Valley Stress Reduction
Northampton, Massachusetts

Valley Path

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Course Description

The program consists of eight 2-1/2 hour classes and a full day retreat.

Meditation Instruction: Participants are given instruction in four formal mindfulness meditations:

  1. body scan meditation (a directed tour of attention through the body),
  2. gentle stretching and hatha yoga,
  3. walking meditation, and
  4. sitting meditation (mindfulness of breath, bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and choiceless awareness).

There is also instruction in informal mindfulness meditation (mindfulness in everyday life) which includes awareness of pleasant and unpleasant events and deliberate awareness of routine activities.

Home Practice: There are daily homework assignments including a minimum of 30 minutes per day of formal practice and 15 minutes of informal practice.

Other class instruction: The classes include group discussions oriented around home assignments including exploration of obstacles and difficulties and development of self-regulatory skills and capacities. Some class time is devoted to communication skills with in-class practice sessions.

Course materials: Participants are given a copy of Stahl and Goldstein's book A Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Workbook which includes 21 guided meditations on a CD/MP3, and other handouts.