Training Thursday: 7 members of 4yoga community complete MBSR training through WKU

During June, seven members of our 4yoga community who also work for WKU took advantage of a free, four-week series of meetings to learn about and practice Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).  Dr. Masami Matsuyuki, staff psychologist at the WKU Counseling Center, has offered several of these trainings for students, faculty, and staff, but this was the first one delivered via Zoom, which allowed her to accept more participants.  In fact, it attracted as many as 37 students to its weekly, 90-minute meetings!

Each week’s session included a mix of activities:  discussion and presentation of content from our reading, introduction of different meditation techniques, practice of those meditation techniques, and conversation about what we were learning and what challenges we were facing.  Members of the 4yoga community who participated were Thea Browder, Claus Ernst, Angie Jones, Laura McGee, Alice Simpson, Roxanne Spencer, and Uta Ziegler.  

Although several of us are regular participants in Alice’s monthly meditation sessions, we appreciated the opportunities to meet weekly and to expand our experiences with a new group of meditators.  Laura notes, “I had learned about MBSR through the Mindful Magazine that I receive. When I read that WKU was offering a compact version, it seemed like the perfect thing to add to my toolbox of ways to manage stress and anxiety in the age of COVID. I especially enjoyed the guided meditations that were part of every session. Masami Matsuyuki did a wonderful job with those.”

During the series, we appreciated reading or re-reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s classic text, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Roxanne, who was taking the class for the second time, found the book, “so manageable. The information was presented in easily assimilated ideas and suggestions. I can see why it has been a go-to title for Americans interested in meditation.”

During the series, we appreciated reading or re-reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s classic text, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Roxanne, who was taking the class for the second time, found the book, “so manageable. The information was presented in easily assimilated ideas and suggestions. I can see why it has been a go-to title for Americans interested in meditation.”

Alice asserted, “this book should be in everyone’s library” and shared a photograph of one of her favorite passages.  Alice also noted, “the practice of mindfulness and ‘letting go’ has been transformational for me. When we can choose to detach and let go of things that may be unpleasant or painful, we find peace of mind. Developing and working the mindful muscle, as Dr. Matsuyuki repeated in the MBSR workshop, is a path to self-awareness and a journey to a more satisfying life.”

Angie’s dog Molly models the book
One of Alice’s favorite passages.

We also practiced applying mindfulness not only to our formal meditation practice but also to our daily lives.  Uta indicated, “One of the things I know I will take away from this is to pick one or two activities per day to do them mindfully. I picked brushing my teeth and I learned my mind is all over the place—more than during ‘formal’ meditation.  I think [this experience] will help my meditation practice—particularly moving mindfulness more into my daily life.”  Laura concurred, “I find that I am approaching everyday tasks with a bit more mindfulness.”

If you would like to explore or reconnect with meditation, particularly with MBSR techniques, please join Alice for the monthly sessions that she leads.  Roxanne “looks forward to each month’s meditation group, where we learn so much and have a chance to practice different forms of meditation for personal growth.”  These sessions typically occur on the last Saturday of the month at 11 a.m., and we welcome both new and experienced meditators.   For details about each month’s meeting, see the online calendar or the appropriate month’s Facebook event page (here is July’s event).

This entry was posted in community, meditation, mindfulness, Training Thursdays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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