Introduction to the Paradigm, Chapter 12 - Glimpses of Wholeness, Chapter 13 - On Healing, Chapter 14 - Doctors Patients, and People, Chapter 15 - Mind and Body, Chapter 16 - Connectedness and Interconnectedness. 


Session Four

Home Practice

  • Body Scan (30 -45 min.) and floor Meditation in Motion 6 times this week (3 Body Scans, 3 MiM)

  • Sitting Meditation (15-20 min.) 6 times this week.

  • Be aware of stress reactions and auto-pilot behaviors during the week without trying to change them. Also, be aware of being stuck, numbing, or shutting off to the moment if it happens.

  • Complete Bringing Awareness to Reactions/Responses in the Home Practice Manual for each observation.

  • Home Practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.


Optional: FCL Chapters 17-20   Chapter-17 - Stress, Chapter 18 - Change, Chapter 19 - Stuck in Stress Reactivity, Chapter 20 - Responding to Stress Instead of Reacting


Session Five

Home Practice

  • Alternate sitting meditation (30 - 45 mins.) with either standing Meditation in Motion or a body scan (30 -45) 6 times this week (day 1 - sit, day 2 - body scan or MiM, day 3 - sit, day 4 - body scan or MiM, etc.)

  • Fill out Difficult Communications calendar for each day this week.

  • Find key word that reminds you to leave room to respond. You can use acronym STOP or BAM or make one up yourself. 

  • Bring awareness to moments of reacting and explore options of responding with greater mindfulness and creativity. Remember to use your breath as an anchor to heighten awareness of reactive tendencies, to slow down, and to make more conscious choices.

  • Please consider joining us on March 3 for our practice retreat. For EU students it will run from 3 to 9 PM CET and for US students it will be from 6 AM to Noon PST

  • This home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.

Optional: FCL Chapters 24 - 32 (Select those of interest)   Chapter 24 - Working With Emotional Pain, Chapter 25 - Working With Fear, Panic, and Anxiety, Chapter 26 - Time and Time Stress, Chapter 27 - Sleep and Sleep Stress, Chapter 28 - People Stress, Chapter 29 - Role Stress, Chapter 30 - Work Stress, Chapter 31- Food Stress, and Chapter 32 - World Stress


Session Six

Home Practice​

  • Alternate Standing Meditation in Motion, Floor MiM, and sitting meditation (30 -45 each day) 6 days this week.

  • Be aware of the things that you take in this week (food, media, conversations, relationships, etc.). Notice how each one affects you in the moment and later.

  • Try a short silent meditation (5 to 10 minutes).

  • This home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.


Optional: FCL Chapters 7-8   Chapter 7 - Walking Medicine, Chapter 8 - A Day of Mindfulness


All Day Practice Retreat

Preparation for Retreat

After introductions and a description of the day, we will begin our day of mindfulness together in silence. Please read this and set up a space in your house where you can participate without being disturbed. A place where you feel comfortable to sit and lay with your eyes closed.


We recommend that you place something over the clocks in the room (see email “It’s Now”) and leave your phone outside of the room (unless there is an urgent reason you might need it). There will be breaks during the day and the possibility to go outside for walking meditation. You might want to wear a sticker saying something like “Hi: I’m enjoying a day of silence” if that makes you feel more comfortable with (no) social interactions.


We will be doing all the practices that you have been learning, with our guidance. There will be formal practices: body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation, Meditation in motion and also some informal practices including poems and lunch.


For lunch, please prepare food you will enjoy eating slowly and mindfully. You might want to think about the source of the food, maybe choose a vegetarian lunch so you will enjoy looking deeply into your food. We are going to try to have lunch around noon, together.


At the end of the day we will transition back into talking and will end with some brief sharing.


What will you need?

  • A yoga mat

  • Some pillows, blanket and cushions

  • Having some clothing layers by your side

  • Lunch to enjoy eating mindfully

  • Tea or an other drink you enjoy drinking during the day

  • Think of an outdoor place for mindful walking, where you would not mind too much to not say ‘hi’ to people passing by (or maybe you would and want to explore those feelings!

  • It would be great to have a little kitchen timer. That way you can be back in time after breaks and walking meditation without needing a clock or phone.

  • A charged laptop that is connected to the electricity.


Session Seven

Home Practice​

  • 30-45 minutes per day of any practice without recordings for 6 days. First, try self-guided practices and then be free to add guided recordings if needed. Identify the practices that are pleasant and less pleasant with and without guided recordings.

  • Be aware and awake in routine daily activities especially traveling from one place to another (on foot, by bike, by car, or on public transportation), while eating and while consuming media (general and social)

  • This home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.

Optional: Chapters 21-23 of FCL  Chapter 21 - Working With Symptoms, Chapter 22 - Working With Physical Pain, Chapter 23 - More On Working With Pain


Session Eight

Home Practice​

  • Continue both the formal and informal practice each day. Even 10 minutes each day makes a difference.

  • Join us online for for all program Retreats. Check the website for retreat days and times.

Optional: Chapters 33- 36 of FCL     Chapter 33 - New Beginnings, Chapter 34 - Keeping Up The Formal Practice, Chapter 35 - Keeping Up The Informal Practice, Chapter 36 - The Way of Awareness

To all our alumni:

We thank you for allowing us the honor of partnering with you in health and life.

Please stay in touch and we hope to see you again soon!