Classes

Portland Mindfulness Programs currently offer educational classes for developing mindfulness practices in a completely secular setting.

The classes are primarily experiential. The classes provide a framework where:

  • Students learn fundamentally what mindfulness is.
  • Students develop in depth understanding of what meditation really is.
  • Students learn to cultivate mindfulness through various meditation practices.
  • Students learn to apply mindfulness practices to their day to day lives for their own benefits.

Classes are comprised of lectures, guided meditations, guided movements (Yoga and Qigong), small group discussions and feedback sessions. Home practice is an integral part of the classes.

Classes are taught in a backdrop of a community environment. As group support is one of the most important factors reported by students that help and inspire them to continue the practice.

Portland Mindfulness Programs currently offer following class.

Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction – Level 1, 6-Weeks

Following are some details. It includes a brief overview about the class, prerequisites, length and frequency and some idea about the content of the classes. There is a section about the informal practice as home assignment and informal practice are an integral part of these classes.

Overview

Mindfulness training is an introductory course for the cultivation of mindfulness. It is inspired by MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course. It is 6 weeks long intensive course.

Key to the cultivation of mindfulness is always the practice. There is a balanced emphasis on the theoretical aspect of mindfulness as well as the practice in the instructions.

  • Mindfulness Training – Level 1 is a 6-week course.
  • Students meet for 2 and 1/2 hours every week
  • One of the main goals of this program is to help participants cultivate mindfulness.
  • It is through the practice of mindfulness, that the program hopes participants will benefit with a wide range of diseases and disorders.
  • To achieve this goal of cultivating the mindfulness, program uses various meditation techniques, including gentle stretching Yoga.
  • Students develop in depth understanding of what meditation really is.
  • Students learn fundamental principles of mindfulness.
  • Students learn to cultivate mindfulness through various meditation practices.
  • Students learn to apply mindfulness practices to their day to day lives for their own benefits.
  • Classes are comprised of lectures, guided meditations, guided movements (Yoga and Qigong), small group discussions and feedback.
  • Home practice is an integral part of the classes.
  • Classes are taught in a backdrop of a community environment. As group support is the most important factor reported by students that help and inspire them to continue the practice.

Prerequisites

Classes have NO prerequisites. It is suitable for anyone over the age of 16 years.

Length and frequency

Classes are comprised of total six sessions spanning a period of five weeks. One session is held per week. Each session is 2 and 1/2 hours long.

Content of the Class

Week 1

The first session is the introductory session. In this session, we cover the overview of the mindfulness.

  • General overview of the mindfulness.
    • What is mindfulness?
    • The default nature of the human mind.
    • What is meditation?
    • The relationship between mindfulness and meditation.
    • Mindfulness as an art of being in the present moment.
    • The benefits of practicing mindfulness.
  • Experiential overview of the mindfulness.
    • The attitudes to be cultivated along with the cultivation of mindfulness.
    • The mindful eating exercise.
    • Do’s and Don’ts of meditation.
    • The breathing meditation practice and group discussion.

Week 2

The main focus of the second session is how to bring mindfulness to the physical body. The motivation behind bringing mindfulness to the physical body and the actual practices that help achieve this goal.

We also introduce stress theory in this session and talk about how mindfulness can help reduce stress in our lives.

  • How to cultivate mindfulness informally.
  • Bringing mindfulness to the physical body.
    • Using the body as an anchor.
    • The balance between doing and being.
    • More kindness to the physical body.
    • The body scan practice and group discussion.
    • The practice of walking meditation and group discussion.
  • Stress theory.
    • What is stress?
    • Stress and the role of perception.
    • The role of mindfulness in addressing stress.

Week 3

The main theme for the third session is how to use mindfulness to address the problem of chronic pain or pain in general. We cover how mindfulness can be an additional tool in your toolkit for addressing the physical pain.The mindful movements are also introduced in this session.

  • Bringing mindfulness to the physical pain.
    • Deconstructing the experience of pain or discomfort.
    • The role of resistance in our experience.
    • Learning to see choices when responding to external stimuli.
    • No second arrow, or second dart!
    • How to practice applying mindfulness to the physical pain.
  • Mindful movement or stretches.
    • What are mindful stretches?
    • Practice of mindful stretches and group discussion.

Week 4

The main topic for the fourth session is how to address difficult emotions using mindfulness. Just like physical pain we struggle a lot in our lives with emotional pain and mindfulness can be a helpful tool to deal with difficult emotions.

We also introduce hearing or listening meditation in this session.

  • Hearing meditation.
    • Hearing v/s listening.
    • Hearing as a felt sensation.
    • Practice of mindful hearing and group discussion.
  • Bringing mindfulness to the difficult emotions.
    • Importance of labeling the emotions.
    • The composite nature of emotions.
    • Learning to non-identify with emotions.
    • Practice of mindfulness of emotions and group discussion.
  • Exploration of loving kindness.

Week 5

The main thrust of this session is how to address difficult thinking with mindfulness. Sometimes our thoughts tend to be very wild and they tend to keep us awake and generate lot of suffering for us.

We can use mindfulness to tame our minds and get help with difficult thinking. We also cover the topic of mindful communication as it is relevant in our relationships.

  • Bringing mindfulness to the difficult thoughts.
    • Importance of labeling the difficult thoughts.
    • Practice of mindfulness of thoughts and group discussion.
  • Mindful communication
    • What is mindful speaking?
    • What is mindful listening?
    • Practice of mindful interaction and group discussion.

Week 6

The last session puts it all together. We begin with a mini retreat. We recap with an overview of what was covered and we end with how one can continue the momentum once the class is over.

  • Mini retreat.
    • A series of meditation practices and group discussion.
  • Recap.
    • Recap of mindfulness.
    • A recap of how mindfulness can be used to address problems in daily life.
    • How to sustain the daily practice.
  • Resources for daily practice.
    • Books, support groups and retreat centers.

Students will be introduced to the following mindfulness or meditation practices. Students can explore and find out which practices suit them the best and can make use of those practices. Again, the following list is not exhaustive but representative only.

  • Sitting Meditation.
  • Body Scan
  • Walking Meditation.
  • Eating Meditation.
  • Mindful Yoga/Mindful Movements.
  • Meditation to Develop Positive Emotions.
  • Informal Mindfulness in Daily Lives.

Home Practice

The formal training in the class consists of the two and half hour session per week. For the maximum benefits, it is strongly recommended that students engage in the home practice. One can start as little as 5 minutes of home practice at least 6 times a week for the best results. Resources in the form of guided meditations will be provided in class for the home practice.

Fees

The fee for this class is $299. It includes total six (6) sessions. Each session is two and half hours long. There is one whole day session. In total there are 15+ hours of instruction time.
  • Erika

    I am a little confused by the class listing. When does the next six-week MBSR class begin?

    Thank you!

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