Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Experience the evidence-based, 8-Week MBSR program created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.

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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an effective, scientifically researched method for reducing physical and psychological suffering while building resilience, balance and peace of mind.

Learning to practice mindfulness provides a way of relating directly with whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, of consciously and systematically noticing and responding to your own stress and pain, and to the challenges and demands of living. This starts with cultivating present-moment attention in an open, nonjudgmental way. MBSR is a nonsectarian, scientifically researched approach that is in harmony with any faith-based tradition.

Program Snapshot

Brown University's 8-week MBSR program is designed to teach participants mindfulness meditation and movement practices they can integrate into their daily life.

8 Weeks

+ Orientation

Instructor-led sessions, reflection and practice


or In-Person

2.5 hours per week with one all-day session


In-Person: $650

Online: $599

The Benefits of MBSR

Scientific research at medical and research centers around the world suggests that MBSR can
positively and often profoundly affect participants' lives.

  • Stress reduction
  • Decreased medical symptoms
  • Improved self-care
  • Greater ability to manage anxiety and depression
  • Loosening of the grip of negative habits and thinking
  • Improvement in symptoms of burnout
  • Clearer recognition of when your attitude or mood is beginning to change so you can become less reactive
  • Discovery that difficult and unwanted thoughts and feelings can be seen from an altogether different perspective – a perspective that brings with it a sense of compassion and less judgment to the suffering you are experiencing
  • Improved sense of well-being and learning how to be present and appreciate the simple pleasures of everyday life, connect with yourself, and the experience of being alive

Curriculum Outline

Discover what you'll learn week by week.

The 8-week program includes a required Orientation that introduces participants to the secular practice of mindfulness, describes the science behind mindfulness and offers recent scientific findings to highlight how the program can support a wide-range of challenges, medical and psychological conditions, fostering well-being and resilience. Additionally, logistics and expectations are reviewed, and participants complete an intake form that is reviewed by the teacher.

This is a basic, foundational stance the program provides, encouraging all that is right within us, including the innate qualities of awareness, courage, and energy that mindfulness practice cultivates. The group learning context is established, as well as review of the working definition of mindfulness. Mindful eating, focused attention, and the body scan meditation practices are introduced, and the aliveness of the mind-body connection is explored.

The first class is 3 hours. 

How we see things (or don’t see them) will determine, to a large extent, how we respond.

Through practice followed by interactive dialogue and learning activities, we invite examination of perceptions, assumptions and how we see our lives and the world. Included is the exploration of creative responding in how we perceive, take in information, and what we do with it. The practice of the body scan and mindful movement continues.

In this session we integrate a range of mindfulness meditation practices including a mindful movement sequence of lying down yoga (with chair adaptations for those for whom lying down on the floor is not accessible) and sitting practice. Walking meditation may also be introduced. Daily practice with the recordings has been going on for two weeks, and there is time to ask questions, share learning and discoveries, and talk about how it is to make time for this new habit–including the challenges of doing that. Another theme for session 3 is exploring “pleasant experiences,” and how these are received in one’s thoughts, emotions and sensations.

After three weeks of daily mindfulness practice, participants often report a greater awareness of all experiences: pleasant, unpleasant and everything in between. Curiosity and openness are being cultivated through practice, which begins to show up not just in meditation–but also in ordinary moments of life. In this class we identify the physiology and psychology of fight, flight or freeze and investigate personal patterns in relation to stress.

How mindfulness interrupts the stress cycle

From participants’ direct experience with practice and becoming aware of reactivity in one’s life, mindfulness strategies are illuminated to respond in skillful ways that are more aligned with personal values and intentions. Exploration continues in how mindfulness can interrupt patterns around being stuck, maladaptive coping, through continued focus on the thoughts, emotions and sensations that arise, moment by moment.

This day takes place between weeks five and six. With skillful guidance by teachers, participants are led through the mindfulness practices learned thus far in the course, along with a few new options. This day offers participants the opportunity to see their lives closely and freshly, through the lens of practice and the qualities that come along with it, including kindness, curiosity and interest, self-sovereignty, and choice. Without the usual demands and distractions, possibilities, insights, and new perceptions may arise.

The all-day session is 7.5 hours long.

This session continues the learning from the all-day session, illuminating discoveries and also challenges. In addition, we turn towards interpersonal relating (in person, electronically, through social media), and explore how we might bring mindful presence, creative responding, and navigating strong emotions (one’s own and others) to the ongoing life practice of relating. We can relate this to resilience or stress hardiness–the ability to recalibrate when we realize we are stressed. We also come to know that this is normal. The expectation is not that we will always be calm, but that we know what to do and how to care for ourselves when we realize we are in the midst of reactivity.

By session seven, consistent, daily mindfulness practice has revealed many surprises and discoveries: More focus, less judgment, faster recovery from stressful situations, the ability to speak up for oneself and to respond to one’s needs more effectively–to name a few. Along with the establishment of a regular, daily mindfulness practice, the class explores how to bring mindfulness “off the cushion” and into one’s life as an ongoing “habit,” of mind, body and heart. The prior weeks of practice have offered a new perspective on how to care for oneself, how to meet moments of stress and challenge, and how to savor moments of joy and peace.

In this final session, we come full circle, practicing several of the mindfulness meditations that have been learned, reviewing course highlights, and setting new intentions for keeping up  the momentum from the prior weeks. In addition, together we celebrate the challenges overcome and the learning accomplished. While acknowledging the program’s end, we also celebrate how each person will carry the practice forward in the unique and supportive ways they choose.

This final class is one-hour longer.