Mindfulness is the opposite of mindlessness, our primary coping mechanism when we are distracted, hurried, multitasking and/or overloaded. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Mindful meditation practice cultivates the following attitudinal foundation:
- Non-Judging: Observing your own experience as an impartial witness.
- Patience: Allowing things to unfold in their own time, without rushing, by opening to the fullness of the moment.
- Beginner’s Mind: Seeing things as they really are, as if for the first time, free of expectations from past experience.
- Trust: Developing a fundamental trust in yourself by honoring your thoughts, feelings and intuition.
- Non-Striving: Releasing your meditation goals (aside from being yourself) and adopting a “non-doing” attitude.
- Acceptance: Developing a willingness to perceive things as they truly are in the present moment.
- Letting Go: Noticing the impulse to grasp at the pleasant and resist the unpleasant, and instead nurturing a stance of non-attachment.
Many studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can significantly reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and enhance sleep. In addition, research supports a decrease in stress, anxiety and depression. Preliminary neuroimaging studies also suggest that regular mindfulness practice can enhance structures of the brain associated with focus, learning, memory, executive function and emotion regulation.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): MBSR, created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is the most widely researched mindfulness intervention in the world. This 8-week class incorporates meditation, body awareness and yoga to bolster one’s ability to better manage stress and its effect on the body.
MBSR will provide you with:
- Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation
- Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
- Optional group sharing of experience with practice
- Mindful communication exercises
- Individually tailored instruction
- Daily home assignments
- Audio files
Each class builds upon the previous session. There will also be lively discussions on stress management, turning off auto-pilot, the mind-body connection, how mindfulness changes our relationship to thoughts, feelings, emotions, stress, pain and illness, as well as other health-related subjects.
We require that participants are 20 years of age or older, but often have modified classes for those who are younger.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC): MSC was developed by Christopher K. Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion. It combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience.
Mindful Parenting: Raising a child is a journey with unique challenges and opportunities for growth for both parent and child. The Mindful Parenting course offers a supportive and relaxing environment where parents can learn how to remain calm during stressful moments, set limits with confidence, consistency and compassion, use their bond with their child to inspire positive behavior and make space for imperfection and repair.
To view all of our mindful parenting workshops, please visit the mindfulness classes page.
Why Choose Us?
Our mindfulness instructors are either certified University of Massachusetts MBSR instructors or have professional licenses that allow them to practice and teach mindfulness. Our mindfulness courses can also be taken on a self-referral basis.
Beth Mulligan, PA-C
Jessica Drew de Paz, PsyD
Nicole Marie Reilly, MD
Sapna Chopra, PhD
Susan Halim, MA, MS, LMFT
|Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
|Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
*15% discount for UCI employees