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MBSR - Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

MBSR - Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction


Before you begin to read the information below about the Mindfulness-Based Course, we invite you to take a moment to pause and consider what brought you to this point. What is in your mind and heart and body that caused you to bring this web page on to the screen of this computer? You might pause for 10 or 20 seconds to get a clear sense of what led you here. More than likely, you quickly identified a “problem” or “challenge” that you face in your life. This is something that causes you to suffer in some way, physically, emotionally or spiritually.

This residential setting for the MBSR ‘8-Week Course’ benefits from intensity created by its retreat context which compensates its shorter duration. Because of this it is very important to give special attention to engaging in it as a ‘retreat’. This will be explained in full at the start of the course but it will mean you will be invited to restricted use of mobile phones, internet and reading materials and engage in periods of community silence.

► This is an opportunity to rediscover yourself and to access the qualities and strengths you possess deep inside. Sit back, take a moment to become aware of the surroundings you are in, the sensations in your body, the thoughts in your mind and the feelings in your heart. Are you feeling curious, excited, skeptical, nervous, hopeful or bored? Are you aware of physical sensations of tension, pain, warmth or numbness? Can you hold all of the amazing and varied things in your awareness for a moment without having to change them, extinguish them or get lost in them? Can you experience this very moment for the precious, fleeting and beautiful thing that it is?

► You have just tasted some of your own ability to be mindful and we invite you to cultivate it further through participation in the next Mindfulness-Based program.

MBSR - What's it?


Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn as a program to help people manage the stress of chronic pain and extreme health conditions. It has been used in this way at the Centre for Mindfulness in the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre for more than 30 years.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction brings together mindfulness meditation and yoga.
MBSR is a a group psychoeducational training program commonly conducted for 8 weeks (other formats are also possible), with weekly 2.5hr sessions and one day retreat . The participants are given a CD containing instructions for home practice for 45 min per day, 6 days a week. The main components of MBSR are the body scan, breathing meditation, walking meditation, mindful movement and psychoeducation. The participants learn effective ways of handling moods and emotions by becoming aware, from moment to moment, of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the world around them.

This residential setting for the MBSR ‘8-Week Course’ benefits from intensity created by its retreat context which compensates its shorter duration. Because of this it is very important to give special attention to engaging in it as a ‘retreat’. This will be explained in full at the start of the course but it will mean you will be invited to restricted use of mobile phones, internet and reading materials and engage in periods of community silence.

How does MBSR work?
Highly participatory, supportive and structured, the MBSR Programme will provide you with:

# Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices;
# Gentle streching and mindful yoga;
# Group dialogue and mindful communication exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life;
# Individually tailored instructions;
# Home assignments;
# Guided meditations and Manual and handouts.

The programme is challenging and life-affirming. Participating in the Stress Reduction Programme requires an ongoing commitment to yourself. After the retreat, participants are encouraged to practice at home, doing at least the 8 sessions program, by folowing the manual and by listening to guided meditations at home - this way you learn, practice and integrate mindfulness into your everyday life.

Health and Psychological Benefits

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) protocol is a meditation "therapy", though originally designed for stress management, it is being used for treating a variety of illnesses such as ► Anxiety (Hoge, Bui, Marques, Metcalf, Morris, Robinaugh, et. al., 2013);
► Asthma (Pbert, Madison, Druker, Olendzki, Magner, Reed, et. al., 2012);
► Cancer (Carlson, Doll, Stephen, Faris, Tamagawa, Drysdale, & Speca, 2013);
► Cronic Pain (Reiner, Tibi, & Lipsitz, 2013);
► Diabetes (Hartmann, Kopf, Kircher, Faude-Lang, Djuric, Augstein, et. al., 2012);
► Fibromyalgia (Schmidt, Grossman, Schwarzer, Jena, Naumann, & Walach, 2011);
► Gastrointestinal Disorders (Zernicke, Campbell, Blustein, Fung, Johnson, Bacon, & Carlson, 2013);
► Heart Disease (Sullivan, Wood, Terry, Brantley, Charles, McGee, Johnson, et. al., 2009);
► HIV (Duncan, Moskowitz, Neilands, Dilworth, Hecht, & Johnson, 2012);
► Hot Flashes, (Carmody, Crawford, Salmoirago-Blotcher, Leung, Churchill, & Olendzki, 2011);
► Hypertension (Hughes, Fresco, Myerscough, van Dulmen, Carlson, & Josephson, 2013);
► Depression Major (Chiesa & Serretti, 2011);
► Mood Disorders (Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010);
► Sleep Disorders (Andersen, Wurtzen, Steding-Jessen, Christensen, Andersen, Flyger, et. al., 2013);
► Stress Disordes (Kearney, McDermott, Malte, Martinez, & Simpson, 2012);
►  ...

