Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, Gisborne

Learn how to engage more fully with life using mindfulness meditation

The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Gisborne is an inspiring and internationally recognised evidence based course run over an 8-week / 9 session period. The course is known for its capacity to increase resilience and improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Next course:

No courses planned for Gisborne in Term 1 and 2, 2018. The MBSR course will be delivered in Coburg and Brunswick in Term 1 and 2, 2017. Learn more here.

In Coburg – 8 Thursday nights between 8 February – 29 March (6:30pm – 9pm) including a silent retreat / workshop in March.

Register here


No courses will be delivered in Gisborne in Term 1 or Term 2, 2018. The MBSR course will be delivered in Coburg.

Is the MBSR course for you?

Absolutely! The answer is yes if you would like to learn:

  • How to understand and cope better with stress
  • How to be more responsive and less reactive to daily challenges
  • How to feel less overwhelmed amidst the busyness of life
  • How to decrease physical and psychological symptoms
  • How to respond more skilfully to, and manage chronic pain and illness.

Three decades of research into the MBSR program have highlighted the following benefits:

  • Improved capacity to deal with stress
  • Improved ability to focus and pay attention
  • Improved problem solving ability
  • Improved productivity and efficiency.

What is the MBSR course?

Developed in 1979 by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and his team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program is now an internationally recognised course at the cutting edge of mind-body and preventative medicine that has helped millions of people to:

  • Improve their quality of life
  • Improve their relationships with friends, family members and work colleagues
  • Improve their productivity at work
  • Be more present in their lives
  • Learn how to meditate
  • Better manage and relate to their stress and anxiety
  • Skilfully manage physical and emotional pain
  • Sleep better
  • Better regulate and manage emotions.

Register for the next course!

What does the course involve?

  • 2.5 hours per week over 8 weeks
  • A 3 hour workshop on a weekend towards the end of the course.

Each session consists of mindfulness meditation training including guided meditations (seated, lying down and walking/movement meditations), gentle yoga, small and large group activities, group discussions, individual enquiries and feedback, and presentations. Many participants describe the course as an in-depth meditation course!

With time, participants learn how to suspend ‘doing’ for periods of time and shift over to a ‘being’ mode; how to make time for themselves; how to slow down and nurture calmness and self-acceptance; how to observe what their mind is up to from moment to moment; how to watch their thoughts and how to let go of them without getting caught up and driven by them; and how to make room for new ways of seeing old problems and for perceiving the interconnectedness of things.

Participants are expected to undertake at least 45 minutes of mindfulness meditation practice each week outside of the weekly session.


Participants are provided with:

  • A number of written resources
  • Audio recordings of guided meditations.

The MBSR course is about inviting and encouraging people to participate in improving their own health and wellbeing. An education training course as opposed to therapy, the course teaches people how to take better care of themselves as a complement to whatever the healthcare system is able to do for them.

Who attends the course?

The MBSR course in Gisborne is attended by diverse people united by their interest to improve or regain control of their mental and physical health and to attain at least some peace of mind. They are often referred by their doctors or increasingly self-referred for a wide range of life and medical problems ranging from headaches, high blood pressure, back pain, heart disease, cancer, stress, depression and anxiety.

In many instances, people enrol, not because they are feeling physically, emotionally or mentally unwell, but because they feel they would like to gain more balance and peace in their lives.

Health professionals – including doctors, nurses, social workers and psychologists – often attend the MBSR course in Gisborne for their own professional and personal development. The benefits they derive from the course can be shared with their clients/patients whom would benefit greatly from a mindfulness practice.

What they learn in MBSR is the HOW of taking care of themselves. The course itself is not a replacement for their medical treatment but a vitally important complement to it.

What does the research say about the benefits of the course?

Although people are originally referred to the MBSR program to learn how to relax and to cope better with their stress, it is often the case that this is simply the beginning of the benefits they experience. Outcome studies over many years as well as patient’s anecdotal reports show that upon completion of the course, people often experience fewer and less severe physical symptoms and live with greater self-confidence, optimism and assertiveness. They are more patient and accepting of themselves and their disabilities. They are more confident of their ability to handle physical and emotional pain. They are also less anxious, depressed and less angry. They feel more in control, even in very stressful situations that previously would have sent them spinning out of control. In other words, they are handling the ‘full catastrophe of their life’ much more skilfully.

Further information on the benefits of the program can be found here.

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

– James Baraz

What is covered each week?

Week 1: Recognising the present moment

“Mindfulness starts when we recognise the tendency to be on automatic pilot.”

In Week 1 you will learn how to:

  • Move from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ mode
  • Slow down and pay attention to your immediate experience
  • Interrupt your autopilot
  • Notice the flow of thoughts, feelings and body sensations that arise in the present moment
  • Use body sensations as an anchor into the present moment.

In addition, you will be introduced to the two modes of mind: thinking and sensing, as well as the definition of mindfulness.

Week 2: Perception and how we make sense of the world

“It is not the stressors per se, but how you handle them which influences the short and long-term health effects they may have on your mind and your body.”

In Week 2 you will learn how to:

  • Observe experience through the lens of sensations, emotions and thoughts
  • Use the breath and body to anchor you
  • Observe how we appraise experience as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral
  • Notice how perception works
  • Honour and accept all your experiences – the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral
  • Work with the mind’s tendency to lose focus on a regular basis
  • Begin working with obstacles to practicing regularly.

In addition, you will be invited to experiment with integrating mindfulness into day-to-day life.

