Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
MBSR at the Shala
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an intensive, experiential introduction to mindfulness meditation, which has been defined as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Based upon the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness, MBSR includes a variety of mindfulness practices such as awareness of breathing, the body scan meditation, choiceless awareness, yoga, eating meditation, walking meditation, mindful speaking and listening, and group reflection on what was learned.
Engaging with these practices over time can transform our relationship to stress and allow us to see problems with fresh eyes, leading to novel solutions. Many participants report learning to relate to themselves and others with increased kindness and compassion. In addition, research has shown MBSR to be effective for a number of medical and mental health conditions including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.
Fee: Donation-based. This program is offered in the tradition of Dana, or generosity, a practice that serves to open the heart and is a foundation for the practices of concentration and insight. This means that the teachings are offered freely without expectation of repayment from the recipient. At the end of the program, participants will have an opportunity to practice Dana by making a monetary contribution to the teacher and the shala. There is no suggested donation amount or range, but rather individuals may choose to give based on their ability to give and how they feel they have benefited. Dana is not payment for goods or services rendered; it is given from the heart. Your generosity is a gift that supports not just the teacher and the shala, but also the larger community and your own practice.
Commitment: Joining this program entails committing to attend all sessions and practice mindfulness meditation at home for 45 minutes to one hour daily. The orientation session on 8/13 is an opportunity to learn more and decide whether you would like to continue. For those who choose to continue, it is important to commit to attending all sessions, as the sessions build upon each other as the program deepens. If you know in advance that you will need to miss one session, please speak with the instructor in advance.
Dr. Fayazmanesh is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine. He works in Outpatient Psychiatry and Primary Care-Mental Health Integration at the VA, where he has started a mindfulness and yoga group program for psychiatric outpatients and has published research (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173869) on yoga for depression.
Previously, he served as Chief Resident in Psychiatry at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco. Before medical school, he was a Fulbright Fellow and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow. He completed his Medical Doctorate and Master of Science degree in Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.
As a certified yoga teacher and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher, Dr. Fayazmanesh takes an integrative approach to his practice that incorporates psychodynamic psychotherapy and mindfulness.
Contact: Dr. Nima Fayazmanesh (firstname.lastname@example.org)