What is MBSR?


About MBSR

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Training (MBSR) is an eight-week program teaching mindfulness meditation and awareness practices which have been shown to dramatically decrease stress and improve well being for individuals with a wide range of concerns.

More than 30 years of research supports MBSR’s effectiveness in working with all kinds of stress; from the day to day pressures of work, life transitions and relationships, to the challenges of chronic pain, and illness. MBSR teaches research supported practices to help participants develop their own inner resources for resilience,  equanimity and peace of mind.

MBSR was developed in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. That program became what is now the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society where it has served tens of thousands of participants over the last three decades.

MBSR is one of the most highly researched and validated approaches to stress reduction.  Its effectiveness has been shown in studies spanning many health disciplines and populations. While MBSR does not provide therapy or medical treatment, it can be an effective adjunct in many healthcare settings.

Who Participates?

 MBSR  is a journey of self-discovery – and self-discovery is empowering! The program challenges participants to cultivate, explore and expand  in a variety of ways, while  respecting the wisdom of each individual’s path. People can participate in MBSR with all kinds of concerns – each of the practices can be adapted to suit a wide range of physical ability. MBSR instructors are accomplished and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging learning environment.

Program Overview

The standard MBSR Program consists of eight weekly classes and one day-long class retreat. During weekly classes participants have the opportunity to learn and work with each of the formal and informal mindfulness practices in the program. These include:

  • The Body Scan Meditation
  • Mindful breathing
  • Gentle Stretching/Yoga
  • Sitting Meditation
  • Walking Meditation
  • Informal Awareness Practices for daily living

About half-way through the 8 weeks,  participants attend an all-day  guided retreat, typically on a weekend day. This provides an opportunity to deepen the connection to mindfulness through a longer period of uninterrupted practice. All activities are led by the instructor throughout the retreat period.

Between class sessions, participants practice daily with guided CDs to develop a strong foundation in each of the methods presented. Class time includes discussion and support for working with obstacles, and integrating mindfulness into daily life in a variety of ways.

For more information about MBSR contact an instructor


Please note: The information on this website is offered for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical, psychological or substance abuse treatment.  Inclusion on this site does not  indicate endorsement by MBSRPortland.com, or it’s contributors, for any specific individual or service.