What impact the practice of Mindfulness can have in my brain and cognitive processing? 
Mindfulness is an active area of research with many studies focusing on the structural and functional changes in the brain due to the realization of a MBSR program. Please explore A short video about the benefits of meditation on the brain.

Benefits of mindfulness meditation

Explore for yourself! Take responsibility for your WELL-BEING!

MBSR - FAQs (Portuguese)
Mindfulness - FAQs (Portuguese)

For whom?

MBSR is for peo­ple who:
► feel stressed by their jobs or pri­vate sit­u­a­tion or who feel burned out;
► are liv­ing with an acute or chronic dis­ease;
► are suf­fer­ing from chronic pain;
► have psy­cho­so­matic symp­toms (prob­lems with sleep, diges­tion…);
► expe­ri­ence feel­ings of anx­i­ety or depres­sion...

and who

► want to learn how to work with this sit­u­a­tion;
► want to fos­ter their sense of health and well­be­ing;
► are seek­ing a com­ple­men­tary treat­ment to med­ical or psy­chother­a­peu­tic treat­ment;
► want to live with more aware­ness;
► want to learn ways of self-exploration and self-care.

This MSBR will also be an access course (foundation level) for those wishing to apply for the Teacher Training, through the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at the University of Bangor - UK (or the Master's Program) or through UMass Medical School - Center for Mindfulness - USA.

Each participant gets:
► High standarts of Bangor University;
► 1 Workbook;
► 4 CDs with guided meditations and training;
► MBSR certificate.


* Este curso não confere competência para ensinar ou aplicar o programa a terceiros, mas é um pré-requisito obrigatório (foundation level) para quem tiver interesse no ensino das Abordagens Baseadas em Mindfulness.


Dh. Karunavira, M.Sc.

Karunavira is the most one of the most experienced and knowledgeable instructor that you can find internationally and exceptionally skilled at creating a safe learning environment, supportive and deeply engaging, allowing participants to seek, explore and inquire.

Karunavira studied Mindfulness Based Approaches at Bangor University gaining his M.Sc. in 2010. He has taught mindfulness based approaches within the local and wider community since 2005. He now teaches on the Masters course at Bangor University (School of Psychology) and trains mindfulness teachers for the local NHS trust.

In short: ► Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order since 1989;
► Member of the core teaching and training team at CMRP (Bangor). ► Worked with a few CFM UMASS teachers (Pam and Saki in particular, and Jon Kabat-Zinn)….
► Apart from the accreditation process involved to become a senior trainer at CMRP in Bangor his credentials include:
► 10 years of continuous MBSR(UK) and MBCT teaching with approximately 150, 8-week courses taught to date;
► I am a counselling psychotherapist using Mindfulness in this context ;
Trained as an Iyengar Yoga teacher and;
► Have over 40 years Tai Chi and Chi Kung practice;
► Trains NHS mindfulness teachers in the south of England (all of this can be viewed on his website:

He has specialised in teaching mindfulness based approaches (MBCT) with carers, teenagers and Older People. In 2010 he gained a Fd Sc in Person Centred Counselling and now works part-time within the NHS with parents of children who have newly diagnosed complex needs.

Karunavira, studied at London University, Goldsmiths College gaining a BSc (Hons) before starting a career in primary education, resigning his East Sussex headship in 1985 in order to pursue ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Oder (1989). Since that time he has been teaching meditation and Buddhist studies in and around Brighton and between 2000 and 2010 he was the spiritual director of the Brighton Buddhist Centre.

+ More about Karunavira:
Bangor CV


Highly participatory, supportive and structured, the MBSR Programme will provide you with:

# Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices;
# Gentle streching and mindful yoga;
# Group dialogue and mindful communication exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life;
# Individually tailored instructions;
# Home assignments;
# Guided meditations and Manual and handouts.

Monday (afternoon)

3.00pm: Welcome + introduction to Mindfulness and MBSR + retreat orientation
4.30 Tea Break
5pm – 7pm: Session 1 of the MBSR ‘8-Week Course’ (‘Introducing Mindfulness’)
7.30 Dinner
8.30 Informal discussion and Q and A about Mindfulness and MBSR
(Not silent overnight)

Tuesday (early practice)
7:30 Gentle Moving and sitting practice
8:30 Breakfast – not silent
9:30 – 12.30 ‘Session 2’ MBSR course (‘Living in our Heads/ Working with Barriers’
10:45 Coffee Break –mindfully (30)
11.15 ‘Session 2’ of the MBSR course (continued)
12.30 Lunch (not silent)

Tuesday (afternoon)
3:00 -6pm ‘Session 3’ of the MBSR course (‘Gathering our Scattered Mind’)
4:35 Tea Break (in silence: 20)
4.55 ‘Session 3’ of the MBSR course (continued)
7.00 Dinner

Tuesday (evening)
8.00 Posture ‘sitting’ workshop + short meditation

Silence overnight

Wednesday (early practice)
7:30 Movement and sitting
8:30 Breakfast (silent)

