Why Mindfulness-Based (fill in the blank) programs have gone viral

Janet Solyntjes

By: Shastri Janet Solyntjes

When people learn that I teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction they often respond with an exclamation, “I could use that!” The recognition that one could use a little help navigating through “the full catastrophe” of life was what led me to attend MBSR teacher trainings at the Center for Mindfulness. Although I had meditated for many years before learning about MBSR, I still found myself mired in the ups and downs, the internal and external dramas of daily life. When attending my first training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, I instantly loved the MBSR “package” that Jon created. Integrating mindful yoga and a slow scanning of the body into my repertoire of mindfulness practices made a significant impact.

I doubt that Jon could have imagined back in 1979 that the stress reduction program he developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center would spread around the world and inspire hundreds if not thousands of researchers, psychologists, physicians, school teachers, addiction counselors, and even a few members of Congress to integrate mindfulness into daily life. MBSR and all of the Mindfulness-Based (fill in the blank) programs have gone viral!

It’s been my honor to offer MBSR-inspired retreats at Shambhala Mountain Center for nearly 10 years now. People from all around the country have been introduced to the MBSR teachings and practices at SMC, offering them a taste or deep immersion (depending on the length of the program) into what often becomes a life-changing experience. That may sound a bit overboard but it’s not uncommon for participants to speak of the shift in their perspective on life – in particular their physical, emotional, and interpersonal stress – after one of these retreats.

What I love most about teaching at SMC is the powerful setting – a place where people can unplug, have direct contact with sun, wind, and snow fall, and step into the magical world where sky meets mountaintop and in-between life is buzzing.

I hope you’ll join me for an Introduction to MBSR weekend or for one of our 5-7-day MBSR-based retreats.

Warmest regards,


Click here to see information about Shastri Janet Solyntjes’ upcoming Introduction to MBSR weekend. February 15–17, 2013.

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