Is Mindfulness a Buddhist concept?
Mindfulness is a life concept and is found in many traditions and cultures. However, Buddhism has made mindfulness one of its central concepts and practices. MBSR is a secular program that is accessible to all people regardless of religion or beliefs.
Do I need to have experience with meditation or yoga before I take an MBSR class?
No…While prior mindfulness practice may motivate individuals to take MBSR. The MBSR program and teacher have no expectation that participants have experience with meditation or yoga or any other mindfulness practice. Everyone will have the opportunity to explore and experience mindfulness while having a skilled teacher to guide and help answer questions about practice. For those that have experience with meditation or yoga in the past, the course can be a good refresher to rebuild a strong daily practice.
Will practicing Mindfulness make me more passive?
Mindfulness is a process of noticing how we are, as much as possible with an investigative quality. In this process of investigation we are learning to have more options around self-regulation and how we react and respond to the world around us. Mindfulness and this investigative process allows us not to be passive but rather to be able to choose with intention and clarity how we would like to interact with the people and the world around us.
Will my health insurance pay for the MBSR course?
Not currently… However, some insurance companies have been trying to promote preventative medicine and have become more willing to reimburse members under wellness codes. Ask your provider.
Are there conditions or life situations where taking the MBSR course is NOT recommended?
There are some conditions that participants are encouraged to be under the care of a mental health professional or medical doctor and in still other cases participants are encouraged to delay entering an MBSR program or seek other treatments. A partial list of conditions or life situations may include a history of substance or alcohol abuse with less than a year of being clean or sober, thoughts or attempts of suicide, recent or unresolved trauma, as well as being in the middle of major life changes. The hope is that participants can complete the MBSR course at a point in their life where they are supported and able to gain full benefit from the mindfulness practices.
Can MBSR reduce my chronic pain?
Yes… Studies have shown that MBSR can reduce the perception of pain. While chronic pain does not go away, your relationship with pain may shift and change. Researchers have found that participants report fewer limitations due to pain, reduced severity of pain, and more joy in life even in the presence of pain.