Frequently Asked Questions
What is mindfulness meditation?
Mindfulness Meditation is a medically researched, nonsectarian, format for meditation. It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience, and compassion.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFIT OF MEDITATION?
The MBSR program is being medically studied these days as a form of complimentary medicine for a broad range of medical and psychological conditions, including wellness, focus, chronic conditions, fertility treatment, pregnancy, anxiety, depression, and more. There is also research about societal conditions such as addressing poverty and violence.
The Huffington Post is doing an excellent job of compiling media articles about the exciting results. See their articles about mindfulness being applied in the worlds of medicine, education, psychology, art, business, etc.
But, of course, there is no way for this website to give you advice on what the best thing could be for your situation. Talk to your health care provider.
Is this meditation training a religion? (Is it Buddhist?)
Humans are naturally able to access qualities such as compassion and mindfulness within themselves, regardless of belief systems. One of the reasons to practice mindfulness meditation is to grow or cultivate the natural mindfulness that you already possess.
Mindfulness Meditation as it is commonly being taught in the west has roots in a Buddhist practice called Vipassana or Insight Meditation. There are now other wisdom traditions being integrated into the western teaching of mindfulness as well.
Mindful Boston is dedicated to making these classes accessible to all people of all beliefs, including non-belief. We have no ties to any one philosophy or religion. See our Cooking Metaphor page comparing our Meditative Arts Institute to a Culinary Arts Institute for a more thorough explanation of our secular approach.
Can I sit in a chair for meditation? Or lie down?
Yes and yes.
In these classes, there is no requirement to stay in any rigid pose. You are welcome to move as you need to. You are welcome to change positions. Chairs are always available for you to sit in, and yoga mats are sometimes available for lying down (or you are welcome to bring your own).
A comfortable and safe posture for your body is essential. Nothing in these classes should hurt you. If you feel pain during class, just stop whatever you are doing. In yoga, always feel free to ask the teacher for alternative instructions in the case of pain.
What program should a beginner start with?
Check out our Where Do I Start page to learn what program is best for you.
What program should an advanced meditator begin with?
Again, it's a good idea to check out our Where Do I Start page.
Also, if you are an advanced meditator, then you have probably heard of the concept of "Beginner's Mind"... It is recommended that meditators from traditions other than MBSR engage in this work from the very beginning. In addition to that basic recommendation, there is a question for you- "Why are you interested?"
- If your answer is that you want to become an MBSR teacher, please go to the UMass Medical Center's Center for Mindfulness website and follow their instructions. The Center for Mindfulness requires a beginner-level MBSR program under phase 1 in their training. Our MindfulBoston MBSR does fulfill their requirement for participant MBSR. It would be great to have you join our class! Since MindfulBoston classes are located in the heart of Cambridge, a good number of our MBSR participants have future plans for teaching. It is not uncommon for participants in our MBSR Intensives to have long meditation histories in their home traditions.
- If your answer is that you want to bring meditation teaching into your work with clients, there is a Mindful Boston training for teaching just the basics. Again, you will need to start with MBSR and a sense of beginner's mind as prerequisites.
RSVP at the Meetup Group for both the Community Meditation Nights and the Meditation Toolbox class.
Because of MBSR's intensive nature, there is an application process. Mindful Boston now requires that you graduate from our Toolbox program before enrolling in our MBSR. Instructions for how to enroll in MBSR will be given to you at the end of the Toolbox series.