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Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction FAQ

Who should take Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction?

MBSR is for anyone at any age, and the reasons people take classes vary. Some have demanding jobs or responsibilities and they want to learn how to cope; others are referred by their physicians to help treat high blood pressure, anxiety or insomnia. Other students attend MBSR classes to learn to cope after a traumatic event. People suffering from chronic pain also have benefited from MBSR.

What kind of meditation do you teach?

The form of meditation used in MBSR classes taught at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine is a simple method using the breath as the focus. We find this to be very effective, because breath is always with us. When the mind wanders off, breathing can bring attention back to the present moment.

Is MBSR religious or spiritual?

No. Although most religions do include meditation in some form, the Samueli Center teaches it as a skill to be learned and perfected. However, the meditation techniques learned in MBSR can be applied to your religious practice if you choose.

How much time is required for the class?

MBSR classes meet once a week for two hours. After week six, there is an all-day retreat. In addition, participants are given 45 minutes of "homework" each day that involves practicing the meditation technique and some written assignments. We know our students lead busy lives. Most people find that by setting aside the time to practice, they find more time for other things in their lives because they have more clarity, are less forgetful and function more efficiently.