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Orientation Guidelines for MBSR Participation

Orient- ‘even-playing-field’

Welcome to MBSR

Meeting together weekly has an integrative healing component - see your individual longing in the room with a universal truth, we all wish to be happy.

Intro on Instructor: Diane is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Neuroscience Practical Applications Facilitator, and MBSR UMASS Medical School Center for Mindfulness Trained Teacher. She has been utilizing Mindfulness for over 40 years both personally and professionally. Her intention in teaching is to facilitate in the process of ‘orienting’ people to their inherent wellness.

Brief history of MBSR- Jon Kabat Zinn, PhD, bridged ancient wisdom with modern day medicine in the development of the stress reduction/pain clinic in 1979. The earliest study was on psoriasis showing 4x faster healing rate with the application of mindfulness. From 2012 to present contemplative research increased exponentially showing positive outcomes in body, brain, behavior.  MBSR has been the original template for this research and is the primary reason we have mindfulness applied to all areas of society, Health Care, Mental Health, Education, Government, Military, Corporations and more. Since the 1979 Stress reduction clinic, there have been over 23,000 graduates of the 8-week program through the Center for Mindfulness UMASS.

MBSR is an Evidence-based Systematic approach to health & well-being utilizing Meditation, Daily Mindfulness, Loving Kindness, Mindful yoga, Reflective Inquiry to work with pain, illness, and 21st century stressors

Definitions of Mindfulness:

“Mindfulness is Paying Attention on Purpose in the Present Moment Non Judgmentally”-Kabat-Zinn

“Mindfulness is an Open, Inclusive, Relational quality of Awareness”-Renz

Mindfulness is all about the Quality of Awareness

Intention, Attention, and Attitude are the mechanisms of Mindfulness

7 Attitudinal aspects of Mindfulness:

Beginner’s Mind, Trust, Acceptance, Patience, Non-striving, Non-judgment, Letting go

Meditation means “to become familiar with”, here in MBSR, we are becoming familiar with the patterns of mind, emotion, behavior, interpersonal relationship, and body sensation

Mindfulness means “to remember”, here in MBSR, it is the principle of inherent wellness, remembering ‘that there is more right with you than wrong with you”, (Kabat-Zinn).


How to engage in the program for most benefit:

Beginner’s mind

Know your Intention, it will hold your Commitment

Nothing to believe but to meet experience

Healthy skeptic best outcome

Direct experience v conceptual (present v past/future) set down reading about it

This program will require intention & commitment

Setting up new rhythm & space in your life for home practice

Clear understanding of Risks/Benefits (you will feel again both pain/pleasure)

Use the audio v your own practice or another voice

If you meet difficulty in experience, remember meditation is not always the answer, let psychological support be utilized if necessary.



Note Dates / Times of meeting

& Practice Day, clearly in your calendar

Structure=Weekly Class, 8x, + Practice Day, Home Practice-45+ min

What to bring to each class, mat, cushion, blanket, water, (what your body needs for supported, sustainable practice)

Weekly email is your MBSR MANUAL, read it!



                        Use driving, parking, weather, all as practice

Parking on the street free after 6pm

If Weather limits in person class-online instruction will be sent


Group safety:

Confidentiality, share your experience, not others

Big group fears we will gather in pairs and pods

No advice giving, let direct experience be our discovery process

Instructor as time manager, you can relax into the context

Mindful speech- Right speech: does it add, is it needed, helpful or harmful, listen

 in, listen out, do you tend to not share or share too much, work your edge.

Each supporting the other, your commitment fuels others, your absence is felt

My recording device use is for review of teaching to hold the rigor of MBSR

Names will become known through our awareness and listening

Reach with concerns rather than Ruminate ... don’t wait for final evaluation

It is the Intention to be of benefit, if there is a discrepancy between intention and actual impact, please reach out to discuss, feedback is how we change and grow.

Group health:

No scents please – some have allergies –senses heighten as we practice

Elbow cough/sneeze

Bathroom use as need, (as practice) no formal breaks

Lateness not encouraged but if ….use as practice

No TECH, turn it all OFF, enjoy your freedom


You never have to say anything in class, but for your name

You as expert of body, take care of it, listen and adjust accordingly

Boundary of self safety, where, when, how much to stretch to risk- to grow

Difference between self-care and comfort-seeking

Jot down questions, pause, if not urgent, see if they get answered as you explore

If you can’t hear or don’t understand, reach instead of ruminate


A word on the Body Scan  - it is a slow, systematic reconnection to body as it is, not to make it different, or try for relaxation, but to be in relationship to it, and to learn how to listen to its cues, and re-establish it as ally -(‘body best home your mind will ever know’/ ‘I was told by my doctors what might go wrong with my body, not what might go right’-Mathew Sanford- paraplegic yoga teacher)

Let's get started on the Journey - 
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