Week 3: The pleasure and power of being present

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” –Marcel Proust

In Week 3 you will learn how to:

  • Use movement practice to explore limits, and to cultivate concentration, flexibility and strength
  • Practice patience and acceptance of yourself as you are
  • Use the breathing space to anchor you to the present moment
  • Bring an exploratory attitude to unpleasant experience
  • Come back to the present moment over and over again
  • View your present experience as being made up of three components – thoughts, emotions and body sensations.

Week 4: Investigating stressful experience and approaching the difficult

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopefully in love with Spring.” –George Santayana

In Week 4 you will learn:

  • About the ways in which you tend to react to experience – wanting to hold onto it (attachment); wanting it to go away (aversion) and with spacing out of boredom (neutral)
  • About the physiology and psychology of stress
  • How you can use body sensations as a way to ground yourself and open up choice in stressful moments
  • Strategies for cultivating more equanimity in the face of difficult physical and emotional experience
  • How to recognise and interrupt the thoughts which are associated with painful emotions
  • Metaphors to work effectively with stressful experience.

Week 5: Finding another place to stand

“A meditation practice can open our eyes to how we respond to the unpleasant (such as stress). Rather than generating further stress by reacting with aversion, you allow yourself to ride the waves of the stress (in the event stress is always present) rather than fighting its existence.” –Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn

In Week 5 you will:

  • Explore any narratives or stories you generate in your own mind
  • Be introduced to ways in which you can respond rather than react to stress
  • Learn new ways of relating to your thoughts
  • Investigate your conditioned ways of reacting to stress
  • Explore any unhelpful patterns of thinking and how they shape your perceptions and contribute to stress
  • Learn how to interrupt ruminative thoughts using the breath and the body as anchors
  • Explore an open awareness practice
  • Investigate the conditioned patterns of escape from difficulty.

Week 6: Interpersonal mindfulness

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” –George Bernard Shaw

In Week 6 you will learn how to:

  • Observe other people in your life in more flexible and accepting ways
  • Pay attention to the ‘other’
  • Use mindfulness practice as a way of becoming more aware of your needs
  • Recognise habitual patterns of relating
  • Use mindfulness practice as a way of preparing for conversations with others
  • Explore patterns of relating through mindfulness.

Week 7: Cultivating kindness towards self and others; applying what has been learned

“Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to heal yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; rather, do it as an act of love, or deep warm friendship with yourself. In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement, for the endless guilt of not doing enough. It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people’s lives in a knot. Instead, do meditation as an act of love.” –Bob Sharples

In Week 7 you will:

  • Explore how you can integrate what you have been learning into daily life
  • Be invited to reflect on some options for caring for yourself and making choices in your life
  • Be introduced to the R.A.I.N practice.
  • Be invited to develop a ‘Wise Action Plan’ for yourself moving forward
  • Be invited to begin practicing the meditations without the audio recordings.

Week 8: Making mindfulness a part of your life

“Happiness not shaken by conditions begins with imagining that such stable and open happiness exists, and could exist for us. We need wisdom in order to know how to make such happiness real. This implies patience, perspective, and an ability to see things as they are.” –Sharon Salzberg

In Week 8 you will:

  • Be reminded that living mindfully is a process of ongoing practice
  • Explore and share what you have achieved and learnt through the development of a mindfulness practice
  • Discuss how you can integrate mindfulness into your daily life.

Next steps

Step 1:

Register for one of the upcoming Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) in Gisborne, Macedon Ranges here.

Step 2:

Chat with us! We will schedule a time with you to chat on the telephone so that we can learn about you and understand what you hope to get out of the MBSR course in Gisborne. You will also have a chance to ask questions of us.

Step 3:

Meet with us We will see you at the MBSR course soon!

Register for the next course!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. I cannot afford the course fees. What options do I have?

We do our best to keep our fees as affordable as possible and every effort is made to ensure people are not excluded from our courses. Reduced course rates can be offered to people on a health care or concession card.

2. I have never done meditation before. Does this matter?

No, this does not matter. Participants on the course are taught how to meditate using a variety of meditation techniques. The majority of meditation practice is guided.

3. How long does the course go for?

The course is delivered over an 8 week period. Each week involves a 2.5 hour session. Towards the end of the course, there is also a full-day silent retreat. Participants are expected to spend 45 minutes each day throughout the course practicing meditation.

4. What does each of the 2.5 hour sessions involve?

Each session consists of mindfulness meditation training including guided meditations (seated, lying down and
walking/movement meditations), gentle yoga, small and large group activities, group discussions, individual enquiries and
feedback, and presentations.

5. I have mobility issues. Does this mean I won’t be able to participate in the yoga and mindful movement aspects of
the course?

Not necessarily as all mindful movement and yoga exercises are very basic and gentle. We also provide plenty of
modifications to each pose to ensure people of all fitness levels and abilities can participate. There is also no expectation that you do any of the poses or movements and people are encouraged to recognise and respond to their own physical

6. Will I have to speak or address the group during the course

Participants are encouraged to share with the group how their meditation practice is going week-to-week. Our experience has shown that people tend to get more out of the MBSR course when their contribute to class discussions, share their
experience and ask questions. That said, there is no expectation that you speak at all.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered? Email your question to alana@mbhmacedonranges.com.au

Where is the course located?

The course is delivered at Bundaleer Homestead, 201A Gisborne-Melton Road, Gisborne, Victoria.

Please note that we are only at the premises when the course is in progress.

The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Gisborne is easily accessible for people living in Macedon, Mt Macedon, Woodend, Ballan, Sunbury, Melton, Kyneton, Taylors Lakes, Daylesford and Bacchus March.