Logistics of the 8-week MBSR course
Below are detailed logistics that are included in the CFM Curriculum (2017 version). Some logistics are adaptable depending on the venue and whether there is one class or several being offered in a given time frame; options are indicated below. Please see Standards of Practice for more information on programmatic elements required to be considered “MBSR.”.
– 10 Sessions Total: The course meets every week for 9 weeks, in the morning for 2.5 hours. There are 9 sessions total including the “All-day” class. The first class will be a 3.5 hour orientation class + class 1. The rest of the classes will be 2.5 hours each, with the exception of the “All-day” class.
– “All-day” class (a silent retreat day) is between the 6th and 7th week on a weekend day, (It is also possible to hold the All-day class between the 5th and 6th week if schedules demand).
– Formal and informal practices: In each class participants will learn about and practice different forms of mindfulness including formal practices of yoga, sitting meditation, body scan, and walking meditation as well as informal practices such as mindful eating, speaking and listening, and mindfulness of daily activities.
– Topics covered in class: Participants will learn about stress, and explore the habitual, automatic behavioral, physical, emotional and cognitive patterns as well as investigate, in detail, more effective and skillful responses to the challenges and demands of everyday life. In parallel, we’ll also be exploring what it means to take care of ourselves and flourish, how to relate to ourselves and others more effectively and what it might be like to nourish behaviors and activities that express our innate capacity for wellbeing.
– Recordings for Home Practice: In each class there will be periods of formal mindfulness practice, small and large group discussions and talks, as well as practices and exercises related to that week’s topics. Recordings for Home Practice: Participants will receive CDs or Mp3 downloads with guided meditation and yoga practices and a home practice manual, weekly handouts or email/online information with each week’s formal and informal practice assignments.
– Class size: Class sizes may vary from as few as 4 and as many as 40 depending on the venue, community, etc. See Standards of Practice for suggested class size.)
– What to wear/bring: Comfortable clothing, loose at the waist that allows for unconstructed breathing, supports practice. There are no scheduled breaks during class; take care of personal needs as required (this includes bathroom, food, water, medications). Encourage eating lightly before class and avoid having food in the classroom, although if food is needed for medical reasons, individuals should be accommodated. Request refraining from use of scented personal care products (this may include detergents) due to others’ sensitivity.
– Daily home practice consists of 40-45 minutes of recorded formal practice in addition to other exercises, activities, or practice not requiring a recording. Total daily practice time is 60 minutes or more. Encourage participants to consider how they will set aside time for daily practice since this is an essential component to the program.
– Stressfulness: There is an acknowledgement of stressfulness of participation in MBSR. This includes time commitment and other possible challenges.
– Attendance: Attendance at all 9 classes (after orientation), including the all-day class is emphasized. If a participant misses a class, there may be possibilities for making up the class that week on another day if multiple classes are held at the site (dependent on venue). If someone knows they will miss 2 or more classes, encourage participation in a different cycle. If, during the course, a participant misses 3 or more classes, they are encouraged to drop out and take the entire program again in another cycle when they are able to make the time commitment. There is an emphasis on the importance of arriving on time. Participants are urged to call or email the teacher if they are unable to attend class, need to make up in another class, or know you will be late for class.
– Weather policies: If there if inclement weather and a class must be missed, this class will meet the following week and the rest of the remaining classes will be shifted back one week.
The above content was taken from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Authorized Curriculum Guide © 2017, with slight adaptations made by James D’Aconti.
Version Revised and Edited by:
Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, MA
Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA
Lynn Koerbel, MPH
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD (MBSR program founder and creator of the MBSR curriculum)