Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MBSR Orientation/Information Session

MBSR: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Orientation and Information Session
UPDATE 2/20/2014: Spring MBSR Session for 2014 is FULL.

 I will be teaching another session of MBSR in the fall. 
I also teach meditation classes for the Town of Bedford, NH and host a monthly Sunday meditation class at BYPC in Bedford. Please contact me anytime for more information!

Riddle Brook Elementary School
230 New Boston Road
Bedford, NH 03110

Wednesday February 12th 2014

7PM to 8:30PM
(May run a bit longer, so plan accordingly)

Room 216, 2nd floor

Call 603-801-8945 or email cbhoward@mac.com to register.

Please, no calls to the school. The instructor Cecilia Howard must be contacted directly to register

Your name, phone number, and a preferred email address is the only information needed to register for orientation. It is perfectly fine to leave this information as a message or email. You will receive a phone call or email in return, welcoming you to the session!

If you have been wondering what MBSR is and how it may work for you, THIS is a great time to explore the program.

You will hear, first hand, how and why the program was started at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and learn something about where this successful program is today.

You will also learn how the classes are typically structured, plus get to experience a bit of the meditation and gentle stretching that is a key component of the program. There is ample time for questions and answers as well. So, it is a great way to introduce yourself to a program that has been so well-researched and has provided so much support, to so many in the 30 plus years since it was introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

If you decide to enroll in the spring MBSR session that starts on March 5,th you will need to pay for the full, consecutive 8-week program at the conclusion of orientation or prior to the start of the first class, but only if you decide to become a participant. Please see prior post from January 7th on this website for more specific details as to course costs and much more.

The orientation class is required for all new, incoming Spring MBSR students BUT if you have to miss it, please make sure to contact the instructor to discuss other arrangements.

If you have to miss  the orientation, or are unable to attend, but still wish to be a participant in the Spring seesion, please contact Cecilia Howard directly, so that arrangements may be made to insure the necessary paperwork is completed, and all pertinent information covered with you prior to March 5th.


TIME Magazine's NEW cover story for the week of February 3, 2014,  Vol. 183 No. 4, is entitled: "The Mindful Revolution, The Science of Finding Focus in a stressed-out, multitasking culture"


It details some of what an actual MBSR program is like, and interviews Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD as well as why more and more educators are incorporating aspects of MBSR training into their classrooms.  

Please, take a look!

TIME Magazine -- U.S. Edition -- February 3, 2014 Vol. 183 No. 4 http://content.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601140203,00.html#ixzz2rhRpwb

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What MBSR is NOT!

I have found in my past experience with teaching mindfulness meditation that many people are still quite unfamiliar with meditation as a whole, or have a somewhat skewed view of what it actually is and how it is used. It can make many feel uncomfortable just talking about it. I like to deal with this fact up front in my meditation classes I teach as it is my preferred way of helping people to feel at ease and comfortable with something that seems so exotic.

Many liken meditation to a visage of a long, white or gray haired guru, sitting on a cushion in some far off remote locale, letting the world slip away, the hours of the day pass without pause while he/she tries to attain some state of perfection, nirvana or enlightenment. This is an iconic image and one that may seem somewhat intimidating, romantic or perhaps even idealized. The image can be very off putting for so many who see it as a complete waste of one's waste time or a self-centered activity that results in a lot of doing nothing. When I teach people to meditate, we dispense with this iconographic image and focus instead on the process of meditation and how it can be part of of this contemporary  24/7/365 world.

Many people are equally less familiar or completely in the dark about Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs, more commonly referred to as MBSR, which introduces people, many for the very first time, to various  meditations, some gentle yoga movement,  as well as an array of additional mindfulness-based activities/approaches to daily living. This is all accomplished and spread out over a consecutive, 8-week period so it can be systematically taught in an effective format to encourage lasting and impactful results for all participants.

Let me describe here what MBSR is NOT,  to open the door a bit more for you:

It is NOT a "new age" methodology and no, I promise you won't learn to levitate, fly around the room or chant ditties into the night with frozen smiles on your zombie-like face. All said very tongue-in-cheek of course, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people do think of meditation and MBSR in this way.

It will NOT teach you to numb your emotions/reactions, or stop your mind from thinking.

It is NOT a religion, nor does an MBSR program require you to shift your religious affiliation in any way.

It is NOT  a "how to" on reaching a state of nirvana or enlightenment.

It is NOT a class geared toward only women, and women are indeed not the only participants.  In fact, a number of the mindfulness centers located at major universities such as Duke's Integrative Medicine Program, U Mass Medical School's Center for Mindfulness Studies,  and the Mindfulness Center at UC San Diego, just to name a few, are led by men. Keep in mind, stress is not for "women only." It is universally "felt" by us all, to some degree or another.

It is NOT going to work as well for you unless you bring a healthy dose of open-minded skepticism to the program as a participant. Likewise, enthusiasm and letting go of expectations/goals can be so helpful to your growth and development within an MBSR program as well.

