by Master Teacher Sharon Gutterman, PhD
Teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction has been a passion of mine for many years, and if there had been an Intro to MBSR retreat back in the days when I was dipping my toes into mindfulness practice I would have jumped at the opportunity. Instead, I had to wait quite a while until I felt comfortable experiencing Copper Beech’s classic 8-week MBSR series.
I am very excited to once again be facilitating Copper Beech’s upcoming Intro to MBSR Retreat from February 1-3. I want to encourage you to attend this retreat no matter where you are on your mindful journey. There are many reasons for this encouragement, which I’ve listed below.
Get a full digest of MBSR: the Intro to MBSR program serves as a “reader’s digest” of MBSR practices. This is a rare and unique opportunity where you can learn a lot about MBSR without needing to commit ample amounts of time and money to learning MSBR skills. While the program serves as a primer for the larger eight-week MBSR course that will be offered in the spring of 2019, it will also be very fruitful for those who are simply interested in better understanding MBSR, wish to further hone the skills they gained in a previous MBSR course, or want a taste of the practice to help with their stress.
Connection: during this program, you will be able to connect with others who share your interest in mindfulness practice. You will also meet teachers like myself and other alumni of Copper Beech Institute’s MBSR program who can speak to the ways MBSR has changed their lives. If you’re contemplating taking our MBSR course at any point, this intro program is a great way to talk with others who have been through it and assess if it’s the right path for you.
Timing: the timing of this program couldn’t be better for many reasons. If you’re hoping to reinvigorate New Year’s resolutions surrounding your wellbeing that may have started falling by the wayside, February is the perfect time to do so. It’s also an ideal time to find new tools to navigate the difficult aspects of wintertime, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, loneliness, and isolation caused by the cold weather. And given that it’s happening right before Valentine’s Day, the program will serve as a loving gift to retreatants and their loved ones by helping participants learn to better care for themselves and others.
Sharing the practice: when people take our full eight week MBSR course, they are so amazed by the results that they often ask if loved ones (such as a spouse or friend) can sit in on a class or two. Given the intimate and structured nature of the course, this simply isn’t possible (nor would it be very beneficial to the person sitting). This is where our Intro to MBSR program comes in very handy, though. It serves as a great opportunity for you to introduce friends and family to MBSR in a way that will help them develop a practice of their own.
For all the above reasons and more, I highly encourage you to attend the upcoming Introduction to MBSR course happening February 1-3 at Copper Beech Institute. By helping you develop stronger tools for navigating the joys and concerns of your life, it will serve as a gift to yourself and your community. You can easily register by clicking here. Hope to see you there!