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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

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The 8-week MBSR course is an evidence-based, intensive exploration of the practice of mindfulness. People participate in the MBSR course for many reasons—to relieve stress of all kinds, to ease emotional and physical pain, to live and love more fully, and to establish a regular practice of mindfulness. No experience is necessary and all levels are welcome. 


During the MBSR course, participants will have the opportunity to engage in and learn from dynamic group discussions and enjoy meaningful connections to their fellow students and instructor. In addition, participants will get the benefit of having a readily accessible, in-person instructor.   


This course is taught by Jess Okanya Patel. She is qualified to teach MBSR through East Coast Mindfulness. In addition, Jess holds a Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Studies from Lesley University.  

How does the MBSR work?

Through the regular training in mindfulness that an MBSR course offers, people become familiar with their own behavior patterns, especially in relation to stressful situations. They also learn that though they cannot always change the circumstances in which they find themselves, they can choose how to respond to them. In MBSR this process is described as going from reacting to responding, with the latter involving a clearer perception of the circumstances through being in touch with the thoughts, sensations and emotions that are present.

MBSR Course Description

The standard MBSR course consists of eight, weekly sessions of 2.5 hours each, plus an all-day session after the sixth week that includes a full day of mindfulness practice in a relaxed and retreat format.


Each session starts with a mindfulness exercise that the participants have learned during the weekly sessions. The main exercises of the MBSR program are the body scan, gentle mindful movement, and sitting meditation. Through the course of the program, participants will practice one of these exercises every day. In addition, there are various exercises centered on incorporating mindfulness practice into daily life. Other exercises train mindful awareness in relation to thoughts, sensations and emotions.

Each session focuses on one particular topic that is explored with specific exercises, as well as presentations from the teacher and in dialogue among the group participants. Some topics in an MBSR course are: mindful communication, working with difficult emotions and how perception influences our relationship to stressful events.


There’s also time for participants to share what they experienced during the exercise as well as to talk about their daily mindfulness practice outside class. We will practice mindfulness in many forms (sitting, moving, walking, scanning) in class, sometimes in silence, and there will be opportunity for small and whole group sharing, checking in, and asking questions. You will receive audio recordings to guide much of your daily, at home practice. Beyond the 8-week course, you will be provided a way to continue to connect with other course participants, if you choose.

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