Mindfulness Matters

A Newsletter from the UVA Mindfulness Center

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Monthly Musings

Becoming an MBSR Teacher

By Cawood Fitzhugh, newly certified teacher The training to become certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a rigorous and systematic process of courses, retreats and mentoring. All along the way, there is a focus on practice, reflection and self-knowledge. In addition, there is ongoing formative assessment and developmental feedback to support learning and skill development. MBSR is more than just teaching, it is a way of life. The nature of teaching MBSR means that the teacher’s own meditation practice and the way they approach their life matters. This translates to the classroom and to their teaching. There is the possibility of having their way of being and their most cherished values and priorities align with their work and their personal lives in a way that makes a difference in the world.
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My Observations About Teaching MBSR

Now that I am retiring after 17 years as an instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the UVa Mindfulness Center, I want to share a few observations about my experiences. MBSR is an 8-week course which, as taught at UVa, is open to people from Charlottesville and surrounding communities, as well as to UVa faculty and staff. With the tremendous growth in the popularity of mindfulness over recent years, an increasing number of people bring to class some familiarity with the subject. What many lack, however, is a systematic exploration of mindfulness and its applications in all areas of life—at work, at home, and at play.
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Coping with a Trying Year

The end of the year is near, and what a year it has been. Although it has been very trying, there are signs of better times ahead. The coronavirus pandemic has had an immeasurable impact, and vaccines may finally change its course. The pandemic as well as the tragic deaths of multiple innocent people killed by police have highlighted issues of systemic racism and racial injustice and will hopefully lead to lasting changes. The results of the presidential election have been contested as never before, and the outcome finally seems settled. Despite these hopeful signs, all of these events have led to uncertainty, pain and grief. How can mindfulness help in coping with these?
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New Fee Structure for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Classes

The Mindfulness Center will implement a new sliding-scale “pay what you can” fee structure beginning with the next Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class which is scheduled to start on April 15. …

Research Update

Heart Rate Variability Is Enhanced by Mindfulness Practice This study evaluated the effect of a 10-day mindfulness intervention using the Headspace app on heart rate variability (HRV), mindfulness and perceived…

Thinking Mindfully: How Mindfulness Relates to Rumination

Investigators from Germany conducted studies with two groups (70 students and 149 from the general population) using smartphones to page the participants six times daily.  Each time they were paged,…

New Advanced Mindful Leadership Training Course for UVA Leaders and Managers Coming in February

The Mindfulness Center, in collaboration with Hoos Well and UVA HR, will be conducting an 8-week Advanced Mindful Leadership Training Course starting on February 15.  Mindful leadership is based on…

Research Update

Mindfulness-Based Therapy Can Decrease Markers of Inflammation among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Mindfulness-based interventions have shown some efficacy in decreasing stress levels and improving quality of life for patients…

The Impact of Preoperative Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Postoperative Outcomes in Lumbar Spine Degenerative Disease

In this study, investigators from the University of Utah evaluated the impact of a preoperative mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course on patient-related outcomes among individuals undergoing lumbar spine surgery for…