Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in San Francisco

8-week MBSR Program in Downtown San Francisco

September 26 — December 19, 2019: San Francisco Zen Center

What is MBSR?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week program that is designed to bring about profound and lasting changes in the way people relate to their lives. MBSR offers an invitation to move toward greater balance, control and participation in life. It introduces participants to practices for cultivating ease, resilience and uprightness in the midst of difficult life circumstances. This may involve relating to and working with stress, pain, illness and the many challenges and demands of day-to-day life. MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979.

Ultimately, mindfulness is about 'waking-up' to our lives - reconnecting with what's important and what it is to be alive and present in this moment. In this way, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress. We also discover an ability to connect more fully with ourselves, our loved ones and the life we're living. Jon Kabat-Zinn has called mindfulness simply “the art of being fully human.” Below is a video on mindfulness from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School that features a number of leading MBSR teachers.

Mindfulness has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine, as well as on PBS and 60 Minutes, where Anderson Cooper interviews Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Proven Results

Scientific research has been, and continues to be, the cornerstone of the MBSR program. Three decades of published research and rigorous clinical studies indicate that the majority of people who complete the course report:

  • Reductions in physical symptoms

  • Reductions in psychological distress

  • Improved focus and concentration

  • Increased relaxation

  • Reductions in pain levels

  • Increased pain tolerance

  • Increased energy and optimism

  • Improved self-esteem

  • Increased resilience

Who Can Benefit?

MBSR is appropriate for people of all ages and backgrounds, including students, adults and seniors. People participate for reasons as diverse as:

  • Stress

  • Anxiety and panic

  • Depression

  • Chronic pain

  • Illness

  • Sleep disturbances & Insomnia

  • GI distress

  • Fatigue

  • High blood pressure

  • Headaches


  • Substance abuse

  • Weight loss

What You Will Learn

Each week's class will have a combination of experiential practice including meditation and mindful movement, as well as dialogue and reflective inquiry. Each session is focused on a different theme that helps build the attitudinal foundation for mindfulness practice. We will be cultivating the following 7 attitudinal foundations: Beginner's mind, patience, non-striving, non-judging, acceptance, letting be and trust. We also will explore the role of gratitude and generosity in our practice. Through this course participants will be introduced to a variety of simple meditation and movement practices designed to cultivate presence and awareness.  Practices include:

  • Simple meditation exercises

  • Sitting meditation

  • Body awareness

  • Pain management

  • Mindfulness movement

  • Hatha yoga

  • Group discussions to facilitate better understanding of self and others

  • Informal practices for day-to-day life

Course Details for San Francisco Zen Center Class

Free orientation session on September 26, 2019 from 7:00pm - 9:30pm. Required for class participation.

The 8-week class meets Thursday evenings (7:00pm - 9:30pm), from October 2—December 19, 2019. The class also includes a daylong of practice (Date TBD). The daylong retreat for the Fall MBSR class will be be held at Green Gulch Farm in Marin.

The San Francisco Zen Center (Conference Center) is located at 308 Page St, San Francisco, CA 94102. Click here for a map. 

Note: While the class will be held at the Zen Center, it is important to point out that MBSR has been designed specifically to be non-denominational and, therefore, complements any existing religious or spiritual practice (or lack thereof). Mindfulness is a simply a method of mental training.

Fee: $450 tuition (plus $15 for the course companion book, Full Catastrophe Living). The fee includes guided meditation recordings as well as the daylong of practice at Green Gulch Farm. Sliding scale available.

To reserve your space and register, email david@shinebright.com

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