Participation Guidelines

Attending the orientation, 8 sessions, and the day Retreat.

  • Taking the time to participate in this MBSR program is something you do for yourself. 

  • Receiving full benefits requires your daily participation and commitment.

  • If you have to miss a class, please let us know by text or email.

 

Daily mindfulness home practice 5-6 times per week is an essential part of the course.

  • Mindfulness practice can lead to great benefits with regular daily practice. Mindfulness is a skill and as with any other skill, practice is what you need to build that skill. 

  • Committing to the Home Practice and creating a daily meditation routine, even if you only have a few minutes on a busy day, is essential. Five times 5-10 minutes is recommended over one time 30-45 minutes. 

  • Blocking time out for your daily practice by adding it to your calendar has been helpful to many of our students. 

  • You might like some of the practices better than other practices: we encourage you to give all of them a real chance.

 

Creating a consistent time and place to sit helps build a daily practice.

  • Creating a consistent time and place to sit will help you create a ritual, making it easier to make your practice into a daily habit.

  • Find a place where you can sit quietly without disruption, where you feel safe to sit with your eyes closed where you won’t be disturbed. 

  • Keep a journal close by to write down thoughts and observations after your practice. 

  • Dress comfortably taking temperature into account and maybe have a blanket available for warmth. 

  • You can use a meditation cushion, a chair, or anything else that you can sit on comfortably, with a straight spine with knees lower than hips. You might want to use a yoga mat or a soft, but not too soft, mattress where you can lay on comfortably for a 30-45 minute body scan.

 

If a practice causes any discomfort or pain, please stop and let us know.

  • It is important that you listen to your body - you are the only one who can feel your body - and do not push yourself over any limit. There are always ways to modify these practices so please let us know how we can help. 

  • Emotions can be stronger at the beginning of the course because you may be paying attention in a conscious way for the first time. You may make discoveries about yourself that you may not like. If at anytime you feel that heightened awareness is creating distress or concern, please reach out to us.

 

Approaching your practice with a curious attitude, putting expectations on hold.

  • What can you find out? Where can you experiment? What is the bigger picture? What do you see when you zoom in? Your only objective is to observe, like a scientist, developing an awareness of ‘things as they are’. 

  • A curious attitude is just waiting to see what will happen, without longing for a specific outcome (relaxing, pain relief, inner peace). You might find unexpected benefits or unseen outcomes.

 

Confidentiality

  • What we share in the course, stays in the course. 

  • Please respect the confidentiality of each person in the course. If you would like to talk to another participant about something they brought up, first ask them if they are interested in doing so.

 

All the interactions during class are an exercise in mindful communication

  • When you listen, really listen (not planning what you will say next)! 

  • When you want to speak, take a second to ask yourself why you want to share what you want to share (or not share).  An acronym that might help here, is W.A.I.T: “Why Am I Talking?”. Of course, this could also be “Why Am I Not Talking?”

  • Please refrain from giving advice. Advice could be seen as an act of care and sharing your knowledge, experience, and point of view. It can also take away the opportunity for the speaker to find their answers within themselves. Very often, being listened to is all the speaker needs in the moment.

  • This course is a co-creation with all of you and we want to hear your experience and insights. You will get opportunities to speak. If you do not want to share, you can always pass.