The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 and, since then, it has been offered by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
The Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery Program (MBCR) was created by leading psycho-oncologists at the University of Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre. MBCR is based on Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR), the mindfulness-based intervention most trusted and researched in the medical community.
Daylong meditation retreats seek to explore different aspects of mindfulness meditation. An important feature of these meditation retreats is that they are held in silence. Silence helps to quiet the many emotions triggered by speaking, listening, and even thinking about what we are going to say. As mental and emotional activity decreases and the body relaxes, it is possible to begin to observe our inner and outer worlds more clearly.
“There is another world and it’s in this one,” wrote the French poet Paul Elouard. Mindfulness is a way to access that other world. A world within us, waiting to be discovered and reinvented. A world where it is possible to live with more respect, kindness and compassion towards oneself and others.
“Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors – people who have a certain hunger to know what is true – feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher.” Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart, 2016, p. 13.