Who is this course for?

For anyone who wants to practise from home using short instructions audio and video instructions online. Anyone suffering with stress, anxiety or any other condition such as chronic fatigue and who cannot attend a local course and wants to practise from home.

What will I learn?

A wide range of mindfulness skills to ease and cope with most the difficulties you are facing in life.

You will need to have availability to complete at least 10 minutess of mindful meditation twice a day for six out of seven days, each week over 8 weeks.

You will have unlimited access to the mindfulness course platform for a year after your course has ended so you can use the resources again and again.

How do I access this online course?

You will need access to broadband/internet and you can participate using a computer, smartphone, iphone, ipad or tablet.
If you’ve already registered you can log-in here

What is Mindfulness?

It is the intention to pay attention to each and every moment of our life, non-judgmentally. While there are many possible definitions, the key aspects of any definition of mindfulness involve purposeful action, focused attention, grounded in current experience, and held with a sense of curiosity.We at Inspired Living believe that we all have the capacity for mindfulness.

How might mindfulness meditation benefit my life?

The direct benefit is living our lives in this moment with awareness instead of “on automatic pilot” or solely in the past or future.

Patients often report greater joy for the simple things in life, such as a shared moment with their child or partner or more aware of the change of seasons as flowers bloom and snow falls. We begin to realize that there is more “right” with us than “wrong” with us as we become more engaged in our lives. Many of the side effects of mindfulness meditation found in scientific research include decrease in psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression as well as greater stability in physical symptoms such as blood glucose levels and blood pressure.

Ultimately, it is an empirical question and everyone is encouraged to find out for themselves how mindfulness meditation might benefit their lives.

How is mindfulness different from other forms of contemplative practice?

Mindfulness is a practice of present moment awareness. Mindfulness increases ability to see things as they arise clearly without judgment. Mindfulness facilitates both focusing and widening our attention as we become aware of ourselves and the world around us. The “goal” is to be more fully present in our lives

There are many types of contemplative practices and the Center for Mindfulness encourages exploration of practices that allow people to increase their well-being. Many other contemplative practices have a specific focus such as building concentration, one-pointed awareness, or a relationship with a higher power. If mindfulness does not match your interest you may wish to explore other forms of contemplative practices.

How long has MBSR been taught and used by other patients?

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Stress Reduction Program in 1979. Since its inception 35 years ago, more than 20,000 people have completed our eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) and learned how to use their innate resources and abilities to respond more effectively to stress, pain, and illness. The central focus of the Clinic is intensive training in mindfulness meditation and its integration into the challenges/adventures of everyday life.

Why do people take the Mindfulness course? What conditions or illnesses can it help treat?

  • Chronic Pain
  • Heart Disease
  • Stress Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Personal Well-Being
  • Anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Major Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Hot Flashes
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Mood Disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • HIV
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Asthma

Is Mindfulness a type of group therapy?

No…Mindfulness was never conceived as group therapy. It is a form of participatory medicine where participants experientially learn about their stress, stress reactivity, and how they might be able to respond to their life challenges.

It may be better viewed as an educational course where we offer an atmosphere that allows you to explore your own life and patterns and we invite you to investigate what you find there. We are not sharing the context of the things that have happened or are happening in our lives rather we are focusing on our own reactions and responses to our current state of being as we take the class. Our hope is that you will build enough resources to take the tools with you as you leave the classroom and be able to integrate them into your normal day-to-day routine.

Is Mindfulness good for my medical condition?

Mindfulness has been scientifically shown to be an effective compliment to a wide variety of medical and psychological conditions. Below is a partial listing of medical and psychological conditions with citations of some of the benefits of mindfulness practice.

Anxiety (Hoge, Bui, Marques, Metcalf, Morris, Robinaugh, et. al., 2013)

Asthma (Pbert, Madison, Druker, Olendzki, Magner, Reed, et. al., 2012)

Cancer (Carlson, Doll, Stephen, Faris, Tamagawa, Drysdale, & Speca, 2013)

Chronic Pain (Reiner, Tibi, & Lipsitz, 2013)

Diabetes (Hartmann, Kopf, Kircher, Faude-Lang, Djuric, Augstein, et. al., 2012)

Fibromyalgia (Schmidt, Grossman, Schwarzer, Jena, Naumann, & Walach, 2011)

