- Are you aware of what stresses you?
- Are you aware of how you habitually respond to stressful events and difficulties in life?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate? And feel like there are too many thoughts and emotions running (sometimes in circles/spirals) in your mind?
- At the same time, are you aware that all is at peace (mind is calm, heart is settled) during moments of full presence/awareness (e.g. watching a sunset, immersed in a movie or a book, immersed in painting, singing, writing, running, etc.)?
If you answered YES! (or Oh My God/dess yes!) to all of the above, the good news is that you are human and share the human condition with most other fellow beings.
The second, better news is that through a step by step training of our minds and bodies you can start your path towards a more concentrated, aware, awake, and peaceful mind and body. This involves becoming aware of the way our mind-body works and how we react mentally and bodily to internal and external events including stressful ones and then making use of the gap between any “event” and our habitual response to it and start responding with awareness instead of reacting to life.
This and more we will learn in the 8-Week MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course, conducted by Ayşe Dayı. Ayşe received her MBSR Teacher Certificate from IMA: Institute for Mindfulness Based Approaches, the oldest training institute for mindfulness-based approaches on the European Continent and is amember of MBSR-MBCT Verband der Achtsamkeitslehrenden MBSR-MBCT (The Professional Association of MBSR-MBCT Mindfulness Teachers).
What is MBSR?
MBSR is a compact (8 week) systematic mindfulness program developed by Jon Kabat Zinn in the late 1970s, initially to help patients with chronic pain and stress and later adopted to the general public and institutional contexts (e.g. corporations, schools, prisons, etc.). Combining various meditation techniques, mindful movement (in the form of Yoga), and neurological research findings on stress, MBSR program aims to train the mind to be awake and calm, increase body awareness and provide mindful and skillful ways to deal with life’s difficulties and enjoy its everyday gifts/offerings.
MBSR method has been widely researched and proven to lead to:
- Increased calm of mind
- Increased body awareness
- Feeling better equipped to deal with stress, life problems and health problems and pain
- Increased concentration
- Better communication skills
- Better problem solving skills
MBSR is not only for people experiencing life problems, stress, or health problems but for everyone who would like to live life more fully awake, present, happy, at ease in their body and in the world and for those who are interested in spiritual growth at large.
In a meta-analysis of 101 research studies that included 8,135 people from the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, researchers found that MBSR Program had beneficial effects on psychological health, physical health, coping with stress and on increasing the general life quality of individuals. (de Vibe et al., 2017)
In neuropscientific research that uses fMRI, scientists found that the brain areas of MBSR participants that dealt with learning, memory, emotion regulation, self eperception and perspective taking were enhanced while there was a thinning of the amygdala region that is responsible from reactions to threats (a good development for our over-stimulated amygdalas). (Hölzel et al., 2010)
MBSR was found to lead to better coping skills with anxiety and stress and improved emotion regulation for people working in corporate settings. (Davidson et al., 2003).
What happens in an MBSR Program
The course lasts 8 weeks, with 2,5-3 hour training sessions per week and a “Day of Mindfulness“ lasting 5-6 hours which is scheduled usually between the sixth and seventh weeks. 2.5-3 hrs might seem long but individuals in all the groups so far found time to fly away, having interesting practices and sharing. Here are the weekly topics we cover with joy:
Week 1: What is Mindfulness?
Week 2: How we see the world
Week 3: Feeling at home in one’s body
Week 4: What is Stress?
Week 5: Relating to Stress – Reacting or Mindful Responding
Week 6: Mindful Communication
Day of Mindfulness:
A full day of silent retreat (10:00 am- 16:00 with a lunch break) where Ayşe leads the group in various meditations and movement, ending with a sharing of the experience.
Week 7: Taking Care of Ourselves
Week 8: Caring for Oneself: Looking back, Looking Ahead
In addition to the weekly joint practice hours, participants are given assignments to do at home, which require about 30-45 minutes of daily commitment. As you can see from the participant feedback, practicing does make a difference.
If you decide to join, please set up an appointment with Ayşe Dayı through the form below. In this pre-interview you can learn more aboout the program and we can decide together your fit for the program.
To listen to more of these MBSR testimonials in Turkish and English upcoming, please visit our Youtube Channel.
For Companies, Associations, Schools, and Universities
If you are interested in an offer for MBSR in your institution, we would be happy to put together a tailor-made offer together with you. The MBSR courses can take place on your premises and we would be happy to provide you with an initial session of introduction to mindfulness and to the MBSR program. Please get in touch us through the “Institutional Requests Form” here.
Financing of an MBSR course from the employer
Companies may spend up to € 500.00 tax-free per year and employee on health maintenance. Employees can therefore ask their employer whether it finances an MBSR course for them to maintain their health. The MBSR teachers then receive the entire course price from the company or the employee receives a refund from his or her employer. In this case, it is irrelevant whether the course instructor is certified by the health insurance companies.
Institutional offerings: Please contact us first about your institutional interest and your needs through the “Institutional Requests Form” here.
WORKSHOPS ON MINDFULNESS
In addition to the MBSR Program, Orca Dreams also offers various workshops and programs on mindfulness to groups and institutions. These are workshops offered as one time or as a mini-series program tailored to the needs of the group or institution. Please check out the current offerings at Mindfulness Workshops page and do get in touch with us through the “Institutional Requests Form” from here.