A typical program will start with learning
specific mindfulness practices that cultivate self-acceptance,
practical insight into how your mind functions when it is on
“automatic pilot”. Practicing daily
foundation for learning how to relate to difficult thoughts, feelings,
and life situations with greater common sense and compassion.
Most practices are guided by a CD or audiotape and are generally quite
relaxing and self-nurturing. Through the meditative
practices one will also learn how to find release from habitual
thinking patterns that inhibit vitality and prevent the experiencing of
a degree of natural joy and pleasure in everyday experiences.
During the third
and fourth weeks of the program a
distinction is made between “primary” and
“secondary” suffering. Primary suffering
inevitable pain that occurs over the course of a human lifetime.
Secondary suffering comes from stressful and depressing thoughts we
tell ourselves about the primary suffering and the situation that gave
rise to the suffering. Secondary suffering also arises from
resistance to feeling the reality of primary suffering. With
foundation learned in the mindfulness training, participants experiment
with releasing themselves from perpetuating secondary suffering.
Starting in the
fifth week of the program, MBST
in the use of meditative inquiry to foster a deep understanding of how
cause and effect operates in the world of one’s own thoughts,
feelings, and actions. This inquiry is a powerful
can help dispel beliefs that foster defensiveness, anxiety, bitterness
and depression. Meditative inquiry used in this program also
functions to reveal potent inner resources of confidence, resilience
and love that were not previously accessible.
As the program
progresses, participants are
realize that they can have their thoughts and feelings without being
controlled by them; and that there is integrated source of wisdom or
inner common sense that can be holistically comprehended from within.
of the reason MBST gets results is that it involves
dedicated training. There’s a recommended 30-40
home practice daily during the course of the program.
following practices are taught as part of the MBST program:
meditation. Cultivates relaxation, mindfulness,
self- acceptance, body awareness, self-nurturing, and more. According
Chinese Medicine the body scan also supports the flow of qi (a vital
energy believed to run through the body that fosters health and
with ordinary daily experiences such as washing dishes, walking in
nature, preparing dinner, even lovemaking.
relaxation, mindfulness, self-acceptance, body awareness,
self-nurturing, supports flow of qi according to Traditional Chinese
Medicine, and more.
Cultivates relaxation, mindfulness, self-acceptance, body awareness,
self-nurturing, and more. Sitting meditation is an especially
potent tool for developing the habit of noticing ruminative thought, as
well as developing the key skill of releasing oneself from a train of
Breath™” for relaxation,
self-nurturing, self-acceptance and mindfulness.
A strategy of just receiving one’s thoughts and feelings in
awareness, rather than trying to eliminate or manipulate
“unwanted” inner states.
of Primary and Secondary Suffering. Attention to
how resistance to primary suffering and ruminative thinking fuels
(as developed by Byron Katie). A transformative investigation
into the effects of believing distressing thoughts. This
is an inward-looking investigation, not an
“intellectualized” process. Mindfully,
precisely seeing into the effects of distressing thinking can enable
the release of suffering and habitual patterns of thought and action
that perpetuate suffering. This inquiry also functions to
latent capacities for clarity of mind and effective action.
Movement and/or Mindful Yoga.
Cultivates all skills learned in the practices above.
effective at cultivating relaxation, and from the perspective of
Traditional Chinese Medicine, at improving the flow of
“Qi”. Meditative movement and Yoga
in this program are taught as mindfulness practices with explicit
continual guidance given towards cultivating receptive present-moment
awareness. This is a very different experience than what is
offered in normal American yoga and movement studios.
for “essence” – an aspect of mind that is
deeper than the intellect and emotions.
Participants are invited to see that they are the self that is the
awareness in which thoughts and feelings arise and pass away.
Inner listening – with awareness – is viewed as an
to discovering “common sense” insights and
It is also seen as a way to find a sense of inner stability and
fidelity towards one’s true values in the midst of
reactive thoughts and feelings.
common-sense behavioral changes.
Participants are encouraged to look at their activities, see what is
truly congruent with their value system, and make changes as
appropriate. This includes actions that directly impact
well-being, such as habits around diet, interpersonal communication,
exercise, recreation and work/career.