Wednesday (morning)
9:30 -12. ‘Session 4’ MBSR (‘Patterns of Reactivity to Stress/Recognising Aversion’)
10:45 Coffee break (silent) (30)
11.15 ‘Session 4’ of the MBSR course (continued)
12:30 Lunch (silent)

Wednesday (afternoon)
3:00 ‘Session 5’ MBSR (‘Coping with Stress; Responding vs Reacting’)
4.40 Tea Break (mindful) (20)
5:00 ‘Session 5’ of the MBSR course continued (end by 6pm)
7.00 Dinner

Wednesday (evening)
8.00 Discuss ‘All Day of Practice’

Silence overnight

Thursday (early practice)
7:30 Movement and sitting
8:30 Breakfast

9:30 to 5.30 ‘ALL DAY of PRACTICE’ (silent led practices ‘all day’ )
(Note: tea/coffee breaks through the day and rest time after lunch)
7.00 Dinner
8.00 Themes from the All Day
NB: Separate special schedule to be provided on the day

Friday (early practice)
7:30 Movement and sitting
8:30 Breakfast

Friday (morning)
9.30 ‘Session 6’ MBSR (‘Stressful Communications/Thoughts are not Facts’)
10.45 Coffee Break (30)
11.15 ‘Session 6’ of the MBSR course (continued)
12.30 Lunch

Friday (afternoon)
3:00 ‘Session 7’ MBSR (‘Lifestyle Choices – How can I Take Care of Myself’?)
4:00 Tea Break (20)
4.20 ‘Session 7’ of the MBSR course continued (continued )
7.00 Dinner

Friday (evening)
8.00 Overview of 8-wk course…development of themes and practices

Saturday (early practice)
7:30 Early practice – movement, sitting
8:30 Breakfast

Saturday (morning)
9:30 ‘Session 8’ MBSR (‘Keeping your Mindfulness Alive!’)
10:45 Coffee Break (20) (+ networking)
11:15 ‘Session 8’ MBSR and ending process
12.30 Lunch (then depart)

Venue + FAQ


• Casa Silva, Barcelos, Portugal
About 50 kms from Oporto airport Nestled in the beautiful North of Portugal, this center is the perfect site for retreats. It offers fresh air, mountain vistas, gorgeous wooded acreage, personalized service and the best facilities around. Located just 40 minutes from Oporto Airport, with great accesses, you will feel a million miles away from the city, but we're close enough for an easy getaway. The meditation gardens offers sanctuary to reflect and recharge in natural beauty with sounds of water all around. Amenities:
Accomodations:There are more than 30 bedrooms (altought the group is limited), each with its own newly remodeled private bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. Sheets, blankets, towels and soap are provided. Rooms have adjustable heaters and wireless internet.
The food is amazing.

Distance between Barcelos station and the retreat center

For various reasons, we encourage that participants share rides and travel costs.

What time should I arrive? When will we finish? We will begin checking people into the retreat at 4pm on the first day. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at scheduled time. We plan to end the MBSR after lunch on the last day, so please plan your plan your travel accordingly. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.
Is there wireless service/mobile phone use?

Expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to restrict cellphone use and to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the retreat there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.
Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?

The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat maybe a possibility, but requires to planning in advance.
What do I need to bring?

If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a some cushions and mats, but maybe not enough to everyone. So if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.
The relatively 'remote' location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.
What should I expect regarding the format of the retreat?

This MBSR is taught in a residential format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness and contemplatives practices embedded. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. There are no other large groups planned in the center that weekend, so it should be relatively quiet and secluded. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious.
What should I read prior to arriving?

What if I require some special accommodations or have dietary restrictions?
While you are asked to note specific food restrictions on your registration application (on the comments), if there are any additional food or medical concerns we should be aware of please let us know of these in advance so we may assist you.

Pre-registration + Fee

Total cost:

Early Bird: €590 (reservations until 20 January 2017);
After 20 january: €640
(includes Teachings + accomodation + three meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner, + snacks e tea (middle morning and middle afternoon).

► It's necessary to fill the application form;
► In the application form select the Event - Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction;
► The retreat takes place with a minimum and maximum of participants;
► It's suggested to bring baggy clothes, a pillow and a mat and zafu (if you have them);
► Upon submission of your registration you will receive an email with additional information;
► The program is subject to minor changes.

Cancellation Policy
► A refund (minus your non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date.
► In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, Portuguese Society of Meditation - Mindfulness Institute is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.



If you have difficulties in the application form, please, open this page in a different browser, such as Firefox or Chrome or contact to eventos.spmbe(at)

The Portuguese Society Meditation and Wellness / Mindfulness Institute (SPM-BE - MI) has no responsibility for losses, damages, expenses or inconvenience that may arise, for any reason, due your participation in this event

SPM-BE - MI guarantees the confidentiality of personal data provided and their treatment in accordance with current legislation on data protection.

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