It is NOT a "quick fix" program that will magically make all your worries and difficulties disappear. It will however, help you to increase your ability to focus or concentrate your attention in order to find more effective resolutions to problems, gain new insight/perspective or reduce the tension and anxiety you feel in your life.

Lastly, "the proof is in the doing."  MBSR is not a program to be undertaken on a whim or thinking it will be a cake-walk. It is hard work and requires daily attention/practice of the skills and methods learned to put into action, for long term, positive, lasting change.

Here are some links if you wish to learn more about MBSR programs and meditation:





Please email me at cbhoward@mac.com or call me (603-801-8945) if you have any questions about the upcoming Spring Session of MBSR taking place in Bedford, NH. Please view my prior post for all the specifics about the class.

I am always willing to work with anyone regarding the costs associated with taking this MBSR class. I will do everything possible to make the cost as affordable as I can in order to have you participate, so do not hesitate to talk or email me about this matter.

Keep in mind however, some insurance programs may in fact reimburse for this class as part of their wellness benefits, so be sure to ask your provider.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Please email or phone me directly as well, be happy to help!
See below for contact information.
Thank you!

MBSR: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program 

  Spring 2014

Class Information:
Name: The Traditional Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, MBSR

Date: Consecutive Wednesdays March 5th through April 23rd 
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:15 PM*

If the cost for the class seems beyond your reach or puts undue strain on your budget, please let me know. My personal aim is to bring the MBSR program to as many people as I can, by whatever means possible. I am most willing to work with you to make it affordable. Please, do not hesitate to email or call me so we can make it work for you to take this wonderful class together!
Days: All classes held on Wednesdays 7PM to 9:15PM and one Saturday, April 12th 8:45AM to 2:45PM
Venue: Riddle Brook School : ROOM 216
Address: 230 New Boston Road Bedford, NH
Phone: Cecilia Howard
Email: cbhoward@mac.com
Website: The Mindful Matrix See Website for more details and prior posts.

*Orientation, which is required of all participants, will be held on Wednesday February 12th, 7PM to 8:30PM. You must pre-register with the instructor prior to orientation night. Deadline to register is Friday February 7th, 2014.

If you have missed the orientation, but still would like to participate in the Spring 2014 program, please contact the instructor to discuss what was covered and sign all the necessary documents prior to the first class on March 5th. 

Should you need to withdraw for any reason please note the following:

A full refund will be given prior to the first class on March 5th.
A 50% refund will be given prior to the start of the 2nd class.
No refunds after Class Two.

The orientation is important to attend. It is a chance for you to hear a course overview and learn some of the history behind the development of this outstanding program.  It is also a tried and true measure of deciding if MBSR is right for you. You do not need to pay in full for the classes until orientation night. 

The MBSR program enables participants to learn and develop powerful inner resources for coping with stress, anxiety and uncertainty while enhancing stability in the midst of difficult situations. The result of which is greater health, balance, ease, clarity and peace of mind.
Participants will experience and learn guided instruction in mindfulness meditation, gentle stretching and mindful yoga, methods of mindful communication, as well as both group and individualized instruction. 

Founded in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, University of Massachusetts Medical School Professor Emeritus, the internationally acclaimed Stress Reduction Program is the place where the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) all began. To date it has given rise to over 750 programs worldwide, as well as led the way toward over 30 years of research to substantiate its effectiveness.

This carefully laid out program closely follows the current format used by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It will enable participants to continue on with what they have learned long after the 8-weeks are over. The class itself is highly supportive and well structured and the instructor, who received training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness, is well versed in guiding the program.
Potential students should contact the instructor as soon as possible to register, as space is limited.  Please call 603-801-8945 or use the email link above in the information box. 
PLEASE NOTE: This is the traditional, consecutive 8-week program that was developed and launched by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn over 30 years ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical School that to date has given rise to well over 750 MBSR programs worldwide. The instructor for this program, Cecilia Howard, was professionally trained to teach MBSR and completed both the practicum teacher training at UMASS Medical School  and the 7-Day MBSR Professional Training Retreat for health care providers and educators: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine led by Jon Kabat-Zinn,PhD. and Saki Santorelli, EdD, MA. Cecilia is a long time meditator and yoga practitioner, having practiced both for over 21 years. In addition to this program, she teaches meditation classes for the Town of Bedford, teaches Mindful Living classes at Goffstown HS  through the Adult Education program and runs a mindfulness meditation practice group that meets at BYPC in Bedford once a month on a Sunday from 10AM to 11:15AM. She is also a professionally trained and educated artist, writer of a Blog called The Mindful Matrix and a former banking and sales/marketing professional who in addition to her early management career, developed and taught a myriad of leadership, business development and team building programs. She is a trained public speaker and true motivator. Her humor and enthusiasm,  as well as her open-minded approach to life are invaluable assets to her when teaching or guiding studen