Why mindfulness? “We have seen how Mindfulness opens up an inner space of awareness, in which we are less caught in the ups and downs of life, and where we learn to build a different relationship with ourselves – one in which we are more content, because we are making less demands on ourselves; less reactive, because we are learning to accept what comes in our experience; and more open and curious about the unfolding experience of our lives, because we see life as a unique process of emergence rather than as a relentless struggle to survive.” from the book Mindfulness Based Living Course by Choden and Heather Regan-Addis.
What’s the difference between the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) ?
MBSR was developed at the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn beginning in 1979. The evidence based mindfulness training program was developed for stress management, and it has evolved into a non-pharmacological approach to heal from a variety of health related disorders.
MBLC was developed in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s to fill a need for a fundamentals mindfulness training course that provides an experiential survey of multiple mindfulness meditations practices. The courses intention is to help someone start or continue a daily practice.
MBSR is an eight-week mindfulness course that includes specific guided mindfulness meditation practices, gentle movement and yoga, group discussion and experiential exercises. MBSR is the most widely studied evidenced based mindfulness program and, potentially, “improves the condition of patients suffering from chronic illnesses and helps them cope with a wide variety of clinical problems”.
How is Mindfulness taught during the MBSR?
MBSR is an integrative approach for learning about untapped inner resources for healing and well being. It is an experiential, structured and intensive training program. The class includes formal and informal mindfulness practice, group discussions, experiential group exercises and home exercises.
What are the MBSR supporting resources? MBSR is experiential focused, so does not use a course manual. Mindfulness practice audio files will be provided. Each week there are formal and informal mindfulness home practices. Suggested books based on the course are Full Catastrophe Living: Using Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn and A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein.
The MBLC is an eight-week mindfulness course that is mediation practices focused. The course uses presentation, mindfulness practices, group discussion and individual inquiry to progressively build an individuals knowledge about mindfulness practice. The course is designed to support the development of a regular daily mindfulness practice.
How is Mindfulness taught during the MBLC? Participants will be taught progressive skills in Mindfulness through presentations, guided practice and smaller group sessions. A strong emphasis is placed on experiential learning. Home assignments include regular mindfulness practice, daily life exercises and journal writing.
What are the MBLC supporting resources? The MBLC includes a free full course manual in pdf form, mindfulness practice audio files, home practices and the Mindfulness Association mobile app. In addition, you may purchase the book Mindfulness Based Living Course: A self-help version of the popular Mindfulness eight-week course, emphasising kindness and self-compassion, including guided meditations by Choden and Heather Regan-Addis.