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Before you begin to read the information below about the Mindfulness-Based Courses at UC San Diego, we invite you to take a moment to pause and consider what brought you to this point. What is in your mind and heart and body that caused you to bring this web page on to the screen of this computer? You might pause for 10 or 20 seconds to get a clear sense of what led you here.
More than likely, you quickly identified a “problem” or “challenge” that you face in your life. This is something that causes you to suffer in some way, physically, emotionally or spiritually. Among the difficulties people report when they come to our mindfulness classes are such things as:
Now, take a moment to step back from your definition of the problem or problems and notice that there was also an aspect of you that was aware of this difficulty and was open to working with such challenges in a different way. After all, if you were satisfied with how you were dealing with the things you face in your life, would you have sought out a program about stress reduction? Perhaps that “inner voice” was seeking peace, balance, equanimity or a sense of control.
However, just because you have the inner wisdom and resources to contend differently with your life and all its aspects, does not mean that you routinely use them. Most of us are on “auto-pilot” much of the day and tend to react much more than we respond to the decisions and situations we face. Our courses are intended to develop the innate ability to cultivate mindfulness over “mindlessness”, with which we are all familiar. Those moments when we are unaware of where we are, what we are feeling and why we are doing what we are doing. Quite frequently, those are the moments that contribute most to our suffering. Just a few examples are: eating foods that we know we would be better off not eating; spending time with people that cause us great difficulty or emotional pain; or engaging in activities that are stressful, harmful or unnecessarily distracting.
The “flagship” 8-week MBSR program is detailed elsewhere on this site, but the overriding focus and intention of it is to reconnect you with that inner wisdom and deep knowing that resides within you. Mindfulness-based groups have a huge and growing body of research supporting their usefulness to address the kinds of problems we have described. If you are interested in reviewing a small part of the books and research articles covering mindfulness-related topics, please view the bibliography (in PDF format) we have compiled
Center for MindfulnessUC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry5060 Shoreham Place, Suite 200San Diego, CA 92122-0980858-334-4631Fax: email@example.com
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