SUFFERING FROM STRESS?
MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION CLASS
Starting Wednesday, February 7, a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction ("MBSR") class will begin at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos. The class is open to the general public. It will be held in Robinson Hall at the Unitarian Church on 1738 North Sage Street in Los Alamos. Classes meet Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. through 9 p.m. through Wednesday, April 4. The program concludes with a Saturday all-day retreat in early April, plus an optional film on Wednesday, April 11. The first meeting on Feb. 7 will be for orientation, questions and sign-up.
MBSR was first developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Starting initially as a physical pain clinic, it soon became a program for helping people cope with a wide range of stress conditions. Working with patients referred by other MDs, research conducted by Kabat-Zinn has shown impressive results over many years. His book, Full Catastrophe Living, describes the program and will be required reading for the class, along with other handouts.
The workshop applies principles of mindfulness and meditation to coping with the challenges of everyday life. Conducted in a safe healing community, various guided and unguided meditations, simple yoga, physical scanning and relaxation techniques, class discussions and homework assignments create a powerful environment for change.
Requirements for participation are simple. You need only be facing some stress or difficulty, whether great or small, that is interfering with your life. This could involve illness, physical pain, relationship problems, anxiety, depression, addiction or anger. You need also to believe that you are not wholly a victim of fate, that you have agency and can learn to hold the difficulty in a way that lessens your suffering.
The cost of the workshop will be $250 for the entire program, payable before the program itself begins. Some scholarship help is available. The nature of the program requires that you attend all sessions, including the day-long retreat. Missing one evening session is not ideal, but is workable. Having to miss more than one class, including the all-day retreat, probably means that you should not take it on.
The workshop will be led by Henry C. Finney, who is an authorized MBSR instructor and has trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn. Henry has studied and taught meditation, mindfulness and healing techniques for over twenty years, as well as having experience in methods of organizational development and the sociology of medicine and mental health. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology and was a professor for over twenty years at the University of Vermont. He is also an MFA-trained artist and a writer, and runs a meditation space in Los Alamos.
Henry will be assisted in the workshop by Los Alamos chiropractor Nancy Savoia and by LANL environmental scientist and counseling trainee Steve Koch. Both have just completed a course in MBSR and have also practiced meditation regularly for several years.
Those wishing to join or learn more should email firstname.lastname@example.org , or call him at 505-661-6874. Potential participants must attend the meeting on Feb. 7, when MBSR and class details will be reviewed. Payment should be made then. The minimum pre-paid enrollment needed to do the program is eight.