About Mindfulness East Bay
Rebecca Stanwyck, LCSW
Hello, I’m Rebecca Stanwyck, the founder of Mindfulness East Bay. I am a licensed psychotherapist and behavioral consultant with thirty years of experience teaching adults, and I have received specialized training to teach mindfulness-based courses. I have developed and taught Mindfulness for Beginners classes at the Castro Valley Adult School and Las Positas Community College, as well as for several private employers. I have been facilitating Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy groups in my Castro Valley and Pleasanton offices since 2011, and Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention groups since 2015.
I am also an experienced workplace consultant who developed and implemented stress management and work-life balance programs for a variety of organizations. I am available to consult with businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations on how to bring mindfulness into the workplace.
While mindfulness and meditation are grounded in Buddhism and other ancient Eastern philosophies and traditions, I approach the teaching of mindfulness in a secular, down-to-earth way, to help you improve and maintain your cognitive function, physical health, emotional well-being, interpersonal effectiveness, and spiritual connection.
Here’s my favorite definition of Mindfulness:
Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
My first experience with meditation was way back in college, when it seemed pretty “woo-woo,” and involved rising before dawn to sit on a cushion for an hour – not exactly my thing! Over the years, I dabbled in it, but it was only about ten years ago that I became more interested in it, when I learned how regular meditation changes both brain function and physical health in long-lasting ways.
I learned that even a few minutes a day of meditation can lower blood cortisol levels, increase immune response, relieve chronic pain, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and decrease negative thinking. I took a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class and experienced the benefits directly – like feeling calmer, being less reactive, becoming a better listener. So I set about becoming a mindfulness teacher, in part to reinforce my own practice.
I’ve found daily practice to be the most beneficial, and practicing with others helps. But there’s a frustrating lack of mindfulness classes and teachers where I live and work, i.e. the central East Bay. I’ve had to go to Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Marin County, and beyond to receive instruction in mindfulness.
So I’ve made it my mission to bring mindfulness instruction to this part of the Bay Area – my community – by reaching out to workplaces, schools, anywhere a group of people are ready to practice together to become less reactive, more self-aware, and more present in their lives!