Improve Almost Everything

When I first began teaching Mindfulness, the usual program evaluations were conducted. People were asked whether they thought the program had made a difference to them; whether the program met their learning goals; whether I (as facilitator) seemed knowledgeable and prepared; whether or not they enjoyed the program, etc. While those evaluations were always very positive, I didn’t attach too much importance to them. What I really wanted to know, was whether or not anything had really changed in the participants’ lives as a result of our time together. So I began to look for more objective ways to measure results. For example, if someone has a problem with high blood pressure, a measured drop there is significant. If someone suffers from frequent headaches and measures a decrease in frequency and/or severity – that is significant. Participants are invited to complete a questionnaire at the beginning of a program. The questionnaire attempts to measure the level of stress related symptoms they might be experiencing. They complete the questionnaire again at the end of the program and compare the results.

Fads continually come and go, whereas Mindfulness Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Nothing endures for that long without there being something of great value in it. Over the last few decades, western science has started catching up to an old tradition. To date, hundreds of scientific research studies have been conducted into the benefits of Mindfulness. They’ve studied how Mindfulness affects physical and emotional health, healing, brain function, pain management, and more. The findings are always positive and often nothing short of spectacular. Mindfulness seems to improve virtually every aspect of living. Perhaps because of this, Mindfulness has been referred to as ‘The Art of Living’ or ‘The Art of Happiness’. It is often taught in an 8 week course commonly referred to as a MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION (MBSR) program. Almost all of the scientific studies have been based on this 8 week model. There is a wealth of information about the benefits of MINDFULNESS on the internet and in books. On the following sub-pages, I’ll touch on a few of these findings, as well as some results that I’ve been able to achieve with people I’ve taught.