This past year and a half presented us with more than the usual number of reasons to be anxious, stressed, sad, or depressed. That’s why now more than ever we need to remember our common humanity, and seek out opportunities to come together for support and to find peace. There has never been a better time to practice mindfulness. Remember, mindfulness and meditation practices have been helping people cope with chaos and uncertainty for thousands of years!

This fall we start with an Introduction to Mindfulness, Saturday, September 11. In this live, online workshop, Rebecca Stanwyck will explain what mindfulness is, what it is not, and provide an opportunity to sample a variety of simple mindfulness practices. Participants will learn how mindfulness meditation practices have been used to help improve focus and concentration, relieve anxiety and chronic pain, treat stress and stress-related illness, and prevent relapses in addiction and depression. If you’re curious about how mindfulness meditation could help you, this is a great place to start!

On Tuesday, September 14, the Keeping Mindful drop-in meditation group will meet in the park near Rebecca’s Pleasanton office, as we’ve been doing all summer, however we’ll return to the online format in October. This group originally formed as an “alumni” group for people who have taken a mindfulness class with Rebecca, however any adult looking for a group to practice mindfulness meditation with is welcome. Each group meeting includes a 20 – 30 minute guided meditation practice, a short presentation on a topic related to mindfulness, and group discussion about applying mindfulness to daily life.

On Tuesday, September 21, the Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention course begins. MBRP is an innovative program that integrates mindfulness practices with evidence-based cognitive and behavioral strategies, and gets at the root of addictive behavior by targeting two of the main predictors of relapse: negative emotions and cravings. This is an 8-week course, limited to 8 adults who will meet online (9/21 through 11/9/21) and designed for people in early recovery or who are concerned about problematic substance use, as well as the clinicians who work with them. Participants will be expected to do home practice between sessions. This course has been approved for 14 hours of CE credit for psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and nurses.

And the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy course begins Thursday, September 23. This is also an 8-week course, limited to 8 adults who will meet online (9/23 through 11/11/21). MBCT teaches people how to prevent mild states of depression and anxiety from spiraling out of control. It has been proven to be as effective as medication (without the side effects) in preventing relapses of depression, and in relieving the severity of symptoms in anxiety disorders or bipolar disorder. After just 8 weeks of MBCT, participants’ brain function and mood regulation improve in ways which allow them to respond more effectively to distressing situations, emotions and thoughts. We follow a set curriculum, which is scientifically validated and evidence-based, and taught in a secular way, yet grounded in ancient Buddhist philosophy. (CE credit also available.)

For more information or to register for any of these classes or groups, please visit the Mindfulness East Bay Events Calendar.