Gastrointestinal Disorders (Zernicke, Campbell, Blustein, Fung, Johnson, Bacon, & Carlson, 2013)

Heart Disease (Sullivan, Wood, Terry, Brantley, Charles, McGee, Johnson, et. al., 2009)

HIV (Duncan, Moskowitz, Neilands, Dilworth, Hecht, & Johnson, 2012)

Hot Flashes (Carmody, Crawford, Salmoirago-Blotcher, Leung, Churchill, & Olendzki, 2011)

Hypertension (Hughes, Fresco, Myerscough, van Dulmen, Carlson, & Josephson, 2013)

Major Depression (Chiesa & Serretti, 2011)

Mood Disorders (Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010)

Sleep Disturbances (Andersen, Wurtzen, Steding-Jessen, Christensen, Andersen, Flyger, et. al., 2013)

Stress Disorders (Kearney, McDermott, Malte, Martinez, & Simpson, 2012)

Is Mindfulness supported by scientific evidence?

Mindfulness over the past 35 years has shown consistent, reliable, and reproducible major and clinically relevant reductions in medical and psychological symptoms across a wide range of medical and psychological diagnoses. It has been recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as an evidenced based program through the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Mindfulness is an active area of scientific research with new studies on MBSR being shared on a regular basis.

Do I need a medical doctor referral?

No…In most cases you do not need a medical doctor referral to be able to attend an MBSR course.

However, if you are under the care of a physician or mental health professional and have any specific health concerns we would want to address those with you prior to your acceptance into the MBSR program. With your consent and permission we can set up an agreement to speak with your doctor or mental health professional as you go through the course in order to increase the support network for you as you move through the program.

Do I need to read any books prior to the course?

No…It is not necessary to read any books prior to doing the mindfulness online course. We invite you to use this time to investigate your own process and experience of the course and then after it is finished it may be useful to expand your understanding through reading books such as the ones listed below:

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Heal Thyself by Saki Santorelli

Where Ever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Do I need a textbook for the Mindfulness course or a notebook to take notes?

No…You will not need to have a textbook or a notebook for the online course itself. We have included a workbook and diary for you to download and access. Ultimately, our experiences with the mindfulness practices and our lives become our textbook and notes.

Do I have to engage in mindfulness practices to benefit from the program?

Yes… Mindfulness is a highly experiential practice and therefore engaging the formal mindfulness practices (audio files) is perhaps the most important component of the course. We encourage all of the participants to use the 8-weeks as a testing ground for the mindfulness practice. In this way you will be able to see what benefits may come from taking the course.

I cannot sit still for very long, can I still take an MBSR class?

Yes… Mindfulness is not about sitting still or moving slowly. Mindfulness and MBSR is about bring attention to this moment whether it is stillness or fidgety. Participants will be engage in many different forms of mindfulness practices which include sitting, lying down, standing, and moving. Participants are encouraged to take care of themselves. If you need to leave the room and walk a bit and then come back that is an option. The class may also be a good place to explore the edges of our boundaries with this and to notice what it is like to stay with this and notice if it perhaps changes over time.

Are there conditions or life situations where taking an Mindfulness course is not recommended?

There are some conditions that participants are encouraged to be under the care of a mental health professional or medical doctor and in still other cases participants are encouraged to delay entering a mindfulness online course or seek other treatments.

A partial list of conditions or life situations may include a history of substance or alcohol abuse with less than a year of being clean or sober, thoughts or attempts of suicide, recent or unresolved trauma, as well as being in the middle of major life changes. The hope is that participants can complete the mindfulness course at a point in their life where they are supported and able to gain full benefit from the mindfulness practices.

What risks are involved with taking the Mindfulness course?

When choosing to sign up to the mindfulness online course, self pacing and judgment are encouraged and are essential.

The gentle yoga is a possible physical risk of strain or muscle injury and each individual is responsible for not going beyond her or his comfort. Participants are encouraged to take care of themselves by acknowledging their limits without overwhelming their body.

Some participants may experience increase in pain, depression, or anxiety within the first few weeks of the mindfulness course as the they begin to “look at” as opposed to “look away” from aspects of their lives they may have been unwilling to explore in the past.

Please know that there are always options and participants are encouraged to take care of themselves throughout the course. Pain, depression, and anxiety have been found in the research to be reduced by the end of the course.

Will Mindfulness disrupt my ongoing psychotherapy?

