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<p>Objective: The underlying changes in biological processes that are associated with reported changes in mental and physical health in response to meditation have not been systematically explored. We performed a randomized, controlled study on the effects on brain and immune function of a well-known and widely used 8-week clinical training program in mindfulness meditation appliedin a work environment with healthy employees. Methods: We measured brain electrical activity before and immediately after, and then 4 months after an 8-week training program in mindfulness meditation. Twenty-five subjects were tested in the meditation group. A wait-list control group (N 16) was tested at the same points in time as the meditators. At the end of the 8-week period, subjects in both groups were vaccinated with influenza vaccine. Results: We report for the first time significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect, in the meditators compared with the nonmeditators. We also found significant increases in antibody titers to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation compared with those in the wait-list control group. Finally, the magnitude of increase in left-sided activation predicted the magnitude of antibody titer rise to the vaccine. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that a short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways and underscore the need for additional research. Key words: meditation, mindfulness, EEG, immune function, brain asymmetry, influenza vaccine.</p>

This study reports physical and psychological health outcomes following mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training in an inner city environment. Results show: (a) the relative difficulty contacting referrals; (b) a relatively high completion rate (65%) eleven people have enrolled in the program; and (c) clinically and statistically significant reductions over the eight weeks of the intervention period in measures of medical symptoms (MSCL) and anxiety (BAI), and corresponding increases in self-esteem (Self-Esteem Inventory) and mental health (SF- 36). A small follow-up sample characteristic of the larger population showed maintenance of these changes for periods of up to seven years. The limitations of this uncontrolled descriptive study and the particular challenges and rewards of working in this environment are discussed.

The Official Home Training in MBSR from the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society   In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center to integrate meditation into the medical mainstream. His approach became known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)—a powerful, effective way to reduce physical and mental suffering by cultivating the capacity for greater health, balance, ease, and peace of mind.  Discover a Scientifically Researched Practice for Learning, Growing, and Healing  The MBSR Home Study Course is a comprehensive immersion in the same well-respected method taught at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. Taught by two senior MBSR teachers, this course offers systematic training and tools to enhance your health and well-being through a deep, experiential understanding of the mind-body connection. In this eight-week program, you’ll learn to understand and moderate your reactivity to stressful situations, reduce the impact of long-term stress and trauma, cope more effectively with physical pain and discomfort, and increase your overall sense of vitality and enthusiasm for life.   Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life. This starts with cultivating present-moment attention in an open, nonjudgmental way. MBSR is a nonsectarian, scientifically researched approach that is in harmony with any faith-based tradition. The MBSR Home Study Course brings you a complete training in mindfulness meditation and its integration into the challenges and adventures of everyday life HIGHLIGHTS • Learn the same, well-respected method developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn—taught by longtime Center for Mindfulness teachers Dr. Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo-Meyer • Reduce stress at work or at home by learning a wide range of skills that increase resilience and heighten your capacity to effectively meet your life challenges • Enhance well-being and manage symptoms associated with medical and psychological conditions like chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia, persistent headaches, anxiety, and panic • Support your preventive care efforts • Cultivate a sense of greater ease, equanimity, and connection to your inherent wholeness .

We have a treasure within us. We were born with it. Reclaiming it costs us a lot. Some would say, everything. “Everything” has everything to do with leaving behind much of the small, comfortable self all of us have constructed and that, often enough, now functions as our jailer.

Mindfulness-based interventions, in particular, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), have been implemented and disseminated globally, and their efficacy is supported by evidence from several recent meta-analyses. As MBSR and MBCT are being integrated into the mainstream of society, including the fields of medicine, health care, education and leadership, there is an increasing need to educate and train professionals to teach and deliver these approaches and interventions. However, as capacity needs increase, the central risk is that the quality and integrity of mindfulness-based interventions could be lost if prospective teachers are not adequately trained to deliver such interventions. To help minimise this risk, we argue that the education and training of future MBSR and MBCT teachers need to be carried out through structured and systematic training pathways that are founded in mindfulness practice and study and closely examined and attended to by senior teachers with many years of contemplative practice and teaching experience. Indeed, prominent people in the field argue that the ongoing formation of mindfulness-based teachers is critical to maintaining and protecting the quality and integrity of MBSR and MBCT. Committed to translating and integrating mindfulness into a twenty-first century context and lexicon—while honouring the universal essence and deep roots of mindfulness practice arising out of classical Buddhist meditation practices—modern scientific research has been conducted, education and professional training standards have been proposed and tools for assessment of mindfulness-based teaching competencies have been developed and applied, all in service of this implementation, dissemination and capacity building process.