Untying Knots


All of us have certain things that tend to trigger strong emotional reactions like anger.  When they occur, we often externalize their causes.  If feeling a lack of respect from others is a trigger, we can be quick to rationalize our reaction as being justified because other people “should” be respectful.  If we just feel that respect for others is a desirable but not necessary quality, we might note its absence, yet might not be triggered by it.  Someone else might not be angered by lack of respect, but would be by perceiving someone else as lazy. These strong reactions often feel natural and justified, and we may not question them.  They are our reality, like the water in this David Foster Wallace story: “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning boys. How’s the water?’  And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’...

The Future of Human Flourishing: Re-envisioning Higher Education as a Catalyst


Aneel China, PhD Wed., Oct 9 2019 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Rotunda Multipurpose Room What is the future of human flourishing? In a world where cultural rhythms are accelerating, technology is…

Worldwide Use of The Pause Documented


In 2009, UVa nurse Jonathon Bartels first led The Pause in the emergency department.  Following an attempted resuscitation when a patient did not survive, Jonathan asked the team to pause…

A Brief History of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at UVa


Two Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses started at UVa this week.  In our introduction to the class we are teaching for healthcare providers, Matt Goodman and I briefly reflected on the history of the Mindfulness Center, with which we have been affiliated for 23 and 18 years respectively.  This led me to want to expand on this a bit more. MBSR courses remain the core offerings of the Mindfulness Center as they have for the past 24 years, since the Mindfulness Center was established by Maria Tussi Kluge and Allie Rudolph as one of the first such centers in an academic institution in the country.  MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and first taught in the University of Massachusetts Stress Management Clinic in 1979.  The benefits for patients quickly became apparent, and led to several formal research studies. 

Compassionate Care Initiative


Compassionate Care Initiative Tuesdays Guided Meditation | 1:00-1:45 p.m. |Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00-1:45 PM Led by Betty Mooney Tuesdays Guided Meditation | 5:30-6:30 p.m. Led by Sam Green Wednesdays T'ai…

Free Lecture Open to the Public


Flourishing: Is There More to Life than Happiness? Professor Corey Keys 12:00-1:00 PM Friday, September 20 Rotunda Dome Room Sponsored by the UVa Contemplative Sciences Center In this talk, Professor…

UVa Basketball: Lessons from Dealing with Adversity


By John Schorling Last year, I wrote a Monthly Musing about the UVa men’s basketball team and the disappointment they and many others felt as a result of their loss in the first round of the 2018 NCAA tournament.  I did end it by saying that this year “might even end with UVa finally winning a national championship”.  Things are very different now as the team has gone from the first number 1 seed to ever lose to a number 16 seed to winning the tournament and yes, becoming national champions.  This is considered by many to be one of the most remarkable turn-arounds in sports history.  Yet it didn’t just happen.  A big part of what made it possible were the choices the coaches and the players made in how they dealt with this historic loss.  Their story has become an inspiring lesson in how it is possible to grow through adversity.

Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers Fosters Professional Quality of Life and Mindful Attention Among Emergency Medical Technicians


This study, which was a collaboration between the UVa Mindfulness Center, the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad and the UVa Departments of Surgery and Psychiatry, investigated whether a   Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers (MHP) course can reduce distress and promote wellbeing among emergency medical services (EMS) providers.  The MHP course is a modified version of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction taught in eight 2.5 hour weekly sessions with an all day retreat.  A total of 15 EMS providers enrolled in the course and 11 completed it.  After the course, EMS providers endorsed statistically significant increases in compassion satisfaction, trait mindfulness, and decreases in burnout compared to the beginning of the program.

Mindfulness Renewal


If you’d like to renew a personal practice of mindfulness, this four-week course is designed to support your intention to begin again or to deepen your current practice. With the…

Research Update


Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Training in Surgery This pilot study evaluated the impact of a modified mindfulness-based stress reduction program on first-year surgery residents at the University of California- San Francisco. At total of 21 residents were randomly assigned to either MBSR or an active control group.