Mindfulness can be a wonderful compliment to psychotherapy. If you are currently in therapy we do recommend that you speak to your therapist about your intention to do the 8 week online mindfulness course course.

Can Mindfulness help with anger and other strong emotions?

Yes… emotions are part of life and you will be encouraged to acknowledge and see the impact of strong emotions on your life. Mindfulness is not about always being calm or numb to emotions events in our lives. However, through mindfulness practice we me begin to see options and choices on how to respond before emotions overwhelm us. For example, we will still become angry, but might notice its impact in the moment and choose to walk away before we hurt ourselves or others.

Will Mindfulness allow me to control my thoughts better?

You will become very familiar on how your mind works. While “control” is not the goal of Mindfulness, you may begin to see that you more choices on where and how to give your attention. Other participants report living in the present moment and find it easier to plan for the future without living in the future as well as knowing the past without dwelling in the past. The process of mindfulness is building on the skill of noticing where the thoughts go and what emotions and physical sensation may be associated with them.

What impact does mindfulness practice have on my brain and cognitive processing?

Mindfulness is an active area of research with many studies focusing on the structural and functional changes in the brain due to completion of an MBSR program.

Can Mindfulness reduce my chronic pain?

Yes… Studies have shown that Mindfulness can reduce the perception of pain. While chronic pain does not go away, your relationship with pain may shift and change. Research have found that participants report less limitations due to pain, reduced severity of pain, and more joy in life even in the presence of pain.

What is the impact on mindfulness in my everyday actions?

Mindfulness can help bring awareness to things we may take for granted in the routine of our day-to-day lives.  The awareness that we start to discover can help us to remember all of the small really special things that are happening in our everyday lives. It can also help increase our feelings of connectedness. It may also help us in responding to situations rather than reacting to them. Mindfulness allows us to have a more direct experience of our lives as we are living them.

I live a very busy life, do I have time for mindfulness?

We are aware that so many of us have very busy lives and that is why we created the mindfulness online course so you can complete the course in the comfort of your home.

One thing to keep in mind is that while time may feel like a challenge adding mindfulness into our lives tends to help us prioritise and become more efficient at work. Additionally, taking time to restore and rebalance and can give us more energy reserves to meet the demands of our very busy lives.

Is mindfulness just a way to distract myself from issues in my life?

Mindfulness is not a way to distract one’s self from life issues. In fact the process is more about turning toward the challenges that we are facing and beginning to look at and investigate that process. In the turning toward the challenges we may be able to find new options and solutions so that we can meet them with skillfulness and kindness whenever possible.

Will mindfulness make me more passive?

Mindfulness is a process of noticing how we are, as much as possible with an investigative quality. In this process of investigation we are learning to have more options around self-regulation and how we react and respond to the world around us. Mindfulness and this investigative process allows us not to be passive but rather to be able to choose with intention and clarity how we would like to interact with the people and the world around us.

Is it possible to shut off thoughts or gain a blank mind through mindfulness meditation?

Perhaps… but this does not match our experience and is not taught as part of MBSR. Mindfulness is about being present to the here and now. Participants are encouraged to notice instead of blocking or denying thoughts, sensations, and emotions. It is through this “noticing” we might begin to find our mind may become more quiet or focused.

Is mindfulness a Buddhist concept?

Mindfulness is a life concept and is found in many traditions and cultures. However, Buddhism has made mindfulness as one of its central concepts and practices. From the perspective the course is a secular program that is accessible to all people regardless of religion or beliefs.

Is mindfulness compatible with my religious faith?

Inspired Living is a secular company and our mindfulness course was developed in a way that is accessible to all people regardless of the religious traditions or beliefs. Mindfulness practice is really just about being awake to our lives as they are and working with seeing our process and ourselves more clearly. This tends to be a good compliment to many religious traditions in ways that you can explore as you develop your practice.

How much mindfulness practice is required after the course?

Mindfulness is an approach to life and we encourage you to find the best practice that supports you. By the end of the eight weeks, you will have a better understanding of what is right for your mindfulness practice.

Are there different guided meditations that I can use to support my mindfulness practice?

Yes…The Mindfulness Online course includes a variety of different guided mindfulness meditation audio files and practices from a lying down body scan, to guided seating meditation exploring different objects of attention, to loving kindness meditations, to mindful movement to walking meditations, and many more options to engage in mindfulness practice.