Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) in 1979. His definition of mindfulness is "the awareness that arises from the practice of paying attention on purpose, in the present moment non-judgmentally in the service of self-understanding and wisdom". The 8 week program is taught globally and has been validated by an increasing number of studies showing its benefits in diverse areas, from lessening of physical complaints, to easing of psychological distress, to deepening compassion and wisdom.
Hundreds of participants have benefited from this mindfulness course since Janine Kirby and Barbara Gerber started teaching in East London in 2010.
Mindfulness is an intentional practice that awakens self-awareness, inherent wisdom and compassion. Developing this capacity to rest in awareness, stabilizes and clears the mind so that we can see things as they are with our naturally loving hearts.
The practice and meditation of mindfulness helps us become aware of how often we are lost on automatic pilot rehashing the past or rehearsing the future, reminding us to be anchored in this moment, the only one we have.
The practice draws on the wisdom of the contemplative practices of ancient traditions, which have been validated by the latest findings of neuro-science.
This is a practice which while simple requires commitment and patience, helping us to disentangle from and not identify with old patterns and habits.
Mindfulness helps us to gather and integrate the scattered parts of ourselves, restore relationships with others and care for the earth.
It is an awareness of a space of creative possibility that can hold all of our experiences whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
Barbara and Janine are both actively involved with mindfulness on a national level. Barbara is a teacher for the Stellenbosch University program which trains mindfulness teachers. Janine helps with supervision of new mindfulness teachers and is a director of IMISA (Institute of Mindfulness of South Africa). They now provide mindfulness courses in east London South Africa