What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a comprehensive introduction to the art of mindfulness and meditation.

Based on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn that originated at the UMass Medical Center, MBSR gives you more than just relaxation techniques.

It’s a structured program to build self-awareness and learn a different way of being.

Mindfulness helps to calm and steady our minds. That in turn allows us to see ourselves and our ways of thinking more clearly. So, for example, it means we see where we fall into distraction or auto-pilot, and instead try taking a more focused approach. Or we begin to question our self-critical, limited thinking — like “I’m not good enough” — and go forward despite it. Or we stop struggling against what life dishes up, and find a way to hold steady though it all.

The MBSR program shows you ways to:

Here’s a schedule of upcoming classes.

There is a growing body of research showing that mindfulness brings us many benefits. It’s good for our physical and mental health, and our overall well-being, too.

Course Details

Course structure

  • Eight weekly in-person classes (2-1/2 hours each) and one all-day session on a weekend day
  • Instruction in mindfulness meditation, yoga-based movement, and body awareness
  • Group discussions to support making mindfulness a part of daily living
  • Homework exercises to build awareness throughout your day

The program is intensive and challenging. Homework assignments include meditating at home for 40-50 minutes every day. It also asks you to do simple awareness exercises for at least an additional 5-10 minutes per day.

Related info

Considering taking the class with a partner, family member, or friend?

If you’re thinking of signing up with a spouse/partner, member of your family (e.g. parent or child), or good friend, please contact me before registering. It’s important that each of you feels able to participate as an individual — not as one of a pair or group. That’s because the course asks you to examine what challenges you. It also asks you to explore and try things that may be new and/or difficult. Would you be able to do so without feeling influenced or inhibited by the other person’s presence? In any case, I don’t rule anything out, so please contact me to discuss.

MBSR Teacher Training

This course meets the prerequisite requirement for MBSR Teacher Training offered by the Brown University Mindfulness Center. I do not offer teacher training beyond this prerequisite stage.

Winter 2024 In-Person MBSR Classes


January 3 – February 21
6:30 – 9:00pm

plus one all-day class on Sunday, February 11
10:00am – 4:00pm

The Arlington Center
369 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA

MBSR may not be for you if…

Meditation is considered safe for healthy people. However, this program may not be the best course of action for the following kinds of people:

  • being so stressed or busy that it feels difficult to commit to the daily homework
  • having physical or medical conditions that limit your ability to do the meditation or movement practices
  • living with active substance dependence, or in recovery less than one year
  • dealing with psychological issues such as PTSD, clinical depression, or other major psychiatric diagnoses
  • young adults age 21 and younger — The age range in my classes is typically between 25-75 with a significant cluster at 40-55. Discussions tend to focus on issues like work, family/parenting, relationships, etc. that may not feel applicable to younger adults. For 12-18 year-olds, I recommend the Resilient Youth programs at the Benson Henry Institute at Mass General Hospital.

Exceptions are possible, so please contact me with questions.

Gratitude from MBSR Participants

Ellen, Boston MA

“Thank you for your wonderful leadership through the course. You have a tremendously warm, kind, and gentle presence that allowed me to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Your patience and equanimity (yet authenticity) are unrivaled and served as a model for us all. The eight weeks flew by and I’m so incredibly grateful for the perspective I’ve gained. I greatly appreciate all of your time, energy, and efforts and value my more mindful way of being that has resulted.”

Ben, Lexington MA

“Taking your class is the best decision I’ve made for a long time. I’ve been recommending it to everyone, and I have every confidence that I will take this new way of living with me for the rest of my life. I really can’t thank you enough.”

Jenny, Allston MA

“Your course has had so many positive effects on me. I have always struggled with intense emotions. This class taught me that it’s possible to fully experience them, but not believe them or be carried away by them. And I feel so much more in touch with myself. Your class, and your underlying emphasis on tuning into myself, listening, and doing what’s right for me has really helped me carry that perspective into so many areas of my life. It’s been life changing. Thank you!”

Zeina, Lincoln MA

“Sunada’s presence, engagement, humbleness and knowledge was quite inspiring. I looked forward each week to learning from her wisdom. She generously brought into the class her personal stories and beautifully attended to the personal needs of each student while keeping everyone included and engaged. As a future nurse, Sunada has inspired me to incorporate mindfulness into my health care career.”

Kristin, Cambridge MA

“Your course was life changing. Simply by remembering to step back and pay attention to what’s going on, I’m more able to understand my own feelings and needs, take care of myself and others, accept what is, and forgive myself. You’ve given me tools I’ve been looking for for a long time. Thank you.”