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Which meditation / mindfulness course should I do?

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As of October this year, Melbourne Mindfulness Foundation will be offering the internationally recognised Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Preston, Melbourne. We’re very excited about this and are looking forward to having you attend one of these courses! I have already had a number of people ask me about the difference between the Learn to Meditate and the MBSR course so I thought I’d put it in writing.


Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course

From October this year, we will deliver the internationally recognised and evidence based Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Preston, Melbourne. Considered to be on the cutting edge of mind-body and preventative medicine, this course was first developed in 1979 by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and his team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In the thirty of so years since the course was first developed to predominantly help people better deal and manage chronic pain, it has evolved considerably after decades of extensive research and revision to be known for its capacity to increase resilience and improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

The course is delivered over an 8 week period and involves 9 sessions – 8 x 2.5 hours weekly sessions and a half day retreat.

Research has shown that the course has assisted millions of people around the world to improve their quality of life; improve their immune system functioning; improve their relationships with friends, family members and work colleagues; improve their productivity at work; be more present in their lives; live with less stress and anxiety; skilfully manage physical and emotional pain; sleep better; and better regulate and manage emotions. You can learn more about the benefits of the course here.

Watch this video to learn more about the MBSR course.


Learn to Meditate course

From February this year, we have delivered a series of Learn to Meditate courses in Preston, Melbourne. This course is a structured 5-week course, with each week involving a commitment of 1.5 hours. The course introduces a ranges of meditation techniques (including breath awareness, body scan, mindful movement, mantra, etc) and focuses on how meditation and mindfulness can be integrated into day-to-day life. Participants learn how to relax the body and calm the mind amidst the busyness of their daily life – while shopping, waiting, driving and eating and during meetings – and gain useful skills for managing and relating more effectively to their thoughts and emotions. The course is ideal for beginner meditators and for those wanting to rejuvenate their practice. You can learn more about the benefits of the course here.


What is the difference between the two mindfulness / meditation courses being offered by Melbourne Mindfulness Foundation in Preston, Melbourne?

While the courses are both focused on teaching mindfulness, there are a number of differences between the two courses, as outlined below.


Research findings and evidence base

Evidence suggests that eight weeks provides the time for new cognitive, emotional, neurological and behavioural changes to become embedded in the brain. This article provides further information on the impact of an 8 week course on the brain.


Time commitment

The MBSR course requires participants be available each week for the 2.5 hour face-to-face session. Participants are also expected to spend at least 45 minutes practicing meditation each day (via guided meditations provided) in between each of the weekly sessions. In addition to this, there is a half day retreat on a weekend towards the end of the course. The Learn to Meditate course is a much lesser time commitment. The course is delivered over a 5 week period for 1.5 hours each week. While ‘homework’ by way of suggested exercises to try during the week is recommended and encouraged as part of the Learn to Meditate course, there is less emphasis on practicing ‘formal’ meditations in the days between each class.



The MBSR course is delivered over an 8 week period and involves 9 sessions – 8 x 2.5 hours sessions and 1 full day retreat. The Learn to Meditate course is delivered over 5 weeks for 1.5 hours each week.



The MBSR course is valued at $550 ($500 for the early bird rate). Please note that the course is being offered at a lower rate in October as it is the first time we have delivered the course.  The Learn to Meditate course is valued at $165.



Resources by way of written material and guided meditations are provided as part of the MBSR course. Participants in the Learn to Meditate course receive summary notes via email in the weeks between each class.


Depth of what is covered

The MBSR course is broader in focus. While learning to meditate is a core component of the course, the course also touches on neuroplasticity, thinking and thought processes, interpersonal mindfulness, emotional intelligence, working with difficult and uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, stress physiology and communication. The course also provides the space to go deeper into the meditation practices.


Internationally recognised

The MBSR course is an internationally recognised course on the cutting edge of mind-body health and preventative medicine. Developed in 1979 to support people experiencing chronic illness and pain, it is now well attended by diverse people united by their interest in wanting to improve their health and wellbeing and/or regain control of their health.


Sign up!

Sign up to the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Preston, Melbourne starting in October here. As a special introductory offer, if you register before 1 September, you will only pay $280 (for a course valued at $550!).

Sign up to the Learn to Meditate course in Preston, Melbourne commencing in July and October 2016 and February 2017 here.

The courses are delivered in Preston, Melbourne and are easily accessible for people living in Thornbury, Northcote, Brunswick, Reservoir, Coburg, Heidelberg, Essendon, Tullamarine and Glenroy.

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